Heartbreaking. That’s the first word that comes to mind when watching Brendan Toller’s “I Need That Record.” As a person who worked at a independent CD store for nearly a decade, this hour-plus long documentry was like living the nightmare all over again.
As writer, director, and producer, Toller takes an in-depth look at the fall of the indie CD store. He touches on a lot of really nice factoids and memories when he goes to a few stores that are having hard times or even closing. He interviews the workers and the patrons as they profess their die-hard love for the indie CD stores.
Toller also explores the radio and record label side of the equation, including digital downloading. He has certainly done his research spewing out a lot of numbers and facts and that is all well and good, but I’ve heard this song before, thousands of times as a matter of fact. I am sure the indie store owners and shoppers have heard all this before several times over, so as nice as “I Want That Record” is, the topic has been done to death.
The only saving grace for Toller’s film is he interviews some pretty big names amongst the indie works like Chris Frantz (Talking Heads, Tom Tom Club); Patterson Hood (Drive-By Truckers); Ian MacKaye (Fugazi, Minor Threat); Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth); Mike Watt (Firehose, Minutemen) among others. For what it’s worth, I could sit and listen to MacKaye and Watt talk all day sharing their stories about the indie music world.
Altough it’s a nice effort, “I Need That Record” falls short and sadly probably falls on deaf ears at this point. Even though you have heard this story before it should not detour you from going out and supporting independent CD stores all the time.