How it pays to buy local

A case study of two ways to get Arcade Fire’s new album

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When Ian Fraser opened Obsolete Records in May 2010, he was a veteran of the retail music business, having served a decade as assistant manager at CD Plus on Barrington Street. When the Winnipeg-based company abandoned downtown Halifax, Fraser says what frustrated him the most was that CD Plus was “still a profitable store, still viable.” Fraser put his energies into his own north end record store, offering a more specialized collection of music and film, new and used, for sale in a room he could call his own.

Buying the Arcade Fire on vinyl at Obsolete allows for a lot of things to happen: It gives Fraser a chance to host bands in his space, many of which wouldn’t get to be heard by an all-ages audience due to gigs hosted mostly in bars.

Fraser also makes a point to stock records from local bands who may not get a chance to sell their material on Amazon for awhile yet, bands like Cold Warps, Bad Vibrations, Gianna Lauren and Seth Smith.

Maybe most importantly, Fraser’s new sound emporium is now a new community hub on Agricola Street, offering a gathering place for indie hipsters, rockers, punks, rockabilly fans and whomever else identifies with the culture of good and local music. —CK

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