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Any vinyl lover can relate to Jason Cherkis’ rant about the lack of good wax shops in D.C. (“Final Vinyl Days,” 11/9), but why does he have to rag on folks out there trying to keep records alive? I mourned the demise of Vinyl Ink as much as any aging punk/indie fan, but the financial reality is clearnot enough people support these stores.
Worthy of mourning? Yes. But Cherkis, in his fantasia about dream record shops, comes off like a whiner.
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Let’s make this perfectly clear: Orpheus in Arlington is a terrific vinyl shop. Yes, it’s pricey, but to say it offers “records anyone could find at a decent thrift store” is absurd. You don’t find Lee Wiley records in any thrift store, nor all the other absolutely incredible jazz in stock. There is plenty of country, folk, soul, punk, new wave, metal, and crap rock in there, too. The owner of that shopa friendly, perpetually shoeless guy named Rick who has wicked fingernailsis in there seven days a week, working with more music than he can possibly deal with. I don’t know how he stays in business, but God love him.
I agree that it would be great to have more vinyl shops around town. It would be great to be able to find more new releases available in the big sleeves a lot of us grew up fetishizing. But it’s not going to happen. The platter on my modest but working Thorens TD 318 MK II is just going to have to make do supporting old friendsand anything worthwhile I can pick up at the terrific and brave surviving record shops in the area.
(By the way, my 1990 Capitol re-release of the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds on compact disc is unremixed and from the original mono and stereo masters. If Cherkis has been able to get his hands on only a copy with hokey reprocessed stereo sound, he’s not shopping hard enough.)