Shopping / December 20, 2019
Core Story: The Core's Brothers Music rocks on
TOUGH LOVE FROM BROTHERS MUSIC & WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!
Musicians are notoriously fickle. Most people who've been in a relationship with one will say -- you need patience. There are going to be some bumps in the road, and sometimes you have to remind them which side of the bread the butter is on. Don't get mad, don't start a scene, but now and again, musicians are going to need a little wake up call, where you make it clear that if they don't start paying more attention, you're out of there. And that's pretty much what it looked like to us a couple of weeks ago, when co-owner Ian Goldstein of Brothers Music (in our Old Goucher neighborhood) took to NextDoor to let everybody know that sales were down, and that Brothers Music -- the labor of love he started 5 years ago with brother Brian (both pictured here) wasn't going to be around forever, if they didn't start feeling some love back pretty soon.
Ian wasn't complaining, he was just saying the store needed to get back on track to make it economically viable. Well, we're happy to report there was an immediate effect and they've had a solid week or two. But we would like to see The Core have a long-term relationship with Brothers Music, so we're going to give you a little tough love ourselves, and remind all of you musicians, (and people that look after tiny persons who would have a blast if they started playing something) what an asset Brothers Music is.
DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME, OR IN A BOUTIQUE
We think any live shopping experience is a million times better than online, but nothing beats a music store! For real, have you ever sat down at a boutique and tried to play a sweater?
YOU CAN'T PLAY A GUITAR ONLINE
You can't walk into Musician's Friend and try out any instrument they've got on their (virtual) wall. But at Brothers Music, you can! And you don't have to be a big shot (with lot of cash in your wallet) to do it. We've been there many times and seen kids happily strumming away in an effort to figure out what they would buy when/if they saved up enough money.
This is something you can't possibly duplicate online. Sorry, YouTube, It isn't possible to actually figure out what something feels or sounds like, until you've checked it out, IRL. Even if you've tried your friend's Stratocaster, the same make and model guitar can come off the assembly line playing a lot differently. Until you check out the actual instrument, you just don't know. That's especially true for slightly blemished, or refurbished models, which are some of the best bargains in music, and which Brothers has a great stock of.
DAVID VERSUS GOLIATH: BATTLE OF THE AMPS
For fun when we visited, we asked the brothers to play their least expensive, and most expensive guitars and amps. For the record, the guitars are: Gretsch G5655GT for $699 and a Fender Squier for $150, the amps are the tiny Blackstar Maryland Flag Fly MiniAmp $69, and Vox AC30 for $799. Mind-blowingly, played clean, at extremely low volume, the tiny Maryland Flag Blackstar (look under Brian’s left hand) held its own, and sounded good with the legendary Vox AC30 (on his right), an all tube amp that has been a classic since the British invasion of the 1960s.
PLUGGING IN FIRST -- MEANS NEVER HAVING TO SAY YOU'RE SORRY
The odds are that when onstage at your next gig at the Ottobar, (or Joe Squared or The Crown, etc.) and launching into a Brian May-like solo -- a Vox AC30 would be a better choice. But we didn't crank them up, so who knows? Why don't you check it out yourself? It's not hard. You're lucky enough to have one, of just two, music stores in Baltimore City -- right here. Just head over to Brother's Music and plug in.
Sending y'all love (and a little bit of toughness) this holiday season, from The Core. Keep exploring!