Special Guest – Peter Dale [A MUST LISTEN FOR STORE OWNERS] In the second half of this podcast Peter and I discuss the state of the music industry, the positives and negatives of bringing Classical music into your store (and some tips of what to look for), and some really amazing tips that he has learned over the years on how to improve your store’s sales. PLAY IT NOW! You won’t be disappointed.
As far back as I can remember I have dedicated a room where I have listening sessions with my buddies (or some company that has stopped by). In my new house it’s just off the kitchen in what used to be a dining room. It’s a simple room with a leather chair, couch and my stereo (in fact the one drawn on the GTV [GoingThruVinyl] fliers). This room is generally referred to by people as my “Stereo Room” and according to others there for pretty much one thing; to fill a need I seem to have for extrapolating useless information on unsuspecting guests while obscure records play in the background. If I had to guess, this need comes from my unusual want to control the music I hear in the background (the useless information I give as a bonus). For whatever reason, background music really matters to me and always has. Where ever I go, the major deciding factor of whether I having a good time or a bad time is the music in the background. People who know me have learned to either put up with it or in some rare cases enjoyed the music I gravitate towards. Through the years I have been able to enjoy innumerable sessions with many different types of people and have turned quite a few people onto some really great music.
The framework or feel of these listening sessions usually goes something like this: I figure out what they like and take in exterior factors like the time of day, who they are, and the general mood of the room. So let’s say, just for example, I wanted to give a more “hipster style” vibe to the room I might test out a Brian Jones Town Massacre record like “Bravery Repetition and Noise” (Cargo Records AUK003 LP), Percy Sledge “Warm and Tender Soul” (Atlantic CD 8132), or the new Arcade Fire’s album “The Suburbs” (Sonovox MRG 385). Pretty much anything goes when it’s the middle of the day and people are just into hanging out. Things however, start getting a lot more complicated when you get mixed company with people who like different musical tastes or are at very different ages to one another. In those cases I have learned to play what I consider the best safe music I have. Some easy fall back records that I’ve learn to pull out are Hank Mobley’s “Soul Station”(Blue Note 4031), John Coltrane’s “Blue Train” (Blue Note BST 81577) or Booker T and the MG’s “Best of” (Atlantic SD 8202). But probably the best “safe” record I have though is The Meters Self-titled album “The Meters” (Josie JOS 4010) that album is like the UN of music at gatherings.
I have had many geeky audiophile sessions where me and my audiophile friends dim the lights down low and extrapolate on the finer points of amazing recordings and the equipment. Albums like Joan Sutherland’s “Lakme” by Delibes (London OSA-1391) or amazing sounding Harmonia mundi Ancient music records like Musique Arabo-Andalouse (harmonia mundi HM 389). Recordings that seem to jump out of my speakers and remind me why dropping a few bucks on some great equipment is worth it.
Often, for me anyways there is a listening fatigue that invariably happens in a party near the end of the night where people don’t want to go home but are slowly melting in their chairs. It’s then that I love to flip on LP’s like “The Pearl” by Harold Budd/Brian Eno with Daniel Lanois (EG Records EGED 37, Harold Budd’s “Lovely Thunder” (EG Records EGED 46) or “In a Silent way” by Miles Davis (Columbia 88697269471).
If there is one basic thing I have learned through my many years as a stubborn music fan its that public communal music doesn’t need to be bad to be accessible. There is really is no reason when you go to say a bar or are invited to a wedding that crap music needs to be the standard. It just isn’t true.