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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Great Record Stores- Toulouse, France!

Toulouse is a great city full of incredible, very old architecture...as well as some great record stores!

Absolute TOPS is Paul Emile Vinyls (5 Rue Temponieres); Paul has a jaw dropping collection of great records in all styles, neatly presented in a way that makes browsing pleasant. The store (and all of the other shops I visited) are located conveniently near the city center. The two men working behind the counter (one of which I believe was Paul) were VERY friendly and helpful. I pulled a nice cache of records, and they worked out a great price for me; I cannot say enough positive things about this store that is truly perfection for a vinyl lover.

In very close proximity to each other, there is Croc-Vinyl and Bullitt; both stores yielded some excellent finds (at great prices) as well as a very friendly vibe. These two stores are highly recommended. Also in the same area is Anthology; I can't say I can recommend this one, as there is a rough looking copy of Hawkwind- "Space Ritual" in the window priced at ONE THOUSAND EURO!!!!!! This is a 100E record AT BEST; easily attainable for far less.

Most bizarre of all was my experience in Armadillo Disques. As someone who has been lucky enough to work/ travel to many countries worldwide, I take great pleasure in the friends that I meet along the way in my travels at record stores and elsewhere. The owner (I assume) of the store was full of attitude and told me that he would not sell a particular record I had selected to an Englishman. I didn't bother telling him I'm an American, but just said, well I won't buy anything then. I cannot believe that there are pigheaded people that put bigotry over commerce. It still blows my mind that people put bigotry over common decency and just being a good person. Which reminds me of a conversation some friends and I were having yesterday- the only divisions in music are created by bigotry and to a lesser extent marketing. Music from the heart should not be divided by white, black, English, French, Asian, WHATEVER.

Overall, the world is an amazingly cool place. Just a minor bummer when an occasional ass gets in the way.


Anonymous said...

Derek, it's funny, as a lifelong Francophile who speaks decent French, it never ceases to amaze me how obstinate and rude they can be.

Their attitude is so fundamentally negative and nonsensical, as witnessed by the recent demos against Sarkozy's attempts to modernise their system. They just get into this mindset of "non", just for the sake of it, and for no good reason.

My friend is building a house in the Languedoc, a beautiful but economically depressed area (south of Toulouse), he's American, wealthy, very cultured and switched on, and to observe the battle he's had at EVERY step of the way has been a real wake up call. I've been left with the impression that the French, at least in that area, are completely stupid, lazy, indolent, racist, xenophobic, and choking under their antiquated, and Kafkaesque, bureaucracy. They resent foreigners coming in and trying to improve things, and can't think laterally about how it could possibly improve the local economy etc. Frustrating to say the least.

I have heard of similar situations where certain French won't sell to Brits or yanks (more fool them!) so I'm not surprised by your experience. One doesn't want to resort to national stereotypes but the French do their very best to live up to theirs!

Derek See said...

Up until today, ALL of my French record store experiences have been good/OK or great. I am sure there are plenty of places in the US that deny service or are blatantly rude to "furreners".

Anonymous said...

Stupid frogs. Money (and music) don't discriminate. I hope they get run out of business by the cooler shops.

Katie said...

I guess our money (Americans') is just not good enough for the French. How incredibly arrogant. You did the right thing, Derek, by not buying anything at all from him.

When will humans learn to be friggin' kind to one another?! This is the 21st century. Get with the program!

Greenockian said...

The French aren't just rude to foreigners: they are equally awful to each other. Ask a Breton if he's French and stand back for the answer you'll get. Bretons see themselves as Celts first and last and identify with the Scots, Irish and Welsh. The rest of France hates Parisians. Parisians dislike everybody. Most French think that Marseilles is a shithole full of thieves and foreigners. For me the best writer who tells it as it is was Marcel Pagnol : he portrays the nasty, bitter, niggling, petty mindedness that you come across in so many bits of France. Look at the Depardieu version of "Jean de Florette" simply brilliant.
For all that it is a great country with superb food, wonderful scenery and the Tour de France. Even Johnny Hallyday can be cool if you're in the right mood and right location (windows down blasting out "Allumer le feu" while driving through St Tropez...try it!)

Derek See said...

Once again, I gotta say- I really, really love France and have been to a few dozen cities there.

Anonymous said...

How many people live in France - millions? For someone to say "The French are - " just illustrates much of what is wrong with the world. Generalizing about an entire group of people based on the behaviour of a few is WRONG! If you encounter one rude American, are you going to turn around and say that ALL Americans are rude? Start using the little grey cells you were given and think before you blurt out meaningless stuff like that.

Anonymous said...

well said anonymous july 29.

as a first generation american with parents born in neighboring countries to france, I have been there many many times during the course of my life and have also lived there a spell. i find the french are great and the country wonderful, and as with anywhere else, there will be some that don't cotton up to you as much.

all around the world it is the same and it is no different here. i did find though, that after bush jr was elected, more generalizations were heard in french bars that americans were a stupid lot, and after he got elected a second time, that line of thought was even more prevalent.

j'adore la france et -pour la plupart- les francais. in fact i love that you were in toulouse Derek, as it is one of the places i am considering for my retirement. nice to know they have great vinyl shops!

Ben Coutts said...

To the person saying that all French are rude and arrogant. You are quite narrow minded. Having lived in the Toulouse area for 5 years and my family owning a house north of Toulouse, i can't speak more highly of France. The people are what i think people should be more of and that's frank and straight to the point. Open your head to how other people are. From a Scot.