Had a little break from writing...recharging batteries, recharging everything I think. I was unsure how I’d know when to start back up again and then a few things came about this week that lit a fire under me. Firstly, the sad news of Other Music closing, I’m proud to say I got to work there during my time in New York. It’s never nice to hear about an independent record shop closing down but this one particularly stung. On a personal level working at Other pushed me to learn and appreciate more music just by trying to meet the high standard of the shop. It’s the first place I’d contributed to a blog doing music reviews, I was in awe of all the other writers and those people were definitely an inspiration. When I started living in NY I was bouncing around different temp jobs and Chris Vanderloo gave me a break – he’s one of the people who gave me steady work and more vitally somewhere I felt like I belonged in a city that I didn’t really know anyone yet (nods to Helen Rush, Dave Martin and Gavin Taylor too).
On a wider scale the thing that’s amazing about the shop is a sense of community it created - from in stores, to regular friendly faces passing through and ace colleagues. The remarkable thing I found from working there is how every Thursday once the weekly mailout had been sent, customers would come in with a list of stuff they wanted to buy based on reviews, stuff they hadn’t heard but either liked the way someone had described it – or a member of staff they knew and could count on their taste had raved about the record. That’s what always made Other Music inimitable and will make it irreplaceable; all the people that brought the shop to life and all the connections made there, the customers, the staff and the bands. To think it won’t be there is something that’s kind of strange to get my head around – I’m sure it is for everyone. Other is at the heart of something really special, and whilst it’s knocked the wind out of a few sails by announcing its closure, what a fantastic legacy to leave behind.