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Re: Dissin' Dischord
- Subject: Re: Dissin' Dischord
- From: "James R. Covey" <JRCOVEY\!/ac.dal.ca>
- Date: Mon, 16 May 1994 11:03:59 -0300
}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.
well, i personally have no trouble with saying, "hey, can i _buy_
this?" in order to get one of those guys' attention when they are
talking or staring out the window. i agree with mike, though, that
it's offputting and would be a lot more intimidating for others.
>One note on your first letter, Mike: If Frank indeed does keep all the
>good stuff for himself, then that's his privelege. 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 mike called it that because it's the closest thing we've got.
most indie stores that i've been in _do_ carry used stuff, that's how
they survive. and i have bought a non-local indie in there before.
("pest plays no. 817 the visibile trout" cassette) although i suppose
derivative is as local a non-local as there is. :-)
>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).
i wouldn't quite say that their selection is "wide" but it's sure better
than dischord, and better than any chain store i've ever been in (including
sam's/hmv locations in montreal and toronto and musicland in chicago).
>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 don't really know much about the business end of it, but it's my
impression that labels will ship records for less if they're for
>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 :)
don't worry, we're all posers.
you should listen to my show, andrew! :-)
Mike Price writes:
> As far as the last few comments go about dischord...and those of you on
>the Chapel Hill list will see the irony of this discussion...I'd like to throw
>out a few cents...
>The thing I like about places like Dischord, the Mokka and other sort-of
>alternative businesses around Halifax is that the employees are just hanging
>out, and aren't in your face with some corporations customer service
>excellence handbook at the ready...Who cares that they're always sitting
>in the front window--hanging out. If I owned a record store you wouldn't
>see me spending my days washing walls and standing quietly behind a counter
>waiting eagerly to "help you". Buying music isn't all that difficult...too
>bad there isn't a store with more indie labels...but if you can't find
>what you're looking for at Dischord...then look somewhere else.
well, geez, mike, our complaint is that there really isn't anyplace else!
i personally find that evanston, illinois is a good place to shop for indies,
but i find that it's a long commute... and the ideals of "friendly service",
last i checked, weren't handed down by some corporation, but come to us from
the finest tradition of _independent_ shopkeepers... and generally i find
that i get better service in most independent stores than in corporate chains,
maybe because they have to compete against those big guys.
there are a few exceptions. like dischord. :-)
i got really friendly service at every indie store i went to in chicago,
including this really great guy at vagabond music, next to the lounge ax.
_ _ James R. Covey <jrcovey\!/ac.dal.ca>
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