Captain Howdy

Trailblazers: The Bay Area’s First Ever Listening Bar

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https://nyti.ms/2KnNJDE 

This ad keeps popping up on the NY Times website. It's for a car company featuring a couple who own a "vinyl listening bar" in Oakland, CA. 

"Listening to their hearts and challenging the status quo. That’s what Shirin Raza and Dan Gahr had the courage to do when leaving their successful careers to open Bar Shiru, Oakland’s first listening bar. The space connects patrons with music and community. Learn how pursuing a dream led these entrepreneurs to their own self-discovery."

At first I thought "Listening bar? You mean patrons can listen to the music of their choice? That's interesting, I wonder how that will work." But no, it turns out it's just a normal bar: the owners select the music. The fact that the discs played are vinyl isn't even unusual if you consider that discos do it every night. Really, it seems to be a vanity project. I can imagine the conversation that lead up to it: "Hey hon, you know what would be cool? We have such awesome taste in music, and such a great vinyl collection, we should figure out a way to charge people to listen to us play records. Maybe like open a bar or something."

 

 

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They claim that they want their bar to be unpretentious but basically that’s what the ad is, pretentious. It’s like any bar where you go in and there’s a soundtrack playing. When I sit in my music room at night, listening to music, with a drink in my hand, presto I have a listening bar. 

Edited by Brad

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I think the ad was designed for this generation that wants to believe that they're saving the world by indulging their own desires. "We're not creating this for ourselves. We're creating this for the Oakland community. I think to be a trailblazer is to really look inside yourself and say 'What does it mean to me to be happy and fulfilled?'" 

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Every bar that ever had a jukebox was a listening bar, probably with better (or at least more varied) music.

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Popular concept in Japan as far as I know. I would not mind having a local pub that plays good music from a good system. 

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>We focus on playing records in their entirety

So if you don't like the record you have to sit there and suffer for ~40 minutes. No thanks.

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4 hours ago, Captain Howdy said:

So if you don't like the record you have to sit there and suffer for ~40 minutes.

Or else just pay your tab and leave.

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1 hour ago, JSngry said:

Or else just pay your tab and leave.

Or change the record. 

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I'm trying to find the article I read on this place.  (I can't read the New York Times piece.) 

" Inspired by some of Tokyo’s incredible hi-fi bars and motivated by the lack of a comparable offering in the Bay Area, we set out to open Bar Shiru, the Bay Area's first hi-fi vinyl listening bar focused on jazz as the musical jumping off point. Bar Shiru features records played in their entirety on an analog, vinyl-centric sound system in a space built with acoustics as a top priority. We sincerely believe in the connective power of music and hope to use it as a force for good. "

Yes, these places are ubiquitous in Japan, at least the parts where I spend much time (Tokyo, Kansai (Kyoto, Hana, Osaka), Fukuoka).  Trailblazers?

Berkeleyside Article from April

Edited by BeBop

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