The Punk Vault

Brick and Mortar and Love DVD

Brick And Mortar And Love
A documentary about Ear X-tacy Records in Louisville and how the owner fought to try and keep it open in a time when brick and mortar stores are dropping like flies.
Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Brick and Mortar and Love – DVD
MVD Visual

Growing up my two favorite places to go were record stores and arcades. I would stop at any and every one I came across in my various travels. Now that I’m an old man, but still a rabid record collector, my favorite places to go are still record stores. I don’t get to travel as much as I used to but any time I visit a different state and go on vacation I will look up and visit all the record stores before I visit one tourist attraction. As the years have passed I’ve witnessed plenty of record stores go out of business much like my beloved arcades of the past and it is always a sad day when another one closes. The recent resurgence of vinyl has meant new stores have been opening for the first time in years but there are still plenty of stores that aren’t surviving and not just record stores, but many kinds of mom and pop, brick and mortar shops. Online shopping and big box chain stores have been really damaging to the independent stores and some of these stores have loyal customers and fans and a long history which makes their demise all the more depressing.

Brick and Mortal Love tells the tale of Ear X-tacy Records in Louisville, KY which was a long-running, independently owned record store. The store’s owner had been struggling with keeping the store open as business was tanking but he loved the store and felt it was important to enough people that he fought like hell to keep it. He tried pleading with the community to come shop there before he’s forced to close down, he tried fundraisers, he tried moving and adapting his business and everything else he could think of. The film follows this battle over the course of a year or two and includes all kinds of on-site footage as well as interviews with the owner, staff, and customers. It was a real-life reality movie chronicling this store and how its owner tried like hell to keep it and the emotional toll it took on him and everyone involved with it. Unfortunately for everyone, this story didn’t have a happy ending.

In watching this film it was evident that the owner and staff really loved having this record store and they felt it was an important place. The store had a bunch of regular customers who also felt the same way. The store had some pretty big name acts perform in their store over the years and it would have easily been a regular stop for me for buying records if I lived in that area. While the film focuses on a single store, there is a bigger story being told here which is the decline of independently owned, brick and mortar stores. It isn’t just record stores that are dropping like flies but just stores in general. Between online shopping and corporate giant big-box stores it is getting harder on independent stores every day and they need to be supported before they all dry up forever and that is really the moral of the story in this film. I never heard of or stepped foot in Ear X-Tacy Records but by the end of this film I was touched by the story and I felt sad for the loss of what looked to be a pretty great record store. It was a really interesting film from start to finish and it seemed to go by in the blink of an eye.

The film is 70 minutes long and is in the widescreen format with stereo sound. There were no extras on the disc but what’s important is the story and the story of this film is one well worth checking out if you have a chance.




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