Avalanche Update part one

        Where it all began

Where it all began

I’ve become very aware recently just how many people have invested their time and money in Avalanche over the last 30 years and it seems only reasonable at this crucial time to keep people informed. I’m still slightly taken aback when somebody in from abroad knows so much about the shop, the bands we recommend and what is happening and it always ends with the inevitable “I read your blog” something I just continually forget about as an explanation. When somebody visiting from New York or Melbourne comments out of the blue about the Mogwai fan from Chile that was in a couple of weeks ago it brings home what a small world we now live in.

Anyway rather than have one very long post I’ll simply post in several parts as I get time or fed up answering emails. One thing I want to make clear is I chose to take this path for the shop. I’m well aware there were safer, easier and more well trod routes to survival but to be honest dabbling in new stuff, selling second hand and boosting income from Amazon was never going to be an option. Admittedly doggedly trying to sell customers albums by bands they’ve never heard of and persuading youngsters music is actually worth spending money on while still supporting those big crossover indie bands like The National isn’t the easiest especially as the latter brings us into competition with the dying dinosaur that is HMV/FOPP.

However if anything confirmed that “somebody has to do it” or great new music would be lost to the high street it was the release of two stunning albums at the end of the year from There Will Be Fireworks and Dead Flowers. Truth be told there aren’t a lot of great albums released in a year which is a huge problem for everybody from bloggers and radio presenters to shops who need an “album of the week”. People will want to own and spend money on great albums but understandably give most albums a listen, judge them as “OK” and never consider them worth their hard earned cash. What this confirmed is that maybe the way forward was to sell lots of only the best albums.

This isn’t exactly a new idea. Customers and shops from New York have been telling me “boutique” was the only way forward for years. And of course while selling new music is exciting great albums will continue to sell as is shown by our continuous sales of the Whipping Boy and Babybird simply by playing them. On the other hand and I appreciate this is a failing on my part from a sales viewpoint I simply don’t understand why a band would be successful just because it does a passable impression of Sonic Youth, Pavement, Sonic Youth meets Pavement or indeed Siouxsie.  

So the first piece of the jigsaw is to concentrate on the best in new music and older releases that will still be “new” to many people.    

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