Millennium owner Terry Currier sings the praises of what he considers
to be the good
record storesóthe small, independent dealers who in the past, served
as local community centers, places to meet and greet others with
similar interests. They were cultural places that transcended the
music. As a way to bring awareness that many of these stores do still
exist and have great things going on in them, April 19 is designated
National Record Store Day. Borrowed from Comic Book Day, the event
celebrates the fact that there are still many small, independent
stores doing quite well.
Currier points out
that the media tends to focus on the stores that are going out of
business and the decline of the industry. He feels that a funeral
notice is given out to the whole industry each time this happens.
While it may not be enjoying the heyday of yore, independents are
doing O.K. and doing things that are exciting and vital to the community
and to the industry.
On April 18, Music
Millennium will have three to six artists playing in-store gigs that
day. Goodie bags will be free with samplers of current or future
releases, maybe even some full-length CDs, stickers, buttons and
other promo items. Check the ad in this issue of PE for details on
the anniversary celebration.
Millennium has kept up with the trends and has an attractive, user-friendly
thatís been up-and-running for seven years. Currier cites plenty
of reasons for customers to check it out and become a member of the
site. He notes many potential buyers use it when the store is closed
to shop, then call or visit the store in person afterwards. The website
holds sound bites from most albums they have for sale; you can hear
20-30 seconds of each song on each album. Wow! There are more than
700,000 things available on the site, not all in stock, but accessible.
Currier encourages fans and music lovers to become email newsletter
members to be in the know. Newsletters go out every Wednesday and
Friday to inform customers about new releases, future releases, live
in-store appearances, special sales and promotional information to
help them keep on top of whatís going on in the music biz. They even
offer the classic candies that have been such a hit at the storeóeverything
from Abba Zabba to Necco Wafers and Pop Rocks.
you might ask, whatís in store (pun intended) for Music Millenniumís next 40 years.
Way back in 1989, Music Millennium started the ďin-storesĒ at the
east side location. The plan for 20 straight days of live music was
conceived, but turned into 40! Music Millennium pioneered the concept
of featuring live music in record stores and now itís more prevalent
across the country. People started seeing it happen, record labels
liked the success, it brought fans in contact with artists and resulted
in lots of sales. There really was no holding this great idea back
since itís a win-win-win situation for fans, artists and record labels
The N.W. store location
was set-up with live music in mind. Bands could be seen from anywhere
inside store. The list of acts that appeared there reads like a list
of Whoís Who in the indie music industry and the shows have
functioned as a showcase for up-and-comers. At the east side location,
they canít get as many people in, but most are emerging artists,
not superstars and space isnít as much of a concern. There are exceptions.
Recently, Kimia Dawson appeared; her music is featured on the film Junoís soundtrack.
The show was set up in December when no one knew how well the movie
would do. The in-store show attracted more people than they could
get into the store!
about current best sellers and upcoming new talent, Currier points
to a couple
of soundtracks that are doing quite well. The last two weeks, one
best seller has been the Grammy album of the year, Herbie Hancockís River:
The Joni Letters. This surprising collection of cover tunes hit
it big when the Grammys happened; the store had plenty in stock and
it went from selling five copies a week before the awards to selling
69 the week after the Grammys. Currier says the soundtrack from the
movie Once should pick up since the song Falling Slowly got
the Oscar for best song. They did well with the record all year long
and itís still in the top five selling records at the store.
bake a cake, sing a little celebratory birthday song and get out
and visit the store
soon. Whether itís that new release you have your eyes on, the prospect
of seeing a new artist before they make it big nationally, the idea
of perusing the bins of vinyl for a treasure from the past, or maybe
just the chance of going home with some souvenirs of the day, there
are plenty of reasons for a visit. The reasons donít matter just
as long as you get out there and support your local indie record
store and help ďKeep Portland Weird.Ē