I had a birthday a couple months ago...almost to the day. So I treated myself to a day at a mall that had an Urban Outfitters. A lot of people hate Urban Outfitters for the sole reason that they cater to hipsters. Others hate them for selling Crosley turntables. I, who could almost pass for said hipster, had no opinion because I stick to thrift stores for my vinyl. But I decided to splurge and get some records that were fresh-off-the-presses new rather than just-donated new. How did I like it?
For the most part, I enjoyed my experience. Per my nature, I stuck to the $9.99 clearance section. And lo and behold, I found some things. Some familiar, some not. A lot of albums ended up in weird places; misclassified by genre, alphabetized by album name rather than artist name, or by first name rather than last name. Some albums were even alphabetized by the second word in the band's name. I saw some albums that were definitely used, which was a little strange to me.
We have two Outfitters in my area, and I witnessed the same things at the other one. So maybe their workers aren't quite as educated in music as they could be. But for those who are, there are plenty of rewards. I'm a sucker for production music, or "library music" for you British "readres." I lucked into a sweet 2-volume set called TV Sound And Image on Soul Jazz Records. Basically it's a 4-record set of British
I discovered Calexico a few years ago when they teamed up with Iron & Wine for a few songs, most notably their cover of Love's Alone Again Or. I'll be listening to Calexico by itself on its Algiers album.
I have a lot of listening to do when it comes to Syl Johnson. Poor guy didn't want to have his Complete Mythology box set released because of his distrust of record companies. But the Numero Group did him justice. 6 LPs and 4 CDs chronicle the height of his career, from 1959 to 1972.
Urban Outfitters will never be my main source of vinyl, but it'll be worth a check-in or two once in a while.