Okay, so it's not exactly The Day the Music Died, but it's been a bad couple of weeks for music establishments. The iconic NYC punk club CBGB will be closing its doors at the end of the month, capping off a 23 year run with a Patti Smith concert. Begun in 1972 by Hilly Kristal as a club to feature Country, BlueGrass, and Blues music, it quickly became a forum for American punk and punk-influenced bands like The Ramones, Television, Blondie, and the Talking Heads. (If you think this sounds too much like the Wikipedia article on CBGB, that's because I rewrote the crappy intro today.) The good news is that Kristal may reopen in Las Vegas or elsewhere in NYC.
Tower Records is also closing its doors, commencing chain-wide going out of business sales. While I probably shouldn't shed too many tears for Corporate America, Tower always had a hipper reputation than most record stores and was always credited with stocking cooler albums and books and comics. I say reputation because I haven't experienced it very much firsthand (the closest Tower is Atlanta) and the last Tower I was in (somewhere in Los Angeles but I'm not sure which one) reminded me of a decidedly unhip Peaches store. There is a small bit of history lost too: Mark Evanier writes about the Sunset Blvd. Tower where dozens of artists have had their record covers blown up to gigantic size and plaster on the side of the store.