Soundwaving goodbye

Must stop raving about Bush … must stop raving about Bush … must stop … at least for one consarnded week. It was easy, years ago, to write simple, funny things about dust bunnies and lariats and lubricants and whatnot when the major crisis in America centered on just how much “side stuff” was being racked up by Bubba the Love Prez. Now, the country is busy hemorrhaging blood, money and credibility. (Must stop raving … must stop).

But wait. There’s this. Word got out last week—Soundwave CDs is closing its doors, and soon.

Tim Schafer’s music shop has been wheelin’, dealin’ and squealin’ since 1989. For it to lock the door and go bye-bye will leave a fairly large, disturbing hole in a music scene that’s been improving steadily around these parts since … well, since 1989. When Soundwave goes down, we lose the last independent, full-service, new music dealer in the Reno-Sparks snarloplex. We lose a place where you could get fast service and expert guidance with a genuinely neighborly attitude. (For my money, Soundwave was always superior to Tower in those departments). That stuff is not insignificant. And it’s valuable to the aesthetic health of a city because, well, you know, it’s music, fercrissake. To lose the one store where one could conveniently and knowledgably purchase the latest offerings of super-sonic soul enrichment, and to do so in a place that’s not one of 973 stores in a megalithic corporate chain … well, it’s a big loss. (Now, Recycled gets just a little more precious).

Why is Soundwave fading to black? As you probably know, the entire music industry is being basically de-balled by the raging onset of online music sales. To call it a revolution in the business is a complete understatement. Soundwave has been able to hang tough for the last couple of years mainly because its solid customer base of 40- to 60-year-olds was a bit slow to pick up on this whole downloading/iPod scene. But now that even the geezers are grabbing tunes off the computer, well, the writing is on the wall in very large neon letters. Soundwave isn’t going to be able to sell enough funny Valentine’s cards and Weird Al lunch boxes to cover the fact that the sales of new CDs are tailing off month after month after month.

So Shafe and crew are doin’ what’s gotta be done. The “everything-must-go-and-we-mean-everything” sale begins this May Day, Monday. Go on down, get some music and bid aloha to a real good joint and its real good people. What we’re “gaining” can’t replace, for many of us in the aforementioned geezer demographic, what we’re losing. I mean, goddammit, I like liner notes and photos and credits and all that junk. Well, hell’s bells. Here’s to ya, Soundwave. Thanks so much for the good music, the good times and the good buzz for these past 17 years. And where the hell am I supposed to go next December for my free Christmas toddy with the Dino of Reno? Wal-Mart?