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Re: Dischord.

James R. Covey <JRCOVEY\!/ac.dal.ca> commented:

}Mike (Catano) writes:
}>Never once have I been asked the question "Can I Help
}>You?" at Dischord.  Many people feel the same, in fact my girlfriend is 
}>afraid to even go inside. 
}My experience is exactly the same.  No one there ever seems to 
}want to go out of their way for a customer.  No one has ever
}asked me that question there either.  All the people who hang
}there seem to be nice people when you talk to them -- elsewhere.

I agree, this is a definite problem.  The attitude of Frank and his clerks 
is "This is our place" as opposed to the consumer-friendly "We're here to 
serve you".  But, I think if you ask them about something they're 
reasonably helpful.  I think the attitude partly breeds from the fact that 
the place isn't constantly busy, and the clerk is generally rather bored 
apart from when he/she has a friend hanging around, in which case the 
clerk pays almost no attention to the customers.

One note on your first letter, Mike:  If Frank indeed does keep all the 
good stuff for himself, then that's his priveledge.  It doesn't make good 
business sense, but if he wants anything off the rack, I'm sure he gets it 

}>I think saying the store sucks was a little harsh, and I
}>apologise for that, but I had just mailed off forty bucks to the States for
}>records that would never see the light of day in Halifax, and I was feeling
}>especially bitter.  Sorry if I offended, but when Sam the record Man has 
}>more obscure records than Halifax's Indie Store, than something weird 
}>must be going on.

I disagree with you calling Dischord "Halifax's Indie Store".  It's a used 
record (CD,tape) shop, primarily, and as for Indie it really only carries 
local stuff.  I think his local selection is generally pretty good, but 
guys like you and Cliff and Waye are better qualified to comment on that.  
I think it's great that Sam's Barrington carries such a wide selection of 
Indie and major-label alternative music, and that they take the "Friends 
of CKDU card", and I think that's why so many other record-store chains 
have folded in Halifax (witness Kellys/A&A right across the street).  They 
at least to some extent recognize what the public wants to buy, rather 
than just carrying a record selection that looks like a top-40 station.

}I agree 100%.  It's ridiculous that Halifax does not have a decent 
}indie store.  We have the radio station, we have the nightclub,
}we just don't have a record store.  Unless you count Sam's, which
}as Mike says at least carries more indie stuff than Dischord.

It is certainly ridiculous that we don't have one, but what can you do?

A) Open one!  I've heard Mike rant about his financial situation so I 
doubt that he's up for it, but someone out there with capital, guts, and 
entrepreneurial skills should go for it.  SMU doesn't pump out all those 
Commerce grads every year so they can become bank tellers and department 
store clerks.  The number of vacant commercial spaces in downtown Halifax 
is increasing at a scary rate.  We need some bright ideas from the 
business-types.  Not me, I'm a chemist!

B) Order stuff yourself.  Like Mike and his $40 US.  If you're really into 
it, you can start ordering for friends too.  If you see a big enough 
demand, you can then proceed to option A) or C)

C) Persuade Frank to start ordering stuff.  Convince him that folks here 
want to buy indie label releases at his store.  Convince him that he can 
pull down a profit, which you've hinted he isn't accomplishing with his 
current selection of Elvis Costello tapes.

I just don't know if you can make a profit selling indies.  You obviously 
have to mark them up, unless the record company will sell cheaper on bulk 
orders, so anybody with a postage stamp can do like Mike and order the 
same merchandise by mail for less.

I like Dischord because I usually find a used CD that I want every time I 
go there.  Then again, my tastes and the volume of my collection may not 
match yours.  I don't buy a lot of indies because I like to hear a band 
before I buy their stuff, and I unfortunately don't listen to CKDU as 
often as I should in order to hear indies (or, when I hear a great tune at 
the Deuce, I never know who it is unless I ask Waye or whoever is DJ'ing)
I guess I'm just a poser :)

Like a midget at a urinal, I would have to stay on my toes.-- Frank Drebin
Andrew P. Rodenhiser, Ph.D. Candidate         RODENHISER\!/CHEM1.CHEM.DAL.CA
Dalhousie University, Halifax, N.S., Canada              APRODEN\!/AC.DAL.CA
Fluorescence   Probing   Studies    of   Polymer/Surfactant   Interactions