Last night I sat down to watch the documentary titled “I Need That Record” directed by Brendan Toller. The documentary takes a look at the closing of the independent record stores across the USA. It features interviews with the likes of Mike Watt, Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth) and Ian Mackaye (Minor Threat / Fugazi / Dischord Records) plus record store owners and consumers. There’s also a look at the “pay to play” system and footage from the Napster case, including the debate between Public Enemy’s Chuck D and Metallica’s Lars Ulrich of which I hadn’t ever seen. This film has it all and is both entertaining and informative. After watching it, I just wanted to go out and buy records… but seeing as it was 11pm, no shops were open… unless of course I was in the USA where the Wal Mart’s are open for 24 hours. But why would I go there anyway? They don’t even stock vinyl.
Before people outside of the USA think “Well I don’t live there, what has this got to do with me?”, the answer is, everything. It doesn’t matter where you live, the independent record store is always under attack in more ways than we can see on the surface. In the UK, there has been an alarming rate of record stores closing its doors. I am saddened that when I go back there someday, all those record stores that I used to frequent in 2002 during my 3 month stint there will no longer be open.
The connection between people and the music they love is seen throughout this documentary. While watching it, I remember looking at my record collection and realising just how much it means to me. Some people like to spend money on booze, others like drugs, some like art, others like building cars, etc. But for me, I like buying records.
I recommend this movie wholeheartedly, even if you don’t buy records but still buy music in whatever format you choose to listen to. This doco will help you understand what we are at threat of losing if we don’t change the way we appreciate the artists and what they do for us.
Visit the official website for the documentary right here: http://www.ineedthatrecord.com/