It’s not often that the editor of a magazine is going to recommend that you go and pick up another publication, but in this case I hope you all did get to see the Boulder Weekly earlier this month, when it profiled Andy Schneidkraut of Albums on the Hill.
Writer P.J. Nutting talked about how Albums is the final independent music store in Boulder, and how Schneidkraut is “the captain going down with the ship.”
I was thrilled to see Nutting do such a good job at explaining not only the realistic doom and gloom of the record business, but also showing what an incredibly important piece of the social fabric that Albums, and specifically, Andy, has become.
Excuse me for being a total dork here, but there’s one piece of the story that brought tears to my eyes, when, Nutting recalls a free-flow conversation in Albums on the Hill, where a customer’s purchase sparked a conversation about another artist, with fellow customers chiming in to give their two cents on the matter and thus continuing the never-ending link between artists.
There’s a lot to be said about technology these days, and how Amazon and the like are trying to do somewhat similar things with features like “People who bought this also bought…,” but those digital links lack real substance. For instance, my profile will show that I’ve purchased The Giraffes and Sigur Rós, but that doesn’t mean they sound anything alike.
That human element is crucial and nowhere like Albums is it so educational. CU students really should be able to take classes at Albums on the Hill, as Schneidkraut has enough musical information stored in his head to fill volumes of encyclopedias. It’s a thrill to watch, when you mention an artist and see him starting to piece together links to different, but similar musicians.
I’ve gone in a few times looking for a particular CD and come out with something else entirely and a newfound knowledge that I couldn’t have fathomed before.
Nutting was right in his article that shop and it’s owner are a dying breed, and Schneidkraut will be the first to tell you that. So, I implore you to find a bit of music that you just have to have in a physical copy, go in and buy it and ask Andy what else you should check out in the process. You’ll be glad you did.
See you at the shows.