Thursday, May 7, 2009

This just in: Seattle's Wall of Sound record store can kiss my ass...

Note: I wrote this a few weeks ago and waited to see if I would stop being pissed before I posted it. Didn't happen.


I happen to be one of those movie lovers who can watch my faves over and over and over again. You know those people who have seen 'Star Wars' hundreds of times, 'The Big Lebowski' dozens of times, etc. etc.? Well that's me. [Random side note: the word 'fuck' (including any and all variations and derrivations thereof) is uttered over 260 times in TBL. Don't believe me? Watch it. Keep a stroke tally. I did. It's not as easy as it sounds.]

That always seems to shock some people, especially those of the smarmy 'I don't watch TV/Movies whatever because I've got too many other important things to do' crowd. Nothing wrong with those folks, aside from the slightly condescending attitude toward those of us who burn our candles at all ends and still manage to balance those important things to do with a healthy dose of the old idiot box.

I sometimes want to say to those people: 'I work full time, raise a kid, sing in two skilled choral groups and serve on the board of one of them, I write reams about music, play several instruments, am always reading several books simultaneously and to top it all off I brew my own beer. Can I relax now and watch some TV? Please? Would it be OK with you if I disengaged for a bit and enjoyed the sensation of my usually highly-engaged brain turning to mush?'

I've watched 'Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny' a few times in the last month. My purpose here is not to review that film (although I highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in hard rock or anyone who likes Jack Black), so let's just say it set off a desire to reconnect with my buttrock roots. I used to rock hard in the 80s: I loved Metallica, Van Halen, Motley Crue, Judas Priest, Queensryche, Def Leppard, Iron Maiden et al. One I knew more by reputation than by familiarity with his music was Ronnie James Dio, one-time lead singer for Black Sabbath and an extremely successful leader of his own band, Dio. So, inspired by TDITPOD (see the movie) I decided I wanted to get Dio's Holy Diver.


I was in Seattle last weekend to review the opera, so I decided to wander around the Pike Place Market. I hit a few record stores but no luck, so I drove up to Wall of Sound records and went in. I looked around for a few moments, and it was almost immediately apparent that this was probably not the record store I was looking for. I decided to go to the clerk and just ask if they had it.

"I'm looking for Dio's Holy Diver."

The clerk laughs and holds up both hands in the 'sign of the devil' popularized by Dio. Whatever; kudos to him for understanding the pop culture connection. Then he looks at me and says "that's a shitty Dio."

At first I was just mildly annoyed by this; the clerk told me to try Everyday Music up the street. I left, but (true to my nature) began to get steamed the more I thought about it.

For one thing, I'd be willing to bet the guy doesn't know jack shit about Dio; I'd bend over and kiss my own ass if that guy could name one single other Dio album without looking on the internet. This sounds like a case of that music fan---the guy who thinks that everything that anyone else has ever heard of is beneath him? As in, Holy Diver was Dio's most popular album, so it must therefore suck. We've all met this guy; he must be the only one to know it or it's trendy and it blows.

All of that's really idle speculation; maybe the guy does have some idea what he's talking about. This is secondary to the fact that, from a business standpoint, mocking your customers is simply inexcusable. Who gives a shit whether or not the goddamned clerk likes the music you happen to be looking for? I didn't ask him for a commentary on what I wanted to buy. I wasn't buying it as a gift for the asshole behind the counter. It's what I want that counts--I'm the fucking customer!


I can't really speak to the selection at Wall of Sound record. It seemed rather small to me. The thing that irks me most is that I specifically sought out this store due to a good online recommendation. What I can tell you is that I'll never find out what that selection may be like; I wouldn't piss on Wall of Sound records if I was strolling by on the sidewalk and it was on fire.

[I ended up taking Pantload's advice and went up the street to Everyday Music (there's one here in Ptown too) and was greeted by very polite staff, and ended up buying a used copy of Dio's Last in Line (they didn't have Holy Diver) as well as Frank Black and the Catholics' Dog in the Sand.]

In summation: if you want to be mocked by a counter clerk who looks like he wandered in out of the soup kitchen, go to Wall of Sound records in Seattle. If not, avoid it like the plague.


Veggie g said...

I really wish you had told your thoughts/feelings expressed above to the doucheclerk.
As much as I enjoyed reading the tale here, I can only guarantee you that reading about the confrontation or telling-off would have been SO much better and perhaps even legendary.
Next time...

Lorin Wilkerson said...

Absolutely right. The problem is, being more of a writer than a quick thinker on my feet, I can't always come up with this shit off the top of my head. Takes me a few minutes. I'm the guy who thinks back to an argument an hour later and says 'D'oh! If only I'd said that it would've been the perfect comeback!' C'est la vie.