Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Millennium falls short by 970 years

This is somewhat sad news. One of Portland's greatest records stores is closing one of their locations after 30 years. I worked for Music Millennium for several years in the mid-90's, and while it was an absolutely freaking great record store with lots of cool in-store performances (Ben Kweller pictured above), the upper management were really horrible to their employees.

They paid for shit, knowing that there would be a steady stream of applicants wanting those coveted positions at a cool record store, so didn't care when employees quit after a few months when they got sick of their measly paychecks. I never made more than 12k a year there, and I was a "supervisor". The clerks made even less.Then when we tried to unionize, the management came down hard and used some classic union-busting tactics on us. Pretty shameful.

On the other hand, great store. And I met 2 of my closest friends when I worked there. That was actually my first job in Portland. So, it sucks that a cool store is closing, but they did not deal well with the ever-changing market place. As the Sizzler says, they spent way too much time and effort kissing the uber-evil RIAA's ass. But between skyrocketing rents in the super-trendy NW 23rd area and the public's general lack of interest in paying for music anymore (after being massively ripped off by the record industry for years), they were doomed.

1 comment:

TheSizzler said...

If there was actually money to be made by owning a record store, Tower wouldn’t have gone out of business.

My favorite in-stores at Millennium:

1. Gogol Bordello (the best of the best – wild and awesome)
2. Los Lobos
3. Billy Bragg (with Ian McLagan)
4. Elliott Smith
5. Everclear (don’t like their music, but very nice guys)
6. Any bands featuring personal friends
7. Joe Strummer
8. The Minus 5 (w/Peter “Just Drank a Six Pack” Buck and Bill “Drummer for Ministry” Rieflin)
9. Robyn Hitchcock (see #8)
10. Sonic Youth

My least favorite in-stores at Millennium:

1. Cyndi Lauper
2. James Angel (sorry Tony)
3. Lucinda Williams (she’s an unfunny drunk)
4. Curtis Salgado
5. 98.9% of the “local” blues “talent”
6. Rufus Wainwright (he’s a funny drunk)
7. Jason Spaceman
8. Any artist playing the Key Largo who got upset about the lousy attendance at their 3:00 pm in-store
9. Trust fund teenage emo bands from Camas with 100-watt amps and $5,000 guitars
10. Crack City Rockers (sorry Eric)