The independent record store is one facet of the music business that has somehow managed to be all at once a relic and a viable entity. Record Store Day continues, every year, to be a huge draw for collectors. This year brought in the largest sales since inception. Yet, all over the world, independent record stores are closing every week. What will become of the record store, a place where countless audiophiles garnered their most memorable musical education experiences? Graham Jones spent years of his life investigating and writing about this idea and the documentary based on his findings, entitled Last Shop Standing: The Rise, Fall and Rebirth of the Independent Music Shop, shows that he discovered “the world is full of people just like us who love record shops and feel they are an important part of our music culture.”

The film suggests that the modern record store could survive by keeping its lore but looking forward. Much like music itself, as novelist Nick Hornby described in his book High Fidelity: “Sentimental music has this great way of taking you back somewhere at the same time that it takes you forward, so you feel nostalgic and hopeful all at the same time.” In the name of all the stores still opening their doors, let’s hope so.

By Jennie Orton

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