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Goodbye Schoolkids Records

Michale Rank & Mark E. Smith

Michael Rank & Mark E. Smith perform a stellar accoustic set
at the Schoolkids Records farewell show on Sarurday night.
© Photography by Leigh Ann Hines

Schoolkids Records, one of the two remaining independent music stores in Chapel Hill, closed down March 22, 2008. A free farewell show was held at Cat’s Cradle on April 5th, featuring a lineup of great local bands. I wish I could say it was packed to the gills and was a wild event, but it wasn’t. Attendance was low, likely due to being at the same time as the UNC v Kansas basketball game. So, while it ranged between sparsely filled to downright empty at times, those who came out for a night of music and friends were treated to a great lineup, and a relaxed atmosphere. Many of the musicians commented about having worked at Schoolkids, or just hanging out there. it was clear what an institution Schoolkids Records had been in the music community and how much it will be missed.

Billy Warden & Floating Children
Hammer No More The Fingers
The Heist & The Accomplices (from SC)
Wil Donegan & The Apologies
Michael Rank & Mark E. Smith (Snatches Of Pink)
North Elementary
Ben Davis & The Jets

Hammer No More The Fingers

Hammer No More The Fingers perform
at the farewell show for Schoolkids Records
© Photography by Leigh Ann Hines

While I enjoyed each band, my standouts were Hammer No More The Fingers (HNMTF), as they never disappoint, and Michael Rank & Mark E. Smith. I was blown away by Michael Rank & Mark E. Smith, who gave us a stellar accoustic set. It’s too bad that so many had left just prior to their performance (to watch the UNC game) and missed such a treat.

So we say goodbye to Schoolkids Records in Chapel Hill, a great independent music store since the 1970’s. One of the very cool record shops with a great selection of regular indie music, lots of new exciting bands, and of course, a very nice jazz collection. They were also one of the few retailers who also sold vinyl for those who still prefer the full rich sound of a record. No more browsing for hours, reading record jackets, listening to music at the listening stations, and chatting with other music lovers. With ipods, mp3 players, and legal downloads such as itunes it’s more convenient and usually a good bit cheaper to download music instead of purchase a hard plastic CD. Actual CDs are much more expensive than buying a download version, which you can do any time of day or night, without looking for parking. Schoolkids is just the most recent casualty of the advances in technology. So, we say goodbye to a great music shop and are reminded that we need to support our local businesses and independent music retailers, because in turn, they support our local music scene and the music community as a whole. Plus, they’re usually filled with really cool people. So, that leaves CD Alley as the last-standing independent music store in Chapel Hill.


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