Whole Foods now selling vinyl at select stores
As curators, at least in this fledgling stage, they're doing a better job than Starbucks, which really has the no-taste-with-disposable-income crowd on lock. But, obviously, they're not in the same discussion as places like Vacation Vinyl, Origami Vinyl, or Permanent Records.
No one will confuse Whole Foods with a destination for music buffs, or even those with a more than a casual interest in music. This is music to be paired with wine, to play in the background while you discuss the pros and cons of gentrification. It's white bread, although perhaps artisanal white bread.
The effort isn't a complete wash, though. They say they're committed to stocking shelves and live lineups with local talent. David Lynch is scheduled to appear at the parking lot in West Hollywood on Saturday. (Hey, he's local, right?) And they devote a surprising amount of real estate to the record shop; it has its own separate building, which is kinda cool.
Perhaps the most compelling aspect of the project is their partnership with LSTN Headphones. The L.A.-based company works to help restore hearing to those who have lost it, and sales from the headphones go toward the project. This week founders Bridget Hilton and Joe Huff are traveling to Peru with the Starkey Foundation, where they hope to restore hearing to 10,000 people.
Our idealist Wendell Berry-toting college dorm room specter wants to scream that big companies should keep their hands off our precious records. But perhaps that's not the best way to look at it. Slinging vinyl these days? That's a noble pursuit in and of itself.
Ed. Note: Gimme Noise has reached out to the Hennepin Avenue Whole Foods location regarding record sales. We'll let you know our findings.