Even at great record stores, you can't always find the albums you want. Sometimes the store has a particular specialty, sometimes the local audience doesn't support a genre, sometimes the price of an album doesn't justify the shelf space. Each Tuesday, we call record stores to see if they have three brand new CDs in stock.
This week, we check in on Flying Lotus' Pattern+Grid World, the experimental beat-blender's new EP; Hilary Hahn's Higdon & Tchaikovsky: Violin Concertos, and Billy Currington's Enjoy Yourself, the forth studio album from the country singer-songwriter from Georgia.
All eyes were on Delaware last week, whose new Republican senatorial candidate, Christine O'Donnell, is raising hopes for some and eyebrows for others. We called Bert's Music and Videos in Wilmington to see what was buzzing, politics aside.
Bert's is the last independent record store in the city, located in a "strip mall of suburbia," as store owner Bert Ottaviano puts it. As the LP sleeves lining the interior would indicate, the store is vinyl-based. Compact discs are available too, but in limited quantity.
That explains why Flying Lotus' EP was in stock and Hahn's wasn't — classical vinyl doesn't sell enough to be worth stocking, according to Ottaviano. Currington wasn't in either, as country music is not quite palatable to Ottaviano's clientele.
He says most of his customers are grouped into two categories: the "Animal Collective" people (his phrase for indie fans) and the garage rock people, who share his taste for bands like Black Lips and The Warlocks.
"I've even got customers over 90," he says. "There's this World War II veteran down the road who stops in all the time."
Ottaviano was propelled into music at age 16 when he worked at a car lot. His boss directed him to the local jazz club where he saw such legends as Thelonious Monk and Jimmy Smith. He went on to work at a cassette store, one of many in Wilmington at the time. When the business folded, he took the reigns, opening Bert's in 1972.
Over the years, employees have come and gone and the industry has never been less than volatile. Some things, however, have never changed.
"When the box of new music comes in, just like 38 years ago, I can't wait to open it," Ottaviano says.