Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Record Stores, Guns, And Frowny Faces: Attention! Rant Ahead!

Hello. Thanks for coming out. The band will be out here in a few minutes. Settle down. Thank you. I just wanted to say a few words before things got under way.

Another record store in Greenwich Village is about to close its doors. You can read about it in the New York Times, or on Jeremiah's wonderful blog about Vanishing NYC. Or, you can read the countless blurbs on social media, all mourning the state of NYC and the mom and pop/brick and mortar place of business. There are some good ones, real commentary that nails the devastation and loss, like the frowny face, or "no like." Heartbreaking. Gonna miss that record store...which one is it?

As a former record store owner, I feel qualified to share this. My partner and I closed our business much earlier than we wanted to. I'm pretty sure we could have afforded the rent...you know...if the same people who "no like" actually continued to patronize our shop. We closed because no one came anymore. Unlike many record dealers now, who have plenty of customers but are running out of stock--yes, vinyl is "hot" and difficult to come by, because suddenly Allman Brothers records seem to be worth $25 instead of "you can have this"--we had plenty of stock. We had everything you could have wanted, or some of it anyway. Just no customers. By the end, literally, no customers. Zero. Where did they go? Facebook and Twitter, apparently, Facebooking and Twittering how much we are missed. No like.

But I am over that.

Thank you. Thanks for having me. Next up, your headliner.

I am not here to criticize or point fingers. I am not the opposite of all the things I despise. I am part of the problem, as well as everyone else. I have been on and off Facebook for years. Some of my closest friends, and a few who don't know me at all, think they have me pegged because I post a few sad songs on my blog, or because I just don't feel like "taking things lightly," so I deactivate my account, or stop posting on my blog. Sometimes, I just need to NOT see a fucking meme or emoji. Occasionally, I have no words that will do. I can't pretend to enjoy a new Shawn Colvin record. I can't keep things separate. Sorry, but...it's not "all good."

Fucking Orlando. And GUNS!

I heard this today:
"I guess this is how we live now." (This came from someone who does not vote, but that's another story.)

No one! NO ONE needs an assault weapon in their home. If your argument is that you are a good and sane person and would never cause any danger with your assault weapon, you lose, because you ARE insane if you think you need an assault weapon in your home.

It's all about hate, ladies and gentlemen. And laziness. And anything you can get away with. It seems like anything we can do without trying is the way to go.  And if you can say it in 144 characters, well that's all you need, baby.

I have no answers and no solution, other than what most logical people have been offering. No more assault weapons. And how about voting? And loving each other. And no racism. And no religion, too.  But until that happens, let's try something that should be bit easier  No more empty fucking shares and emojis and frowny faces that are supposed to express our sorrow (or joy) until some cat video or video of some schmuck falling off his ladder and landing on his balls comes along to make us laugh and...well...forget everything else. How about taking the time to do some research? Back your shit up! And how about a little passion? Don't just start the argument. Stick around and finish it. 

Whatever...I'm really fucking pissed off. I'm really fucking sad. There is plenty of time to die. It shouldn't be while you're fucking dancing.


buzzbabyjesus said...


ASWAN said...

Sal - I agree and have decided to use my Facebook for something more: Just posted this:

I have been reading a blog for many years from a person who used to own a great Record Store in Manhattan and he just posted one of his rants and this really hit me:

"Whatever...I'm really fucking pissed off. I'm really fucking sad. There is plenty of time to die. It shouldn't be while you're fucking dancing."

I think I agree with him...

No one needs an assault weapon in their home, take a stand and vote out these senators this year (voted against 2015 amendment - Expand Background Checks for Commercial Gun Sales):

Max Baucus (D-Mont.)

Mark Begich (D-Alaska)

Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.)

Mark Pryor (D-Ark.)

Harry Reid (D-Nev.) (Voted "no" as a procedural move to preserve option to reintroduce the bill.)

Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.)

Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.)

John Barrasso (R-Wyo.)

Roy Blunt (R-Mo.)

John Boozman (R-Ark.)

Richard Burr (R-N.C.)

Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.)

Dan Coats (R-Ind.)

Tom Coburn (R-Okla.)

Thad Cochran (R-Miss.)

Bob Corker (R-Tenn.)

John Cornyn (R-Texas)

Mike Crapo (R-Idaho)

Ted Cruz (R-Texas)

Michael Enzi (R-Wyo.)

Deb Fischer (R-Neb.)

Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.)

Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)

Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa)

Orrin Hatch (R-Utah)

Dean Heller (R-Nev.)

John Hoeven (R-N.D.)

Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.)

Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.)

Mike Johanns (R-Neb.)

Ron Johnson (R-Wis.)

Mike Lee (R-Utah)

Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)

Jerry Moran (R-Kan.)

Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska)

Rand Paul (R-Ky.)

Rob Portman (R-Ohio)

James Risch (R-Idaho)

Pat Roberts (R-Kan.)

Marco Rubio (R-Fla.)

Timothy Scott (R-S.C.)

Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.)

Richard Shelby (R-Ala.)

John Thune (R-S.D.)

David Vitter (R-La.)

Roger Wicker (R-Miss.)

FD13NYC said...

Well said pal.

Tedh said...

Right on rant Sal. I find it weird and scary how people in your country can easily buy assault type guns. Farmers or ranchers (people "on the land") might need a rifle for vermin (here, foxes or wild pigs),in a city? Holy crap!

Ken D. said...

Thank you Sal. (Epecially for adding "religion" to your list of evils we would all be better off without.)
And thank you ASWAN for your list of the NRA's sycophantic lap dogs. But sadly, they know they get reelected by opposition to sanity. I expect less than nothing to emerge from the legislative branch. I'm putting what little hope I can muster in liability law and insurance costs:

And while I, too, have no solution, I would like to add to Sal's list of pointless responses: stop it already with the teddy bears and ribbons and broken heart signs.
That's all for my rant.

Dr Wu said...

Thanks for this and the comments. Vote!

Shriner said...

I am saddened more than usual this week -- what with the 6-month slap on the wrist for the Stanford rapist -- and now this. I play volleyball with a lot of college-aged youths -- gay and straight -- and through the trappings of age, I unfortunately see a lot of them as sons/daughters (in addition to fellow players) and -- when I sit and think about it -- I worry. A lot. Fuck "prayers" and other platitudes. There is *zero* reason anybody with any hint of a "mental issue" should have access to a gun (re: Phil Spector to bring this back to music-related conversation.)

Thus endeth *my* rant. I need some music to blast away the clouds...

Anonymous said...


claude cat said...

Hiya Sal and others,

Probably not the best time to jump on board and say howdy, what with the subject matter and all (I agree with everything everyone's expressed), but here goes...

I've spent the last few weeks of bored computer moments perusing this blog and have slowly become a big fan. While my taste in music differs greatly from yours (I don't much care for Bruce, hate Bowie, am neutral on Rundgren, etc.), there's a lot we agree on (NRBQ! XTC!) and your writing is consistently thoughtful, informed, funny, and at times moving (today). Plus I share a similar background, having worked in record stores (OK, one, the fabulous Bop Shop in Rochester in its early early days), played music semi-professionally, and lived below the poverty line.

It's just fun to read someone that's articulate and opinionated on this subject matter even when I disagree. So keep it up! I'll be reading, if not commenting (not much of a joiner - no Facebook or Twitter for me, not even a smartphone).

Anonymous said...

Hello all...no, please remain seated,

Well said, Mr. Host.


M_Sharp said...

I keep my "friends" on Facebook to a minimum, mainly because the people I was friendly with in high school years ago and didn't really keep in touch with, but I accepted their friend requests because they were decent people back then, have somehow become intolerant, humorless assholes. Two of them posted memes less than 12 hours after Orlando about how it wasn't the gun that killed the people, it was a person who did it. Another, who could be a lobbyist for the NRA, said the killer could have used a knife or a car and done the same damage. Then he said that he was done talking about guns and didn't want to read any stupid comments. Not a single word of compassion from any of them for the victims, and I had to wonder if was because most of the victims were probably gay.

A woman who supports Donald Trump because "he doesn't lie" and thinks everyone should be armed to the teeth to stop the Muslim invasion wanted to know how a suspected terrorist could buy two guns. I politely informed her that only six months ago the Republicans in the Senate voted down a bill that would have prevented him from buying guns. I posted a link to a credible news source, and she attacked the source, because it blamed the NRA's lobbying. That's probably my fault, because I specifically chose a biased article that attacked the NRA :-).

I politely express my opinion that no private citizen needs an assault weapon and/or 50,000 rounds of ammo, and you'd think that I was the shooter. "You're clueless" was one of the more polite replies. I point out Australia's lack of mass murders after they confiscated all assault weapons in 1996, and they scream about their Second Amendment rights.

These people are far from being stupid, and I just wonder what the hell happened to them.

I'm pretty disgusted and tired, but tomorrow's a new day, and I'll hope for the best. I amused myself today by posting this article on Facebook; didn't get any replies yet: http://www.theonion.com/blogpost/its-honor-continue-being-valued-over-countless-hum-53094

Keep up the good work, Sal, I always enjoy your comments and music.

Gene Oberto said...

What I find amazing is how we all look at Brussels or Paris with incredulity, but we shrug off the American massacre. In December 2012, a gunman walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, and killed 20 children, six adults, and himself. Since then, there have been at least 1,002 mass shootings, with at least 1,135 people killed and 3,953 wounded. That is insane.

When the Founders wrote the Second Amendment, there were terrors where defending life and property were essential. Hunting for dinner was still in vogue. But the guns were four feet long and took about a minute to load between shots. Not 13.1 shots a second.

There's plenty of blame to go around, and you can pick a plethora of people who are responsible for the Nation's bloodbath. My favorite excuse is the good guy with a gun. Sure, maybe if the club was full of people packing weapons, the guy would have died with a smaller death count. But how many more would die later because of carelessness, or being cut off while driving, during a domestic dispute or just because someone didn't like your politics or your religion or your face.

Whatever your "side", do not become numb to these horrible events. The worst answer of all would be "That's just the way things are nowadays."

Signtopia said...

One murder or slaughter or any act of violence is one too many. If not a gun or a knife there will yet be some other form of weapon used. That is a fact. Since "religion" has been mentioned, consider that even to this day there are many who subscribe to the practice of stoning people to death and justify that act by citing their holy books. So let's imagine we live in a world where there are no guns, no knives, no conventional weaponry and that people have to kill others with are stones or their own two hands. Would we want to ban stones or try to make it harder to get a stone? The problem is that nobody wants to accept that people are the problem. If you believe in the bible, surely you know the story of Cain and Abel.....the very first children of the very first couple......brothers. One brother killed the other. Ever since that, people have been killing each other in some form or fashion. It's a sad reality. Having said that, I own no weapons and understand the frustration that some have. In the bigger picture try to imagine how an animal might feel about humans slaughtering them for food and fun........oh and let's no forget slaughtering animals as sacrifice to their "god".

Dr Wu said...

From last year. Sadly, still current. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MCI4bUk4vuM&sns=em

kevin m said...

Just back from a week in London. While the horror of Orlando was playing out, it as very interesting to watch via BBC. No histrionics, no shouting, etc. But it was fascinating to watch a London police chief speak with a TV host and both agreeing on national TV that America's gun laws are insane. Again, no yelling or finger pointing. Just a sad commentary.

Otherwise, a great trip. Neil Young w/ Promise of the Real at the O2. Catch these guys if you can. Neil is playing lots of old nuggets and this band can play anything in his repertoire.

Then there was Coldplay at Wembley Stadium. I may be in the minority on this board but I like this band and 2 night ago, so did 80k other happy people. The show did not change my life but it did put a big smile on my face for over 2 hours.

And then we caught the Stones "Exhibitionism" at Saatchi Gallery. Yes, the Stones have been on auto pilot for the past ______________ (fill in blank) years. But it you have any love for them, check this out when it comes to NYC in the near future.

Tomorrow night it's The Cure at MSG. So a pretty action packed week. On Sunday I follow the Creator's wish and will rest.


philo said...

Sal I've never owned a gun. I've shot a gun three times in my life. But as a father of a child who has a gay son I wish to god someone other than that madman had a gun (i.e. security) . To think this cretin stopped shooting so he could see if he was trending on facebook makes me boil. I guess what makes me most upset is we've lost track of the shooter in the discussion. What percentage do people place the blame on the object as opposed to the individual pulling the trigger?

Sal Nunziato said...


There is a ongoing discussion elsewhere and this was something that a friend posted (that I quite like) in response to someone who mentioned how "sickos" would find other ways to kill without guns:

"It would be much harder to kill 50 people so quickly without a gun. It would take more planning and risks and chances of something going wrong or someone seeing it and saying something. 3 people died in the Boston marathon, not pleasant, but not mowed down in minutes. I don't think the Orlando shooter was any rocket scientist. And it's a cop out to say that they will find a way to kill, we are handing them guns to do it right now.

Mentally ill people can easily go get high powered assault weapons with no waiting period or background checks, and they're far more effective. Maybe if there was a complete ban on those - which serve no purpose except to kill lots of things very fast - the world would be maybe just a little bit, tiny safer? No? And to ban those is not really infringing on the antiquated and very flawed 2nd Amendment (which if its writers were around today to see what we've done in its name they would never stop throwing up). Maybe it's not really that easy to orchestrate, or it would happen more. Obviously intelligence has gotten much better, since OKC, so that is something we have learned to reduce the chances, right? Otherwise I don't know why it hasn't happened in so long. And of course it's as easy as reducing the guns out there."

philo said...

Sal, my response is this. Yes 3 people died in Boston but 280 were maimed, by two over the counter pressure cookers. Does this suppose to make me feel better? The shooter supposedly had a suicide vest, I don't know if it's true or not but if he had used this instead of a gun who would we blame then, the plastics explosives manufacturers? Whatever happened to placing the blame on the individual? I poorly worded my first response earlier but the question I was trying to ask was out of 100%, what percentage to do you feel is the guns fault?

Sal Nunziato said...

Of course you are not supposed to feel better, but the argument about "other ways ti kill" is stale.

Let's say you had a young child who might be allergic to peanuts. It could be chocolate or dairy, but it might be peanuts. Something is making your child very ill. What do you think? More peanuts, since there is no real answer or solution? Same amount of peanuts until doctors give you a definitive answer? Leave the peanuts in the house, because your kid loves peanuts and he'll just ask his friend to buy him peanuts at the candy store anyway? How about NO peanuts?

I'm qualified to do very little here. But it seems to me less guns is a start, no?