Friday, October 27, 2006

Going out of business sale

It was a flashback to early teenage years this evening as I stepped into Tower Records on Broadway and Lincoln Square, partly to get out of the rain, but also in search of bargains. I rode the escalator upstairs and headed for the glassed-off classical section, where classical music fans can listen to their chosen genre in peace. Growing up, it was always a treat to get to go to the Tower classical section. It was one of the more comprehensive out there, and a lot more satisfying than the kind I found at the Wall or Sam Goody, which always seemed to be dominated by the 100-some most famous works, the flashy new slickly marketed CDs, and little much else in terms of depth. Now, I'm not saying I was a fan of the most obscure or avant-garde music, but if you listen regularly to a decent classical music station for long enough, you're bound to hear something that isn't in the dozen or so feet of display space usually allotted to that genre in the smaller stores. So now Tower is liquidating. Even a behemoth with lots of stores nationwide can be brought low by the likes of iTunes and Wal-Mart. Tonight as I browsed, though, there was that unspoken (although perhaps whistled and hummed) cameraderie of hunting around for records to add to your collection, or hard drives, as the case may be, that's missing from the e-tailers, as great and easy as they may be. Now the discounts are decent, but not quite desperate just yet. I walked out with three discs for $25. The cashier claimed Dec. 1 was the rumored final, final day, but who knows if there'll be anything worth buying by then? Stop by now!

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