This month, Seattle Weekly's Reverb Monthly reviewed nearly 60 new releases from local artists and local labels--including Erik Blood, Dave Matthews Band, Nu Sensae, Kid Smpl, and many others. This morning, I biked down University Village to go buy some copies at Seattle's Best CD/Record Store: Starbucks.
50% of University Village Starbucks North's CD/Record Selection
University Village has three (!) Starbucks locations, so I wore my messenger bag to make sure I'd be able to haul all my new CDs/records home. The first location I visited was the University Village Starbucks North, next to the Crate & Barrel.
University Village Starbucks North
In-Store Music: Ella Fitzgerald - "Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall"
CDs for Sale (4): Fiona Apple - The Idler Wheel..., Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros - Here, Maroon 5 - Overexposed, Zac Brown Band - Uncaged(w/ less creepy alternate cover)
Here's a made-up conversation I didn't have with one of the baristas, let's call her Jaianna:
Me: "Hey, I'm looking for some CDs/records, do you have the new Erik Blood?" (It's not actually out til 8/7, but let's all pretend, SHALL WE?)
Jaianna: "Eric who?"
Me: "Erik Blood, album's called Touch Screens, it's probably like the best album to come out of Seattle all month, maybe even all summer. I'm sure you guys have it."
Jaianna: "Um, I don't think so. Let me check" *inspects the four tiny CD displays at the front counter* "No, doesn't look like it."
Next, I walked to the Starbucks located inside the QFC.
In-Store Music: Elmerson, Lake, & Palmer - "Still...You Turn Me On"
CDs for Sale (0): None!
Nothing for sale! I didn't even bother having any imaginary conversations here. Next, I tried the University Village Starbucks South, the largest (and fanciest) of all three locations. Surely, they would have some (mostly) quality and (often) local music to expose to their massive audience.
University Village Starbucks South
In-Store Music: The Mills Brothers - "The Glow Worm"
CDs for Sale (4): Michael Kiwanuka - Home Again, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros - Here, Maroon 5 - Overexposed, Zac Brown Band - Uncaged(w/ less creepy alternate cover), V/A - Sunset Strip to Haight-Ashbury: The California Scene in the '60s
So, two of the same releases found at the other location, for a total of six albums available from three Starbucks locations, some of them quality (Apple, Kiwanuka), none of them local. And nothing from this month's reviews--not even Dave Matthews!
Here's a fake conversation I had with a barista at the Universty Village Starbucks South location, let's call him Geoff:
Me: "Hey, Geoff, where's all the CDs/records?"
Geoff: "What? Um, we have some CDs here." *gestures towards four small CD racks at counter*
Me: "Right, but I mean your new local releases, that sort of thing. Where are those?"
Geoff: "Um, I don't know."
Me: "But you guys are the Best CD/Record Store in Seattle, right?"
Geoff: "Ehhh...I'm not sure why anyone would say that. Look, if you're not gonna buy anything could you not hold up the line, please? I've got Frappucino's to blend."
So, I went home empty-handed. But within five minutes of sitting down at my computer, I was able to download (legally, illegally, whichever) about half of this month's new local albums! I could also have purchased them in person at any number of fine, local independent record stores, such as Wall of Sound, Sonic Boom, Easy Street (which, granted, won "Best Place to Buy Vinyl" [non-siding/industrial]), Silver Platters ("Best Used CD Store"), Jive Time, Singles Going Steady, etc.
The drip coffee was fine, though.