This has been worrying me for some time now. Of course, as we all know by now, The Polar Bear has closed. Vinyl Frontier is closing, and almost definitely by the end of this year, Avid will no longer be with us. This will leave Oxford with no second hand record/cd shops whatsoever. This makes me really sad. There are two very obvious reasons for this:
1. Oxford Prices.
Yes, our old friends the council and the universities believe they can do things like increase rent on their properties and impose a backpay period just because they feel like it. The reason they believe they can do this is because, well, they can. It's this attitude that is turning Oxford into a really lame city where any small or interesting business is having to make way for another fucking coffee shop or baguette/sandwhich place. (Yeah, coz we really fucking need more of those in Oxford, don't we? It's like if they decide to turn where Polar Bear used to be into a kebab shop. Cowley Road doesn't have enough of those.) People always talk about 'the decline of Britains high streets' and the like, putting all the blame on the internet, but in Oxford's case at least, a lot of the blame must surely be put on the property owners imposing rent hikes that surely they know smaller businesses simply can't afford to pay, forcing them to close and turning Oxford city centre into one of the most boring cities in the world with every shop become the same bloody thing. A big boring corporate wet dream. Yeah, cheers for that.
2. The Internet.
Now, I said that you can't put all the blame on the internet, but especially in the case of second hand music shops, and music shops in general actually, the rise of the internet has been an alarmingly damaging competitor. Now, I'm the kind of person who likes to go to music shops with knowing what I'm after, but having a good rumage thru the racks and shelves to find stuff I hadn't thought of or some unexpected gems. It's what I personally really enjoy about shopping, but people just want to be able to get what they want and not have to worry about not being able to find it or even go thru the hassle of trying to find it, and having it sent to you and being able to shop for it at anytime you wish is far too convenient to pass up on for these people. I understand that it is very convenient, but I find it a massive shame that it is having this negative effect on shops and businesses.
Well that's all I can think of to say about that right now. In other Axl news, Ive hardly had any sleep for the last 3 nights because I've been coughing so much. It has made the muscles in my stomach area hurt, which is just great. I'm also excited that The Walk Off are playing in Oxford the day before my birthday, you should all come. I also thought about how I don't fancy Dawn French, but if I was single, she's probably the kind of woman who could quite easily talk/laugh me into bed.
Also, for anyone whose interested, Matt Riley has finally got round to posting a new blog. It's a bit somber.