Monday, 18 April 2011

The Joy of Rummaging

It was a combination of things that brought us here. A chance remark lamenting the loss of Virgin's flagship New York store. The need to kill an hour or two between meetings and discovering a far(ish) flung branch of Fopp. The discovery there of Kolchak: The Night Stalker, the full series, for a bargain eight quid. The swift realisation that yes, I could probably have picked it up from Amazon or Play or any other excellent online store but - here's the thing - I would NEVER have searched any of those sites for that particular series. My decision to buy was mostly inspired by actually seeing it there on the shelf. It was that moment that brought back a hazy memory of seeing an episode of Kolchak many years ago on holiday, and of reading about it in Stephen King's excellent Danse Macabre... The price played a part in the decision - seriously, 20 hours of TV for eight quid? - but it was a small part. My mind was made up the moment the visual fired assorted synapses into gear.

Online shopping is great and convenient but it only really works for new stuff. Okay, maybe sale bargains, too, but mostly it's the new. When was the last time you idly skipped around Play or Amazon just browsing to see if anything took your fancy? Have you ever hit an internet site and done anything that approximated "rummaging"? Of course not. Think back, then, to the last time you visited a "proper" record / DVD shop and the joys of just, well, flicking through the racks, hunting out the weird, the wonderful, the obscure, the forgotten, maybe making a purchase just because you liked the cover... It was fun, right? And that's what brings us to this point.

Clearly this blog isn't going to bridge the gap between online shopping and old fashioned record store. But it is going to give it a damned good go. You want new releases? Look elsewhere. You want my - and hopefully others' - musings on some old and overlooked gems? Watch this space.

Will this be comprehensive? Hell no - well, not unless someone wants to pay me several hundred thousand to run it as an encyclopaedic full-time concern. Will it be regular? Probably not unless, well, see above caveat. Will it help you find a few CDs and films you might have missed or let slip from your memories? Possibly - and, in this instance. I'll take "possibly" as a fine endorsement...


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  2. I love the concept of this blog. I miss rummaging and browsing. My greatest 'find' was 'The Rat Pack at The Sands in '62' (Don't judge till you've listened!), when roaming round Tower Records in Piccadilly. I would never have found it if I wasn't 'flicking'. Looking forward to more from this

  3. This is very true. I think Amazon's risk is that is that it may become too tailored to peoples liked and dislikes. Therefore we will only ever be suggested the things we already wanted to buy. This could lead to the end of impulse purchases!

    1. end impulse purchase OHHHHHHHHH you mean the three books I bought were a well researched and thought out buy I THINK NOT

  4. Funny you should do this. This was an idea I was going to have as a continuing set of posts. Gems you may have missed..

  5. I miss hours spen flicking through record stores in search of nothing other than to kill time on a wet afternoon. I doubt I can do it now that I am in a wheelchair but I still have a longing deep in my heart for the joy of discovering a gem