James Murphy, of the late great LCD Soundsystem, talks in the clip above about what he calls “taste engines.” He says that the one thing taste engines don’t have (and it is to their detriment) is the “superior, defeatist attitude” of the Record Store Clerk. He’s bagging on Pandora.
I don’t think I’ve used Pandora but three times in the last year, despite paying my $40 Premium Membership Fee. It’s good for the 4th of July parties. It’s good for Thanksgiving. It’s good for hanging Christmas decorations. But beyond that, I’m more likely to listen to Rocky’s suggestions. And I’ve benefited from it.
Last Fall, I really got into the kind of stuff Murphy writes and plays. Pandora was not helpful at all when looking for comparable tunes. Indieshuffle was. Blogs were. I had to rely on people – actual people – to point me to the next thing in the logic line. I hope that’s part of what ClapTrack does for those of you who have found us.
Today, I went to a record store that has intimidated me since my youth. I grabbed (on vinyl) a used, pristine copy of The Police’s “Zenyattà Mondatta“, the new Decemberist’s album (#wealwayshavethedecemberists), and LCD Soundsystem’s “Sound of Silver.” While one clerk checked me out, the other disdainfully pointed to the LCD vinyl, and said: “Fuck, I love that record. I’m so glad we finally got it in.”
Here’s to you, Mr. Murphy. The bitter record store clerk fucking loves you.