The University of Michigan’s newspaper, the Michigan Daily, has a good article that uses the microcosm of the Ann Arbor record-store scene to talk about the business of selling music on a macrocosmic level. Most of the piece isn’t too encouraging, as you’d expect, but I still got a warm feeling just from thinking about the great Ann Arbor music stores I used to spend so much time in. Wazoo Records was huge for me when I was growing up near the city, and I’ve probably bought more music from them than from any single other record store. And the meticulously organized and haphazardly shelved (literally) tons of records at Encore are basically a shrine to both the vinyl album and the obsessive hoarding of it. It’s one of the single best record stores ever. Here is a perfect description of the store and its joys from the Daily piece:

“There’s something about walking into Encore, in a space where the titles are almost falling down because the stacks are so high,” [U. of M. assistant professor of musicology Mark] Clague says. “And you get a visceral sense, a physical sense, a psychic sense of the kind of legacy and amount of art that’s been created that there is to grasp . . . If you just started at one end and tried to listen your way through the store, you’d die before you made it 10 feet past the front entrance.”

If you’re enough of a record geek that a four-and-a-half-hour drive seems like a fair trade for some serious crate digging, you owe it to yourself to make a pilgrimage there.

(via the Daily Swarm)