There's a very sad article from AP about how record stores in college towns are shutting down. The advent of the Internet has made it impossible for many to continue.
A couple of my favorite stores in my old stomping grounds of State College, Pennsylvania, get shout outs. Arboria is closed. I spent a lot of time and money there in my years in State College. My friend Josh, who did the blues program at the campus radio station where I worked, was the manager there. They carried mostly used stuff (all vinyl back then), but had one wall of new records. A lot of them were cheap imports of dubious quality from places like Italy. My first copy of The Soft Boys' Underwater Moonlight was one of those. I certainly couldn't afford to pay for the UK import at the time. Arboria was great.
The owner of City Lights Records is quoted in the article. I'm glad to see they're still around, even if they're hanging on by a thread. They opened up in my last year in State College, around 1985. They focused more on new merchandise than used, so they were a nice complement to Arboria. I remember buying the first Yo La Tengo single there, before anyone had heard of them. I hadn't heard of them either, but they were from Hoboken, and that was good enough for me. The single wasn't even in the racks yet; it was in a pile of a dozen or so singles sitting on the counter that the owner hadn't gotten around to filing yet, just in that day.
As a fan of obscure music, I always found that the indie stores in college towns were the best places to go. I always made an effort whenever I travelled to seek them out. I guess that's not going to be such an effective tactic any more.
I think I'm going to have to make a music run to Other Music at lunch time....