Rumors of Decatur CD’s death greatly exaggerated . . . and foolish


The chilling announcement from Decatur CD went out to customers Sunday via email, Facebook update, a tweet on Twitter and as a blog post. In a poignant message to fans, the famed indie music shop informed consumers that they would be phasing out CD sales in favor of kiosks where regulars could come in and download digital content onto their favorite hand-held vibrating device of choice.

 On the Decatur CD website, the message continued: “Our thinking is that we’ve developed relationships with all of you, and there’s a mutual trust there. We hope you’ll be willing to come in, have a beer with us, listen to music on these stations, and download here instead of through iTunes, Amazon and similar services. You’ll still be able to talk with us about what we’re digging, what’s selling, and so on. We think it’s the best of both worlds.”

Ah, trust. On April 1, you should trust no one. APRIL FOOLS! Yes, it was all a gag, albeit an amazingly detailed and no doubt time-consuming gag, complete with mock up logos for the store’s proposed name change (dTunes, anyone?). The ruse was so elaborate and cunning, written in trademark Decatur CD folksy charm, we found ourselves calling owner Warren Hudson Monday for a quote. Or 50. That’s right, the guy, who in April of 1996 completely saw through Star 94 morning team Steve McCoy and Vikki Locke‘s infamous 1996 Summer Olympics boycott gag (a joke that got the pair suspended after the Olympic Committee failed to see the humor) was felled by an overly earnest blog post. It probably didn’t help that we failed to open our Decatur CD email until Monday, April 2 either.

Before we could embarrass ourselves further, Decatur CD sales associate “Young ElliotJohnson headed us off at the pass, politely explaining we were an idiot. “About 75 percent of the people fell for it,” he told us. “We’ve heard from people by email, comments on Facebook and tweets on Twitter.” One Decatur CD customer identifying himself on the blog comments section as FM Fats clearly is no fan of the digital age, posting this idea for a name change: “Another suggestion: Decatur Downloads of Crap Music Compressed to Near Unlistenable Levels to Play on your Lousy Headphones through your Damned Telephone.” Kinda catchy but difficult to replicate on a sign.

The truly ingenious thing about the April Fool’s prank is how dangerously close to reality the joke hit. For example in the months before indie book shop Outwrite closed its doors on the corner of Piedmont and 10th, the store had begun selling electronic editions of books online.

“That was kind of the idea,” Young Elliot explained to this aging scribbler. “To do something that people would believe.” We’re pleased to report that Decatur CD will be open today from 11 to 9 selling today’s new releases and the rest of their CD inventory.






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  • Sheila

    I stopped by this little CD store today on my lunch break. The guy with the long gray hair and beard was on shift. The moment I walked in I felt his negative energy. That usually happens when I walk into a business and the hired help does not even look up from whatever it is they are doing. (I was the only customer in the store at the time.)

    I asked him if he had the new Justine Timberlake and he pointed me in the right direction. As I skimmed the back of the CD, looking for the bonus tracks that I guess only Target sells, I asked him about it. Boy was I sorry I did that. After telling me he didn’t know about any bonus tracks, I commented that I think Target must be the only business offering the JT CD with the bonus tracks, and then politely put the CD back in its place.

    Well, I guess this guy hates Target, or folks who shop for CD’s at Target, because he went into this crazy rant about people who buy music at stores that cut a deal with the artists and offer bonus tracks, instead of supporting CD stores like the one I was in. (He then held up his middle finger and said “”F***k them!”
    He was polite enough to say “excuse my French” of course.

    I listened to this seemingly crazy person, thanked him, and headed for the door.

    But then I started thinking, no wonder this store is empty. If this guy treats all his customer’s like this, why would anyone buy as much as a two dollar CD at Decatur CD. And I told him so, in so many words as I left the store. He’s mean and rude, and I won’t go back. I don’t care if they have the best CD’s in the world.

    Moral of the story…Stay away from this store when that guy is working. Or just save a few buck s and buy your music at Target!