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Monday, June 15, 2009

Virgin Megastores Closes Its doors


Just a few days ago, the Virgin Megastore in New York’s Union Square was teeming with people flooding in to get last-minute deals. Albums at rock-bottom prices were flying off the racks, and bargain bins had crowds of people around shifting through the leftover CDs. Today, the megastore sits empty, closed for good. Just yesterday, the only big store devoted entirely to music left in Manhattan (after Tower Records closed in 2006) closed its doors for the last time (a Forever 21 store soon to take its place… ouch). All the other Virgin Megastores in the United States have followed suit and also closed shop. Virgin records closing down their megastores is a hard hit of reality for those who have tried to ignore the recent decline in the music industry. Although in this economy there seem to be few industries that aren’t declining, the disappearance of Manhattan’s last big record store is something that should not be written off as a simple side-effect of the poor economy. The experience of going to the record store to hear good music, talk about it and hang out is something iTunes will never be able to replicate in their 30-second song previews and digital album art (although I will admit it’s incredibly convenient). The album as a whole is also declining with the single-song buying power given to customers by iTunes. Don’t get me wrong, I am an avid fan of iTunes, and I use it probably more than my bank account would like, but it still is hard for me to watch both Tower and Virgin go down in a matter of three years. So go out and support your local record store every once in a while. Go browse through the old Vinyls, or splurge for an entire CD by an artist you really love. Times are tough, but, for me, if anything can make things better, or, at least, a little easier, it’s being able to lose yourself in a really great song every once in awhile.

-Laurie Moot

Currently listening to: "Blindsided," by Bon Iver

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