The Film (5/5)
Everyday more music stores, video stores, comic shops, book stores, head shops, video arcades, and many other independent outlets are closing. I have written in the past about the closing of video stores in my area, and I feel just as strongly about the closing of independent music stores. So when I got a copy of I Need Your Record in the mail, I was compelled to put it on immediately.
I Need That Record is being sold as a documentary, and while it does indeed fit snugly in that genre, I feel a quote on the back of the box is more accurate. It is described as an elegy. A lot of the material presented many of us will already be familiar with. What is great is to hear these records store owners, musicians, and fans talk about their experiences, and how this all effects them.
I am a collector, I love my books, comics, DVD's, Blu-ray's, CD's, Vinyl, etc, and while I have purchased many of them online in the last few years I have always preferred the store experience. As I Need That Record touches upon, a record store while being an outlet for buying new music, is also a cultural center. A place where fans can meet and discuss music, while searching for their latest musical treasure.
The film itself is a pretty straightforward documentary. It features interviews with record stores owners from all over the country, that are effected by the new direction the industry is going in. Some of them are facing hard times and closing up shop. A few have managed to ride the tide, and are still surviving.
The film goes between interviews with these shop owners/employees, to interviews with musicians who are similarly being effected by the recent trend of record store closings. I Need That Records features interviews with Legs McNeil(Please Kill Me! Punk magazine), Thurston Moore(Sonic Youth), Ian MacKaye(Fugazi, Minor Threat), Lenny Kaye(Patti Smith Group), Noam Chomsky, and more. All of these musicians/media personalities bring an interesting perspective to the mix.
I Need That Record has been presented in a 1:33:1 full frame transfer. The film was shot on DV, and it's obvious looking at the transfer. It does not look bad for the most part, some of the exterior scenes, are a bit soft, but overall it is a fine image. The same goes for the audio, dialogue is in English, and is clear and consistent throughout.
MVD Visual has included a series of interview clips on their DVD of I Need That Record. These clips are essentially deleted scenes, that were probably excised from the film for being slightly off topic. However, seen here they are quite entertaining, and for fans of the film it gives us just a little bit more to chew on.
I Need That Record doesn't really bring any new information to the table. If you are an Indie music fan, and have seen your local record/CD shops vanish you probably know why.
I Need That Record is an excellent elegy for the record store, and for guys like me, who are continually mourning the loss of their favorite Indie shops, it's comforting to know that there are other people out there who feel the same way. I Need That Record, therefore, comes extremely highly recommend for mourners of independent art and culture.