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Punk Rock Brought to You by the Letter S

April 21st, 2014

Back in the dark ages when the internet and whole concept of digital media was kept in the same bin as all the other science fiction, there was this business called the Record Store. Granted there is still a lot of them around but not nearly the monsters of the past and let's face it they aren't the center of the music world they once were. I'm sure the same kind of nuts own and run the places. A creature that is half mad, dumbly lucky at times and addicted to music. These odd fellows used to buy and sell records often without a single clue of their importance. More than a few times I would dig out that gem, take it up to the counter, look at the guy standing behind it and wonder, "Why in the hell are you stocking this record?"

 

Sure there were a number of hip record store owners and employees. In fact, they were to me and other like minded individuals a god send. Most of what we were looking for wasn't going to be heard on the radio. So, finding new music involved research either in fanzines or polling other like minded people or simply rolling the dice on a something that just felt right. I rolled those dice a lot over the years and hit craps more than I care to admit but that hunt was almost if not often more important then the music that was contained within. 

 

There was a day when there were a number of record stores that I would hit on a weekly bases. Though most would try to create categories for their products, most of these were nothing more than music industry marketing and completely useless. I don't know how many punk rock gems I pulled out of sections labeled, "Metal", "Hard Rock", "College Rock" and even "Dance". This could have been clues or under paid clerks but I often wonder if it was other collectors trying to hide future purchases. I can't begin to count the number of times I stashed a a record or two either in World Music, Easy listening or Gospel.  Sometimes they would be there when I returned, Other times they wouldn't and I would always chuckle a little thinking about the surprise someone got when they were looking for Carpenters and for some reason bought the Cramps. 

 

The reason that I bring this all up is that the search created a method of operation that involved looking through all the records in alphabetical order. This could be a sluggish process taking hours and hours while being exposed and tortured by whatever awful musical taste the person behind the counter may have. As I began to travel I developed a method for checking out any new store to save time. I would simply head straight to the "S" section and flip through what they had to offer. The reason I picked S was because for one reason or another it always seems to be the largest section and would often give a fairly descent representation of what the store stocked.

 

So this was the long way around the barn to explain this list but then again it could be my general laziness. Which might bring about a few more of these. However, here is Punk Rock brought to you by the letter S. 

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