I woke up this afternoon with exactly one thing on my to-do list: buy every Ghostface Killah album ever made. After brunch, I set out with my bemused but ultimately sympathetic companion (let's call her "BBUSC") for the Virgin Megastore at Union Square and was disappointed to find they only had four of Ghostface's seven records. I snatched them up and began to plot my next move.
BBUSC suggested we try the Barnes & Noble across the way. To her credit, she wasn't optimistic about B&N stocking any Ghostface albums, but it was nearby and seemed like a risk worth taking. (The embarrassing, unspoken subtext of this conversation was that neither of us could think of a nearby independent music store in downtown fucking Manhattan.) Of course those bitches at B&N didn't sell any Ghostface records, but the trip wasn't a total loss because it gave me the opportunity to try to convince BBUSC that Ghostface was also an accomplished novelist who published under the name Richard Russo. (Again to her credit, I failed.)
Fortunately, as the old saying goes, necessity is the mother of remembering where the hell an actual record store is. Sure enough, my pressing need to own every Ghostface Killah album stoked my memory of a store over on 2nd Avenue down past St. Mark's Place. This place only had two Ghostface albums, but-- amazingly, when you think about it-- both happened to be among the three I still needed.
I was exhausted and decided to go home. Actually I couldn't remember for sure if Ghostface had six albums or seven, and I didn't want to waste valuable Ghostface listening time walking around NYC looking for a seventh album that maybe didn't even exist. (If anybody knows where I can find The Pretty Toney Album, do let me know.)
Anyhoo, all this is a pretty long way of getting to my point. Looking back at my search, I realized that the number of Ghostface albums for sale is a pretty good measure of how good a record store is. Think about it: in an ideal world, you could decide you finally want to own every Ghostface Killah album ever made, go to one store, then have nothing to worry about for the rest of your life. Conversely, what the fuck is the point of even calling yourself a fucking record store if your fucking customers always walk out with exactly the same fucking number of Ghostface albums they walked in with?
So yeah. Virgin Megastore? 4 Ghostface albums. B&N? 0 Ghostface Albums. Independent record store on 2nd Ave? 2 Ghostface albums. Seems about right.
I also thought it'd be fun to rate the rest of my day on this scale: