DID YOU READ

“Sound It Out,” Reviewed

“Sound It Out,” Reviewed (photo)

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There’s going to come a time — and it’s not that far away — when record stores won’t exist. That’s why the documentary “Sound It Out” isn’t just good, it’s important, as a chronicle of everything we lose when the music industry decamps to the Internet. The digital world can still deliver the songs but it can never replace what record stores mean to their loyal customers: a sanctuary from a harsh world, a museum of and monument to our pop culture past, and, above all, a community.

The film is named after Sound It Out Records, the last record store in Teeside, North East England and 50 kilometers in any direction. It’s run by Tom, a music nerd with an encyclopedic memory not just for records but for where those records are in his tiny, cramped 115 square foot store (director Jeannie Finlay gives him an on-camera test to see if he can find things on command; he passes). Sound It Out attracts a similarly obsessive clientele and Finlay follows them to their homes to interview them about their collections. The customers are equally eccentric and eclectic: one hoards memorabilia for the English boggle rock band Status Quo; another comes in fresh from the pub asking for whatever he’s just heard on the jukebox.

“Sound It Out”‘s official synopsis calls it “‘High Fidelity’ with a Northern accent,” but that’s not quite right. Championship Vinyl was home to elitist clerks who looked down on their customers and their shitty taste, but everyone is welcome at Sound It Out. The tastes at the shop run the gamut from metal to indie rock to makina, a local kind of dance music, and everyone seems to get along regardless of their listening preferences, maybe because they realize Sound It Out is the one place in Teeside where outsiders feel like part of the in crowd.

It’s that sense of brotherhood — and it is a brotherhood, moldy record stores that cater to obsessive collectors don’t draw a lot of female shoppers — along with Tom’s super-low rent, that explains the shop’s longevity. Championship Vinyl would be long gone in today’s brutal economic climate for the same reason Sound It Out endures. Finlay captures that brotherhood warmly and without a hint of condescension.

In a funny way, vinyl has become a perfect metaphor for itself, these archaic relics that in some way reflect their own obsolescence. Records age and decay the same way people do, and when you listen to vinyl, you hear that age: every pop and hiss is a living history of a journey between the past and the present. As records and record stores disappear, so does that history. When all the record stores are gone, when we’ve become our grandparents and we’re complaining about teenagers and their newfangled iPiddles and their albums loaded into aurally resonant saline drops, we’ll have “Sound It Out” to help explain why we’re so nostalgic for these places they’ve never heard of.

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”


Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”


But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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Draught Pick

Sam Adams “Keeps It Brockmire”

All New Brockmire airs Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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From baseball to beer, Jim Brockmire calls ’em like he sees ’em.

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It’s no wonder at all, then, that Sam Adams would reach out to Brockmire to be their shockingly-honest (and inevitably short-term) new spokesperson. Unscripted and unrestrained, he’ll talk straight about Sam—and we’ll take his word. Check out this new testimonial for proof:

See more Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC, presented by Samuel Adams. Good f***** beer.

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