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Independent record shops have long been focal points of local music communities. As online music becomes the new normal, the role of these shops is changing. Though many shops have disappeared, others continue to flourish as they have evolved to meet the tastes and demands of collectors, crate diggers, producers, and fans who prefer LPs to MP3s.

Drawing on original ethnographic research conducted in the early 2000s in the US and the UK, this presentation discusses the role and significance of independent record shops in various music scenes. Based on interviews with owners, staff, and customers, this talk is a snapshot of indie record shop culture at a pivotal time in music history, when digital formats began emerging and the state of music retail was in flux.


Presented at the LACUNY Grace-Ellen McCrann Lectures on December 17, 2015.



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