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tower records is history

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  • darren bergstein
    hello to all: just heard today the unfortunate news that tower records, after years of being in bankruptcy (and suffering from many other maladies, some
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 7, 2006
      hello to all:

      just heard today the unfortunate news that tower records, after years
      of being in bankruptcy (and suffering from many other maladies, some
      internal, a number of them external), is finally going out of
      business. i understand that they'll remain open until the holiday
      season, and then the kit & kaboodle is, well, kaput.

      not sure how many of you who trawl amongst these various lists will
      care, but there is some reason to feel sombre regarding this news.
      personally, i haven't been much of a tower customer myself these last
      years; sure, i duck in to the nyc & northern nj stores every now &
      then (mostly to look through whatever bargain bins occasionally turn
      up), but their prices have always been on the high end, and their
      depth of catalog has gradually depleted throughout the years.
      basically, they carry little that i am interested in, but sometimes
      the odd back catalog item or other shows up and necessitates
      purchase. but tower has not only been around for quite some time,
      they were one of the first 'megastore' retailers to cater to both
      mainstream *and* independent tastes. in the haughty days of vinyl,
      tower was one of the few major retailers who would stock local
      groups' albums (on consignment, of course), their employees were
      generally music nuts, their catalog was deep, comprehensive and
      vibrant, prices relatively affordable, and, as i mentioned, they
      tended to champion the underdog (nee, independent). when i published
      my first magazine, i/e, back in the early to waning 90s, tower was
      always one of my best 'distributors': my sell-through rate was
      upwards of 60-70% (well above the standard 30-40%), and even with the
      late e/i, tower was one of my better sellers (although not reflective
      of the earlier i/en numbers).

      no, this news is saddening because at heart it might be the final
      nail in the coffin for the record shop as we know it. tower's demise
      calls into question what will follow. the repercussions throughout
      the 'industry' will be the first major tremors of a successively
      larger earthquake.

      now, i'm sure there are those on these lists who might reply to this
      news with a shrug and a "so?" many of you probably do a good chunk of
      your ordering online as well via the usual suspects (ebay, amazon,
      gemm, forced exposure, smallfish, u-cover, etc., etc.). call me a
      dinosaur, an old fart, whatever: collecting & listening to music for
      over 33+ years now, the idea of the record store becoming one with
      the blacksmith and the wooly mammoth is extremely disheartening. it's
      the next step in the eventual dissolution of the sound carrier (cd or
      wax), the next step in the process of everything we do coming solely
      and surely through a computer screen. it's the death wails of an
      artform.

      who knows? maybe this is simply the twilight for the 'superstore'
      concept, that the halcyon days of the behemoths (tower, virgin, et
      al) are over, and that perhaps the resurgence of the independent
      record shop is upon us. but where do the species such as the amoeba
      chain fit in? will they be able to adapt and survive? what will the
      indie shop need to do to survive in this age of high rent, precious
      real estate, artistic ignorance and endemic downloading? indies
      having been dying by the dozen this year (aron's & rhino in l.a. -
      although the claremont shop is still hanging in there - numerous
      stores in chicago, nyc, hell, throughout the entire u.s.), so perhaps
      the writing on the wall here is clear: you soon just won't be able to
      walk into a store that was once studded with posters, dusty racks,
      bargain bins, shelves and endcaps stuffed with recordings rare,
      o.o.p., obscure, & trivial, recordings in various shapes & sizes...in
      short, part and parcel of what was enjoyable about the physical act
      of music shopping.

      perhaps i'm an anachronism, but you know what? tough. this whole
      thing simply sucks on ice. and all this wonderful so-called future
      shock is doing nothing lately but singing my eyebrows.

      - darren bergstein


      - - -
      e/i magazine
      > music electronic & otherwise <

      info@... / eimag@...
      www.ei-mag.com

      storm the studio blog
      www.stormstudio.blogspot.com
      - - -




      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • grady finklemyer
      Yeah, pretty soon they ll be trying to rent the music to us. They ll be a charge for every song on your Ipud. Count me out. If the owner of Tower records would
      Message 2 of 2 , Oct 18, 2006
        Yeah, pretty soon they'll be trying to rent the music
        to us. They'll be a charge for every song on your
        Ipud. Count me out.

        If the owner of Tower records would have lowered
        prices to compete in the marketplace, maybe they'd
        still be in business. An employee at Tower hq said
        that was the main reason. $18.99 is too much for a cd.

        Too bad, their newsstand was pretty good. You could
        pick up the smaller press mags there that I won't be
        able to find now. Like e/i(before it folded), Signal
        to Noise, Ugly Things, etc.
        I remember when I used to buy i/e and Audion at Tower.
        Two great magazines.


        --- darren bergstein <eimag@...> wrote:

        > hello to all:
        >
        > just heard today the unfortunate news that tower
        > records, after years
        > of being in bankruptcy (and suffering from many
        > other maladies, some
        > internal, a number of them external), is finally
        > going out of
        > business. i understand that they'll remain open
        > until the holiday
        > season, and then the kit & kaboodle is, well, kaput.
        >
        > not sure how many of you who trawl amongst these
        > various lists will
        > care, but there is some reason to feel sombre
        > regarding this news.
        > personally, i haven't been much of a tower customer
        > myself these last
        > years; sure, i duck in to the nyc & northern nj
        > stores every now &
        > then (mostly to look through whatever bargain bins
        > occasionally turn
        > up), but their prices have always been on the high
        > end, and their
        > depth of catalog has gradually depleted throughout
        > the years.
        > basically, they carry little that i am interested
        > in, but sometimes
        > the odd back catalog item or other shows up and
        > necessitates
        > purchase. but tower has not only been around for
        > quite some time,
        > they were one of the first 'megastore' retailers to
        > cater to both
        > mainstream *and* independent tastes. in the haughty
        > days of vinyl,
        > tower was one of the few major retailers who would
        > stock local
        > groups' albums (on consignment, of course), their
        > employees were
        > generally music nuts, their catalog was deep,
        > comprehensive and
        > vibrant, prices relatively affordable, and, as i
        > mentioned, they
        > tended to champion the underdog (nee, independent).
        > when i published
        > my first magazine, i/e, back in the early to waning
        > 90s, tower was
        > always one of my best 'distributors': my
        > sell-through rate was
        > upwards of 60-70% (well above the standard 30-40%),
        > and even with the
        > late e/i, tower was one of my better sellers
        > (although not reflective
        > of the earlier i/en numbers).
        >
        > no, this news is saddening because at heart it might
        > be the final
        > nail in the coffin for the record shop as we know
        > it. tower's demise
        > calls into question what will follow. the
        > repercussions throughout
        > the 'industry' will be the first major tremors of a
        > successively
        > larger earthquake.
        >
        > now, i'm sure there are those on these lists who
        > might reply to this
        > news with a shrug and a "so?" many of you probably
        > do a good chunk of
        > your ordering online as well via the usual suspects
        > (ebay, amazon,
        > gemm, forced exposure, smallfish, u-cover, etc.,
        > etc.). call me a
        > dinosaur, an old fart, whatever: collecting &
        > listening to music for
        > over 33+ years now, the idea of the record store
        > becoming one with
        > the blacksmith and the wooly mammoth is extremely
        > disheartening. it's
        > the next step in the eventual dissolution of the
        > sound carrier (cd or
        > wax), the next step in the process of everything we
        > do coming solely
        > and surely through a computer screen. it's the death
        > wails of an
        > artform.
        >
        > who knows? maybe this is simply the twilight for the
        > 'superstore'
        > concept, that the halcyon days of the behemoths
        > (tower, virgin, et
        > al) are over, and that perhaps the resurgence of the
        > independent
        > record shop is upon us. but where do the species
        > such as the amoeba
        > chain fit in? will they be able to adapt and
        > survive? what will the
        > indie shop need to do to survive in this age of high
        > rent, precious
        > real estate, artistic ignorance and endemic
        > downloading? indies
        > having been dying by the dozen this year (aron's &
        > rhino in l.a. -
        > although the claremont shop is still hanging in
        > there - numerous
        > stores in chicago, nyc, hell, throughout the entire
        > u.s.), so perhaps
        > the writing on the wall here is clear: you soon just
        > won't be able to
        > walk into a store that was once studded with
        > posters, dusty racks,
        > bargain bins, shelves and endcaps stuffed with
        > recordings rare,
        > o.o.p., obscure, & trivial, recordings in various
        > shapes & sizes...in
        > short, part and parcel of what was enjoyable about
        > the physical act
        > of music shopping.
        >
        > perhaps i'm an anachronism, but you know what?
        > tough. this whole
        > thing simply sucks on ice. and all this wonderful
        > so-called future
        > shock is doing nothing lately but singing my
        > eyebrows.
        >
        > - darren bergstein
        >
        >
        > - - -
        > e/i magazine
        > > music electronic & otherwise <
        >
        > info@... / eimag@...
        > www.ei-mag.com
        >
        > storm the studio blog
        > www.stormstudio.blogspot.com
        > - - -
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been
        > removed]
        >
        >
        >


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