Totally Dublin turns 100 next month, and we’re celebrating by dipping our fingers into our dusty archives to feature our best articles and give you a little snapshot of that month in Dublin. This article considers the fate of the independent record store — read to pages 4 and 5 for profiles and portraits of some perhaps familiar faces no longer around to sell you records.
Cover: Juliette Lewis and the Licks
In the reviews: The Knife – Deep Cuts, Bloc Party, Silent Alarm, House of Flying Daggers
On our mind: “As church attendance declines and demographics change, what is next for the Reginald Street shrine? Perhaps some future twist or transformation; a Bijou residence perhaps, or Internet cocktail bar” – Arran Henderson on Reginald Street Pavilion, where we shot the Rubberbandits in Christmas 2011.
DUSTY FINGERS: Dublin’s independent record stores stick to their analogue roots
Words: Micheál Murray, Photos: Con O’Donoghue
Time moves ever forward and the old is replaced by the new, this much we can rely on. Sometimes improvements are made, sometimes you just wonder. Take for instance the iPod; does it herald a slow death for independent music retailers? Not having one myself but being extremely curious, I borrowed one of these innocent white babies from a friend and was immediately hooked. Now I have to come up with new excuses everyday as to why I haven’t returned it. It is very easy to succumb to one and anyone with even a passing interest in music and technology will be enthralled.
But what if all music was downloaded and provided for your pleasure, by one little box? Could it replace the sheer joy of perusing racks of CDs and boxes of vinyl, the sheer joy of finding something old or new, or something you just like the cover of? I can’t imagine anything replacing the utter bliss of spending an afternoon completely absorbed in the single-minded pursuit of the elusive holy grail of vinyl or CD, be it in a dusty old shop in Rathmines, or a swish new emporium in Temple Bar. The pleasure is the same and the high when you get what you are looking for is hard to beat.
Whether it’s a rare Mothers of Invention or a Eurotrash 12”, your junky like cravings are fed in those few tactile moments when the cords of pleasure are indelibly created between you and your music. I have been reduced to tears on more than one occasion when I
have stumbled across some gem that will fill a particular spot in my ever-expanding collection. My stifled sobs are heard and understood by other junkies in the vicinity, and they too will delight in my joy, unless, of course, they too are in search of the same treasure in which case you must move hastily to the cash desk to avoid confrontation.