Record Store Day is likely to have made many music lovers wistful about the good ole days of buying vinyl records in bricks-and-mortar stores. Released to coincide with the event, the awkwardly titled I Need That Record!: The Death (Or Possible Survival Of) The Independent Record Store, is a passionate, lo-fi documentary about the history of record stores, their importance to the local community and the factors that have led to their unfortunate demise.
Featuring interviews with Thurston Moore, Patterson Hood of Drive-By Truckers and Mike Watt of The Minutemen and largely focusing on the end days of several US stores, it captures the sadness surrounding the loss of these cultural hotspots. For some, it’s their livelihoods, a job driven by the desire to share what they love rather than wear a name-tag in a supermarket. For others, they’re losing somewhere to hang out and intense relationships stretching back years.
Writer and director Brendan Toller’s sympathies clearly lie with the stores, believing that their absence will leave a gaping hole in music culture, but the film is pretty even-handed. It identifies hispterism and a lack of marketing sense in the demise of many stores, alongside competition from ‘big box’ stores like Walmart, the greed of the major labels with CD pricing and of course, the internet.
You can watch I Need That Record! on Pitchfork TV until Friday.