Saturday, May 21, 2011

Curmudgeon Records RIP

In a modern day where any record you want can be either downloaded or ordered online, the record stores are slowly going extinct. One of those stores to add to the list now is Curmudgeon Records in NJ. As a kid growing up, and getting interested in hardcore and punk, Curmudgeon was crucial in giving me a place to buy these weird records and CDs at good prices. If there wasn't someone you knew from shows there, the staff was always friendly and knowledgeable. In High School, my friends and I were there almost every Friday. There would always be flyers for upcoming shows, and every local band would have their records for sale there. I remember when my first band released our first record, it was awesome to walk in and see it on the new release wall.

As time went on, they opened a new bigger store about a half hour away. When I went away for college, that one was closer, but occasionally I would go to both. Each store had different used bins, so I had to scour each one. Eventually the original location closed, leaving the new one, which was ok. They had room to have shows there, and some awesome ones went down. My old band played there, and I even booked one or 2. When that location closed, they had one last show. They third and final location was in a town with a lot more foot traffic, and they also started focusing more on used vinyl. Unfortunately due to the economy, and the rising availability of free music on the internet, sales were declining. The store relied more heavily on used stock, and didn't have as many new releases. I went there on Record Store Day, and things were looking grim. I wasn't surprised when they announced they were closing, but was still saddened to hear it. Yesterday I went there one last time to drop off some flyer and take advantage of the clearance sale. They're having shows there until they close, and the sale keeps increasing, so go check it out one last time. Cheers to Bill, Mike and everyone who's worked there over the years. You will be missed...

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