I Need That Record! Brendan Toller

I Need That Record! Brendan Toller
Common knowledge: over the past decade, the music industry has been in a state of flux, as the advent of internet downloading and big box chains getting into the business changed how, when, where and if people are going to buy records. Naturally, this has brought on a host of arguments on either side of the fence, but the reality remains that when all is said and done, if a record store doesn't sell records, it can't continue to operate. Such is the thesis behind Toller's independent venture, I Need That Record! The Death (Or Possible Survival) Of The Independent Record Store. Analyzing the state of Mom'n'Pop music stores today, the documentary looks at everything from price structure to radio monopolization/homogenization, major retailer undercutting, survival tactics and, of course, the internet by speaking with music store champions/icons, including Fugazi's Ian MacKaye, the Minutemen's Mike Watt, Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore and punk journalist Legs McNeil. Through interviews, they explain, rationalize, reminisce and mourn exactly what's going on in the rapidly declining music boutique business, with many coming back to the hard fact that despite blame being laid everywhere, it all comes down to the consumer and those basic means by which they obtain tunes: how, when, where and if they're going to pay for it. However, while I Need That Record is interesting and well laid out enough to be worth a viewing, it's not exactly an epiphany. The issue is obvious, the outcome inevitable and the populace (those who could affect the most change) are either too stingy or disinterested in specialized music to help out the entrepreneur. Still, Toller does a fine job presenting many sides to a convoluted story, strengthening this DVD with hours of extended interview footage and ― a no-brainer ― a comprehensive U.S. record store list. (MVD Visual)