Shipping News’ Jason Noble Is Inspired By: Local Record Stores

One constant over the past 17 years of MAGNET has been the music of Jason Noble. First with the post-hardcore Rodan, then the classically inclined Rachel’s, the post-rock Shipping News and the theatrically concerned Young Scamels, Noble has always been involved with projects that interested and challenged us. Noble has two new releases: a live Shipping News album, One Less Heartless To Fear (Karate Body/Noise Pollution), and the debut LP from the Young Scamels, Tempest (File 13). Unfortunately, creating music is hardly the main concern for Noble these days. The 39-year-old Louisville, Ky., native was diagnosed with synovial sarcoma, a rare form of cancer, 15 months ago and is currently battling the disease with the determination, positive energy and modesty he has always displayed in his two-decade musical career. MAGNET is proud to have Noble guest editing our website all week. Read our Q&A with him.

Noble: One of our most precious meeting places is the humble and ever-changing record store. Almost any person reading this website probably knows of the life-and-death business struggle that our independent music stores are facing. So, without dwelling on the bad times, how about we remember all the good? If anything, a record store is the most open-minded and liberal place you can every find yourself, only bested by a library or a really great book store. Although economics can play a large role in what is stocked, in the end, a genuinely fine record store opens its shelves, its bins, its hidden hooks and knooks and skull-candled corners to all music with wonderous abandon. Between secondhand LPs, hand-printed fanzines, sharpie-drawn divider cards, incense-infused flags, shirts, patches, more flags, import mixtapes and homeburned four-song EPs, there is the freedom to stumble into the very best humans can express. Music may have its own hierarchies and clicks and “too cool” and all that—really, it accepts all the freaks and champions the lonely and disaffected and welcomes in the best joys and even lets you find something to agree with your parents about. Where else can you find the new Parlour album next to M.I.A. while searching for Osvaldo Golijov’s wonderful Oceana disc that features Kronos Quartet, which reminds me I need to pick up another copy of that Philip Glass Quartets CD they made in 1995, and wait do they maybe have a 12-inch of “Bullet With Butterfly Wings,” and while I’m getting to the used-vinyl section I might need to see if they have Ali Farka Touré’s In The Heart Of The Moon and Young Widows’ Old Wounds and Low’s Trust. It’s impossible to summarize how local record stores vastly contribute to music culture. We have to act and really support them. Those people behind the counter are living archives of something precious and human, the memory in the body of our collected songs.