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.