If only that was an entirely true statement. I would love to lead the fanfare of excitement to announce that channel 158 on Freeview was the Wichita Home Shopping Channel. That would be the greatest thing ever. But alas, not quite yet.
There is however, shopping to be done in Wichita.
In a fit of do-it-yourself go-getting-ness, and perhaps an element of looking over our shoulders at all the records building up in the corner, it was decided that Wichita would run its own shop. And thusly a shop was built. Both figuratively (a webstore) and quite literally. The literal aspect is that the formerly clean and tidy office (sorry, couldn’t help making that crack) has now become a hive of neatly stacked mailers, 12”s, tape, scissors and other utterly necessary paraphanalia. To be honest, it’s all quite exciting.
There are two people who are in charge of the day-to-day aministration of the shop – Joe and Merlin. Joe, you may remember is the previously reference Wichita intern. Yes, we found him a real job to do. I’m not entirely sure how much he’s enjoying the slew of tens and tens of Bloc Party remix vinyl orders, but it’s gotta give a boy a real sense of achievement when the world gets its hot redub vinyl on time. Merlin works with Karen, who is the tech hero (also previously mentioned) that built the store. Merlin is too helping out with sorting through the orders for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs original 7”s and hard-to-find Bronx ouija boards.
It’s a little cluttered, a little hectic, but I love having the shop here. Maybe it’s the romantic in me that remembered when he stood behind the counter of a record store in his university days; maybe it’s just me bowing down to the truth that England really is a nation of shop keepers. For my involvement, I got down and dirty and put together, alongside BW, hundreds of Sky Larkin cassettes and then sent them to record stores. OURSELVES.
It’s just like being at an independent record company as described in a misty-eyed 1980s biog written by a hack who won’t let go of his old 7” collection.
I love it.