7 Things I've Learned While Working At A Record Store

7 Things I've Learned While Working At A Record Store

There's always at least one person who asks, "so, does music actually sound better on vinyl?"
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Before I transferred to the U and moved to Minneapolis for the spring semester, I spent my days slinging albums and annoying customers with my obsession of feminist folk punk in a small North Dakota music shop. It has, by far, been the best job I've come across. Over the course of my employment and the time I spent walking down the aisles of CD's and LP's, I've collected some tracks of wisdom.


1. People still listen to Nickelback

In the interest of full disclosure, I have to admit that I have a personal vendetta against Chad Kroeger. When my brother was 12, he made the unfortunate life decision of attending a Nickelback concert and in the middle of the set, the Canadian lead singer threw a red solo cup of beer at my little brother's head.

That being said, people still spend money on the universally hated rock band's albums and every time they do so, I'm forced to ring them up at the cash register, stifle my judgement, smile and say "enjoy your new CD!"

2. It's important to gamble with music purchases

If you come across a funny looking album cover of some ridiculous 80's hair metal band, just buy it. Some of my favorite musicians have been discovered through the act of impulsive transactions. Before I'd ever heard of Devendra Banhart (North Dakota isn't really known for it's buzzing, hip music scene), I bought a used CD of "Mala" without knowing anything about it. I just thought the album art and song titles were interesting.

To this day, it's always my go-to road trip album. The same goes for Stryper's "To Hell with the Devil" (for wildly different reasons). Of course there are going to be misses with this consumer practice, but the hits will always be worth it.

3. The old, crazy regulars know their tunes

One of my favorite regulars is an older, leather jacket wearing, grey bearded gentleman. For the purposes of this article, let's just call him Orson. The last time I saw Orson, he was wearing neon orange suspenders decorated with black skulls and had his long wizard beard tucked into his crewneck shirt. He waltzed in and asked me about my first semester and how I liked living in Minneapolis. He then proceeded to school me on Ty Segall's discography. No joke, this dude is old enough to be my grandpa and he corrected me on which album "Rusted Dust" was on. So, don't judge a book by its wrinkles.

4. Every item of clothing I own will permanently smell like India Moon incense

I frequented this music store before I started working there and one of the things I loved about it was the scent of incense when I walked in. It gave the shop a nice and cozy feel and it was a memorable shopping experience for me.

Now that I'm back for the summer, I remember that not everyone appreciates the smell of Nag Champa and Patchouli. Whenever I come home from working a night shift, someone always comments, "Hannah, you straight up smell like a head shop."

5. Too many people make dumb pot jokes while looking at the water pipes and spoons

Like most record stores, the one I work at sells a variety of glass. There are certain terms you're supposed to use when mentioning to me which item you'd like to take a closer look at. Even though we both know you're not going to pack tobacco in a wooden dug-out with the words "420 BLAZE IT" printed on it in bright green vinyl decal, I have to play dumb and you have to lie. I'm not interested in how ripped you're about to get and what kind of hook-ups your friend has because his girlfriend just moved to Colorado to work as a bud trimmer. If you make a weed joke, I've heard it a million times and I'm not even going to give you a courtesy laugh.

6. We get It, The Beatles are important

But, John Lennon was awful and abusive, so...

7. We're not infallible music scholars

Yes, if you work in a record store, you need to be aware of genre cultures and the influential musicians that helped guide the music scene to where it's at today. That being said: I don't listen to everything and I don't know everything. If you mosey into the store and ask, "what's that one album by Slayer that has that one song on it?" I'm going to stare at you with a dumb look on my face until you give me more information. I cannot read your mind.

One of my favorite things about working at this shop is I get to travel through the subgenre waves of Spotify and discover new musicians and albums constantly. However, I experience tiny little existential crises when I realize that I'm never going to have the time or energy to learn everything about the music that's been released and continues to be released without pause. I get over this immobilizing anxiety when I remember musicians like Chad Kroeger exist and I don't need to listen to or know everything.

However, I do know one of the most intimidating aspects of talking to someone who works in a music store is the myth that they know more than you do...they don't and if they act like they do, they're a dick so you have the moral high ground. Ask your questions and don't feel dumb, but also don't assume we've heard of that crappy local ska band that your friend plays bass in.


Cover Image Credit: Samuel Dixon // Unsplash

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35 Major Life Facts According To Nick Miller

"All booze is good booze, unless it's weak booze."
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Fact: If you watch "New Girl," you love Nick Miller.

You can't help it. He's an adorable, lovable mess of a man and you look forward to seeing him and his shenanigans each week. While living the infamous and incomparable life of Nick Miller, and obviously Julius Pepperwood— he has learned many valuable laws of the land. And, although Nick refuses to learn anything from anyone besides his mysterious, old Asian friend Tran, he does have a few lessons he'd like to teach us.

Here are 35 facts of life according to 'Nick Milla Nick Milla':

1. Drinking keeps you healthy.

"I'm not gonna get sick. No germ can live in a body that is 65% beer."

2. Dinosaurs never existed.

"I don't believe dinosaurs existed. I've seen the science. I don't believe it."


3. A paper bag is a bank.

"A bank is just a paper bag but with fancier walls."


4. Having sex is similar to delivering mail.

"I'm like a mailman, except instead of mail it's hot sex that I deliver."

5. Moonwalking is a foolproof way to get out of any awkward situation.

Jess (about Nick): "Now he won't even talk to me. I saw him this morning and he just panic moonwalked away from me. He does that sometimes."

6. Using a movie reference is also a great way.

Cece: "Come on, get up!"

Nick: "No, I don't dance. I'm from that town in "Footloose."

7. There's no reason to wash towels.

Nick: "I don’t wash the towel. The towel washes me. Who washes a towel?"

Schmidt: "You never wash your towel?"

Nick: "What am I gonna do? Wash the shower next? Wash a bar of soap?"

8. Exes are meant to be avoided at all costs (especially if/unless they're Caroline)

"I don't deal with exes, they're part of the past. You burn them swiftly and you give their ashes to Poseidon."

9. IKEA furniture is not as intimidating as it looks.

"I'm building you the dresser. I love this stuff. It's like high-stakes LEGOs."

10. You don't need forks if you have hands.

Jess: "That's gross. Get a fork, man."

Nick: "I got two perfectly good forks at the end of my arms!"

11. Sex has a very specific definition.


"It's not sex until you put the straw in the coconut."

12. Doors are frustrating.

"I will push if I want to push! Come on! I hate doors!"

13. All booze is good booze.

"Can I get an alcohol?"

14. ...unless it's weak booze.

"Schmidt, that is melon flavored liquor! That is 4-proof! That is safe to drink while you're pregnant!"

15. Writers are like pregnant women.

Jess: "You know what that sound is? It's the sound of an empty uterus."

Nick: "I can top that easily. I'm having a hard time with my zombie novel."

Jess: "Are you really comparing a zombie novel to my ability to create life?"

Nick: "I'm a writer, Jess. We create life."

16. All bets must be honored.

"There is something serious I have to tell you about the future. The name of my first-born child needs to be Reginald VelJohnson. I lost a bet to Schmidt."

17. Adele's voice is like a combination of Fergie and Jesus.

"Adele is amazing."

18. Beyoncé is extremely trustworthy.

"I'd trust Beyoncé with my life. We be all night."

19. Fish, on the other hand, are not.


“Absolutely not. You know I don’t trust fish! They breathe water. That's crazy!"

20. Bar mitzvahs are terrifying.

Schmidt: "It's a bar mitzvah!"

Nick: "I am NOT watching a kid get circumcised!"

21. ...so are blueberries.

Jess: "So far, Nick Miller's list of fears is sharks, tap water, real relationships..."

Nick: "And blueberries."

22. Take your time with difficult decisions. Don't be rash.


Jess: "You care about your burritos more than my children, Nick?"

Nick: "You're putting me in a tough spot!"

23. Getting into shape is not easy.

"I mean, I’m not doing squats or anything. I’m trying to eat less donuts."

24. We aren't meant to talk about our feelings.

"If we needed to talk about feelings, they would be called talkings."


25. We're all a little bit too hard on ourselves.

"The enemy is the inner me."

26. Freezing your underwear is a good way to cool off.


"Trust me, I'm wearing frozen underpants right now and I feel amazing. I'm gonna grab some old underpants and put a pair into the freezer for each of you."

27. Public nudity is normal.

"Everbody has been flashed countless times."

28. Alcohol is a cure-all.


"You treat an outside wound with rubbing alcohol. You treat an inside wound with drinking alcohol."

29. Horses are aliens.

"I believe horses are from outer-space."


30. Turtles should actually be called 'shell-beavers.'

Jess: "He calls turtles 'shell-beavers."

Nick: "Well, that's what they should be called."

31. Trench coats are hot.


"This coat has clean lines and pockets that don't quit, and it has room for your hips. And, when I wear it, I feel hot to trot!"


32. Sparkles are too.

"Now, my final bit of advice, and don't get sensitive on this, but you've got to change that top it's terrible and you've got to throw sparkles on. Sparkles are in. SPARKLES ARE IN."

33. Introspection can lead to a deeper knowing of oneself.

"I'm not convinced I know how to read. I've just memorized a lot of words."


34. It's important to live in the moment.

"I know this isn't gonna end well but the middle part is gonna be awesome."


35. Drinking makes you cooler.

Jess: "Drinking to be cool, Nick? That's not a real thing."

Nick: "That's the only thing in the world I know to be true."

Cover Image Credit: Hollywood Reporter

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