Episode No. 126 of “How Cool is my San Francisco”:
I work right down the street from the four-story Virgin Megastore on Market. If there were a conveniently located Amoeba, and Rasputin’s wasn’t overrun by disaffected, unshowered youth, I’d shop there simply because, hey, support your local businesses. Down with the corporate conglomerates! Smash the system! Yadda, yadda… Fact is, all of those small companies would KILL to reach a level that Virgin has, and Rasputin’s, with at least five stores throughout the Bay Area, is on its way.
So, basically, while I feel the ever-so-slightest twinge of guilt for my support of a corporate giant, the fact that Virgin has a fantastic listening area, an eye-popping variety of music and folks who are good, friendly and treat me with respect alleviates my guilt to a pretty good degree. If you have the better business and provide better service, you should be a winner.
Virgin’s listening area is just friggin’ awesome. I bought my White Stripes album there a few weeks ago because I gave it a good listen and really got into it. Today, I bought The Vines’ debut and John Meyer’s “Room for Squares” CDs using the exact same process. And, if I weren’t trying to save my money a little bit, I would have also picked up Mana’s latest as well as a few others.
My primary reason for going there was to pick up a Dead Kennedy’s album. California Uber Alles and Holiday in Cambodia have been rattling around in my brain for the past few days.
So, after I give a listen to the Meyer and Vines CDs, I’ll give you a little review here. So far, though, the Vines sounds just awesome. There are a lot of garagey, semi-grungy bands gaining in popularity at the moment, and it’s like a whole new sound. It really says something about the current state of popular music when nostalgia becomes revolutionary.
Now, the garagey sound isn’t the only big thing out there. There are some terrific folks who are putting out solid, real-time music with a lot of soul. Pick up a copy of Norah Jones’ CD and you’ll see what I mean. That woman reminds me of Sarah Vaughn and Vince Guaraldi, who never played together but maybe should have.
So, between now and the next time I yap atya, go drop a few bucks at your local music purveyor and let me know what you hear. If you’re looking for something new and exciting, check out EmergentMusic.com. Then, let me know what you find.