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Rhino Records and Aaron's Records in So Cal closing

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Rhino Records and Aaron's Records in So Cal closing

Old 02-06-06, 08:20 AM
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Rhino Records and Aron's Records in So Cal closing

www.rhinowestwood.com

Apparently Aron's Records is also closing. In a news story on Fox 11 Morning News here in LA this morning Music Downloading in general was being blamed for killing "mom and pop" records stores. It seems both LEGAL and ILLEGAL downloading is being blamed and the story mentioned how some 20 million LEGAL songs were purchased over this last Holiday season. They also wondered if CD's are going the way of the 8-track with the popularity of ipods and such. I'm sure it's much ado about nothing but it's still interesting....

Last edited by Giantrobo; 02-07-06 at 04:22 AM.
Old 02-06-06, 08:31 AM
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It's amazing to me that the mainstream media just now seems to be catching on to this new-fangled internet thing and that, apparently, you can get music on it.

I remember going to visit my brother in college in 1997 and all of the kids were fileswapping at that point. That was (obviously) 9 years ago.
Old 02-06-06, 09:15 AM
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This is actually very alarming.

I've seen several signs that local indie stores in Chicago are suffering most likely from the same problem. I'm really, really starting to loathe the iPod.

On the plus side, I visited the Gurnee Mills mall yesterday and a Sam Goody was closing its doors. The prices were "slashed" 20%-40%, with "nothing held back" - yet, still, the store was empty of customers.

Hmm, could that be because at 20%-40% off, you're still higher than Best Buy's regular prices?

Die, Sam Goody. Die.
Old 02-06-06, 09:30 AM
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Bullshit. Music downloading is not the problem. Best Buy and their ilk selling CD's for 8-10 dollars are why they cannot survive. Small record stores have to pay around $12 just to buy the CD to sell.

Best Buy sells their CDs at a loss, something that these stores can never compete with. This is the real reason why indie record stores are failing, not downloading or the Ipod.

I think we are seeing the end of most stores devoted entirely to selling music and movies. No one can compete with selling at a loss.

Last edited by sherm42; 02-06-06 at 09:32 AM.
Old 02-06-06, 09:54 AM
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Oh no, downloading couldn't possibly be "the problem."

You just keep telling yourself that - while brick-and-mortar stores continue to fold in droves.

It is a problem when the industry starts to believe that downloading is "everyone's" preferred method for obtaining new music. When quite frankly, it's not. At least, not yet. Of course, with the deafening roar that you hear in all current media about downloading, you'd think that was the only distribution method out there.

As I've said before, if downloading becomes the dominant distribution method in the years ahead, I'm completely done with buying anything new. I'm not paying to "rent" ones and zeros. No way. No how.

Last edited by grunter; 02-06-06 at 09:59 AM.
Old 02-06-06, 10:17 AM
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I thought Wal-Mart was responsible for killing all the mom-and-pop stores.
Old 02-06-06, 10:58 AM
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Obviously, downloading is an issue, but not nearly as direct a threat. Who would pay 5 bucks more at a small record store. No one would. Not even die hards who love these smaller record stores are willing to pay more for CD's.

In terms of what damages the bottom lines of these stores, big chains selling the same product for a lot less is the enemy. If you want to save these stores, buy from them at a higher price. No one will though.

Best Buy, Circuit City, Wal-Mart, Target. They are all doing the same thing. Selling at a loss.
Old 02-06-06, 11:15 AM
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Aron's, not Aaron's.

I remember seeing the Closing Sale banner a couple months back. It's a shame to watch a neat mom & pop record store go out of business. I've only been there once to get tickets for a Thrice show, but I liked the place.
Old 02-06-06, 11:16 AM
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I think the issue is more file swapping and copying of digital music than about legit downloading. It's just too easy to, for example, borrow a friend's CD, rip it and pass it on ad infinitum.

Also, as decentralized P2P and other fileswapping mechanisms like BitTorrent, IM, newsgroups or even thumbdrives continue to develop and gain popularity, I don't think there's anything the record companies can do to stem the flow. Sure DRM technology is going to improve, but it's going to take baseline changes in consumer electronics architecture and internet architecture to stem the flow. As the computing and internet industries have easily as powerful lobbies as the content-producing industries, and we have those pesky Constitutional rights here, I don't think these changes are going to happen any time soon. Even when they do happen, they'll be compromised and easy to get around. Add in jurisdictional issues (foreign hosting of fileswapping platforms) and a major overhaul of international copyright law would also be needed. Not going to happen easily.

As far as can see, the cat's out of the bag as far as content protection goes. Good luck, movie studios and music companies and their entire supply and demand chains. I wouldn't want to be in your shoes. Radio and TV studios are in the same trouble.

The artists and broadcasters need to seize the opportunity and change the model. Music artists should use recordings (which are infinitely cheaper to produce these days) as a means to promote live shows and give up trying to make money off of them. It's the only way they're going to survive. It will be a return to the way rock should be.

Last edited by Hiro11; 02-06-06 at 11:19 AM.
Old 02-06-06, 11:47 AM
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I heard about these closings months ago and was sorry to hear it.

Whenever I visited LA I always spent hours in those two stores (among others).
Old 02-06-06, 11:59 AM
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Real shame. Aron's was one of my favorite stops whenever I hit L.A. They always had a decent selection of new material and perusing the vinyl was always rewarding. I guess now the only place left to go is Amoeba. How much longer before Bleecker Bob's and Vinyl Fetish vanish into history?
Old 02-06-06, 12:54 PM
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Man, Aaron's rocked. That was the very first record store I went to my first time in Cali. My best friend that lived out there told me I would love it...he was right.

And, while it's true that BB/CC's "loss leader" bullshit is to blame, so is downloading. Today we live in an "iPod" culture where people don't want to visit stores that have different/unique items. (When they choose to visit a B&M) They want their stores to stock the same shit that everyone else is being force-fed.

A fucking shame.
Old 02-06-06, 01:00 PM
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Cactus Music, which has been a mom & pop store in Houston for many years, just announced it is closing soon.
Old 02-06-06, 01:10 PM
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This is sad (but inevitable) news for me as well.

I think it was in 1977 that I first went to Rhino and picked up some great cult stuff. I continued to visit the store frequently until I moved away ten years later.

I'm still amazed that they were able to pack so much into such a small store front although they did expand the store in the late 80s. It was also the only record store I knew of that had a listening booth.
Old 02-06-06, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by sherm42
Bullshit. Music downloading is not the problem. Best Buy and their ilk selling CD's for 8-10 dollars are why they cannot survive. Small record stores have to pay around $12 just to buy the CD to sell.

Best Buy sells their CDs at a loss, something that these stores can never compete with. This is the real reason why indie record stores are failing, not downloading or the Ipod.

I think we are seeing the end of most stores devoted entirely to selling music and movies. No one can compete with selling at a loss.
I agree. I also blame it on very bad/lazy record buyers working at the stores. Back in the late '80s & early '90s, there were many record labels, but not nearly the amount there are now. And the labels that were out there (for indie music) all put out great releases on a consistent basis (Sub Pop, Am Rep, Sympathy, etc...). Now there are just too many record labels and too many CDs being released and the buyers for the record stores are just too lazy to keep track and keep up on the latest bands.

I used to be able to get the latest fanzine, read a review of a CD/LP, and then go to the store and buy it if I wanted to. When I worked for an indie record store, I would go through all the catalogs and buy (for the store) anything that the zines had a buzz on. It was work, but damn fun work.

These days, I don't think the buyers do all that work. I walk into the local indie store with a list of CDs to buy (NOT all really obscure stuff, but stuff they should and used to carry), and I'm happy if I can find ONE item on that list! It used to be that I would be able to find everything on that list.

Example: a couple years ago, Turbonegro's first DVD was released. There was a big buzz on the band. I knew their DVD was distributed by one of the distributers this record store used. And I know the DVD was available. I went down to the record store to pick it up, and they had no idea that it even existed! That's lazy!
Old 02-06-06, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Jippy
How much longer before Bleecker Bob's and Vinyl Fetish vanish into history?
I would've thought they would've been out of business years ago! Their prices were insanely high!!! At least Aron's and Rhino had decent prices on their stuff!
Old 02-06-06, 04:20 PM
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I think most music real music fans and collectors like to own the physical cds. Downloading isn't hurting these indie shops that cater to die hard fans of cd/record collecting. However crazy prices are. These stores need to have a pricing structure similar to Newbury Comics in Boston, where most big/anticipated cds are released at a price point of $11/12. These are cds that music fans would be waiting for and not your typical top 40 crap.

Also to blame is the fact that most big buzz bands are getting signed by major labels earlier in their careers. This allows them to get into stores like Best Buy/Circuit City, and then Best Buy sells them at $8/10. They know that price is king, and will be willing to expose new/different artists in order to rack up sales.

Very few people, in relation to single song sales, are illegally downloading full albums. I'd also like to wager that most people who download cds of the bands that these specialty record stores normally carry, would either eventually purchase the cd if they liked it, or would have never purchased the cd in the first place.
Old 02-06-06, 04:25 PM
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I think Amoeba is more to blame for Aron's closing. It's literally like a couple blocks over and has a inventory about 1,000 times that of Aron's.

Rhino had a wonderful shop when they were down the street. When they moved to the larger shop, they started to lose a lot of appeal to me. The feel was gone.
Old 02-07-06, 05:11 AM
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Originally Posted by deadlax
I think most music real music fans and collectors like to own the physical cds. Downloading isn't hurting these indie shops that cater to die hard fans of cd/record collecting. However crazy prices are.
i think you almost hit it on the head here. except that it IS changing. part of it is that the generation determining popular culture, as much as it might dismay people, is the 20 year olds - and that goes for independent music as well. it's people in their 20's (myself included) who have the most disposable income and who are willing to spend it on music.

and people in their 20's now, especially the early 20's, were raised with computers and downloading and the distribution methods have changed/improved.

i was a die hard collector and still am, except that my mindset has changed - i'm a true fan in the sense that i want the music. i'm no longer attached to the album art. i don't need yet more plastic cluttering up my living space, especially if i need to move as often as i have in the past few years (an unfortunate consequence of living in Prague). for me (and i imagine for others), it's easier to just digitize it all and leave the plastic behind.

this is why i'm also, at some point hopefully in the not too distant future, going to sell my DVD collection. as we're seeing with iTunes, downloading of media legally is an expanding market and it's only a matter of time before DVD's are dinosaurs and used only as storage media.

it took a lot for me to give up my attachment to physical copies of cds. i enjoy the idea of having a wall full of cds. but eventually, with the size of my library (now past 2000 cds), the practicality of digitizing it all won out over maintaining the physical collection.

it's only a matter of time before almost everything is digital and downloaded with people who want album art work also able to download complete booklets, if they wish. (this is already happening for some albums on iTunes.)

$.02
-di doctor-
Old 02-07-06, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by DrRingDing
it took a lot for me to give up my attachment to physical copies of cds. i enjoy the idea of having a wall full of cds. but eventually, with the size of my library (now past 2000 cds), the practicality of digitizing it all won out over maintaining the physical collection.
Not to bash or anything, but this is the mindset currently that I just cannot wrap my head around. You've spent years building a significant collection and yet you'll rid yourself of the whole thing, digitizing the music - now? Why all of sudden now? When I still don't see the digital music "revolution" anywhere near settled? When there's bound to be another format around the corner that will make your ripped MP3's obsolete? What happens when you accidentally erase your hard-drive? What happens when your MP3 player of choice glitches and you lose a significant portion of the "collection?" I have yet to be convinced that digitized media is anything but ephemeral. Having had more than one computer just completely crap out on me, I couldn't imagine loading my entire music collection onto the drive and watching the whole thing disappear in a puff of smoke. Why not just keep the collection as your "backup?" Why purge so completely?

Not that I'm not reaping the benefits of this completely baffling mindset right now. eBay is swarming with people doing the exact same thing - desperately trying to sell off their CD collections to upgrade the size of their "pods." And at silly cheap prices, too. Bully for me. I've never seen such an extravaganza of sub-$2.00 mint condition CDs in my life.

Originally Posted by DrRingDing
it's only a matter of time before almost everything is digital and downloaded with people who want album art work also able to download complete booklets, if they wish. (this is already happening for some albums on iTunes.)
As I've said before, if this happens, I'm done completely with new music and new artists. Screw it. I'm a collector of "stuff" - actual physical "things", and not just "data." The tactile aspect of collecting is actually important to me. I've got to hold the item in my hands. I've got to go to the store and flip through the bins to find my treasures. There's nothing "less real" about enjoying that aspect of the hunt. I don't care any less about the music because I haven't limited my collecting habit to literally just the sounds themselves. That's the fallacy about this whole ripping, burning and transferring to MP3 thing that seriously pisses me off - the implication that because I actually want to preserve the tangibleness of the music collecting experience, that my "values" are somehow skewed. I'm not as much of a "music fan" because I don't strip my interest down to the bare soundwaves like the podling revolutionaries dancing in silhouette to their "bits" and "bytes." That's what's bullshit.
Old 02-07-06, 10:43 AM
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I don't like downloads because the sound quality isn't as good as the real thing. I download to check out new music, then usually go to the store to buy it. I bought more CDs during Napster's heyday than any other period in my life.
Old 02-07-06, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by nodeerforamonth
I don't like downloads because the sound quality isn't as good as the real thing. I download to check out new music, then usually go to the store to buy it. I bought more CDs during Napster's heyday than any other period in my life.
Depends on the DL source, of course.
Old 02-07-06, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by grunter
Not to bash or anything, but this is the mindset currently that I just cannot wrap my head around.... That's the fallacy about this whole ripping, burning and transferring to MP3 thing that seriously pisses me off - the implication that because I actually want to preserve the tangibleness of the music collecting experience, that my "values" are somehow skewed. I'm not as much of a "music fan" because I don't strip my interest down to the bare soundwaves like the podling revolutionaries dancing in silhouette to their "bits" and "bytes." That's what's bullshit.
I don't think anybody said that you were less of a music fan for wanting the physical component.

But unless I'm misreading your comment, you're implying that the iPod listeners are less of a music fan than you, which is just as BS as somebody implying the reverse.

I like the physical aspect of CDs. I like going to the small new "indie" CD store a quarter mile away from my house. But I also order from Amazon and I recognize that my preference (and yours) is increasingly becoming marginalized. (I've ripped my collection to my iBook and use an iPod shuffle to accompany my workouts.) The physical aspect of music will always be around. But I think the days of it being the majority method of distribution are numbered.
Old 02-07-06, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by nodeerforamonth
I don't like downloads because the sound quality isn't as good as the real thing. I download to check out new music, then usually go to the store to buy it.
Same here. I go to amazon or the artist's site DL samples and I if I like it I'll buy it on CD at a B&M. But I also understand how the market is changing.


Damn 20 year olds....

Last edited by Giantrobo; 02-07-06 at 12:20 PM.
Old 02-08-06, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Aphex Twin
I think Amoeba is more to blame for Aron's closing. It's literally like a couple blocks over and has a inventory about 1,000 times that of Aron's.

Rhino had a wonderful shop when they were down the street. When they moved to the larger shop, they started to lose a lot of appeal to me. The feel was gone.
Agreed on both counts. While still sad I really think it has more to do with Amoeba than downloading. Amoeba's sales grew (although only a few percent) last year which goes to show that while the business model may be broken it's not impossible to make a profit as an independent.

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