Agnes Obel: „Record stores are one of these rare places where music is important.“

Agnes Obel (Foto: Frank Eidel)

How important is the specialized trade for you in times of the Internet and MP3, as a musician as well as a customer and music fan?

I guess it’s quite important for me. I still buy most of my music in record stores and like to spent time there. I like to go into a record store without knowing before hand what I want to buy because that makes me check out all kinds of music that I haven’t heard of before.

What meaning do record stores have for the music culture in the general and for your music in particular?

I think record stores are important for the music culture because they are places where music is taken seriously. Music is used in various ways in all kinds of contexts nowadays but record stores are one of these rare places where music is important solely because it is music. This is of course important for musicians and for music culture in general. Also they are important for the cultural life in the cities, just like bookstores are. Record stores can function like focal points for local bands and music events in the city, and can in that way, like venues and rehearsal-studios, play an important role for the local music scene.

When and where did you buy your first records or CDs and what memories do you connect with record stores?

So far as I remember I bought my first record in an area in Copenhagen called “Pisserenden”. This area was full of record-shops, and I loved to go there with my friends to hang out and sometimes when we had money buy a record or two. I remember there was this solemn silence there and that you have to leave you bag by the entrance. I guess they were not crazy about having teenage girls hanging out there and chitchatting, but it was cool, I really liked the seriousness of it all. I remember I one time asked for the title of a record which resulted in a big discussion between the two guys working there. This made quite an impression on me that it could be that important.

What are your current CD tips and which musicians and albums should not be missing from any CD shelve?

I’m not sure I have any new music tips, but at the moment I’m listening to a lot of Daniel Johnston, Buffalo Springfield and Fleet Foxes, and I’m looking forward to the release of the new P.J. Harvey album in February next year.