Crate diggers

By PHILIP EIL  |  April 17, 2013

If the filmmakers behind Last Shop Standing ever decide to make an American sequel, Zingg is the kind of guy they would interview. He has stories about the crowds that swarmed his store on the day Nirvana released Nevermind; he fondly remembers the patron who said it was the saddest day of his life when In Your Ear closed its shop on Thayer Street in Providence. And, of course, he's got recommendations.

He plucks a single album from his mental jukebox — Les McCann and Eddie Harris's Swiss Movement, recorded live at Montreux in 1969 — and starts riffing about how the musicians had barely rehearsed before taking the stage and how you can hear audible explosion of applause on the record from the moment when Ella Fitzgerald entered the room midway through the performance. He clicks a few keys on his laptop and the album starts playing over the store's sound system. Thrumming bass. Splashes of gospel-tinged piano chords. A wailing saxophone.

As if on cue, a woman sifting through a nearby crate of records turns and says, "Who is this? . . . I want one!"

Owning a record store has always been about turning people on to music that they might not have discovered otherwise, Zingg says. "If they're listening to the radio, God help them."

For more information on Record Store Day, go to recordstoreday.com; details of the screening of Last Shop Standing are available at cablecarcinema.com.

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