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Chicago record store has 'do not buy' list of unwanted music

Sorry, Jessica Simpson -- you're on the
Sorry, Jessica Simpson -- you're on theCharles Sykes / AP file

Most music stores are all about telling customers what to buy. But Laurie’s Planet Of Sound, a Chicago-based retail and second-hand record store, has officially created a list of artists whose CDs it has no interest in buying or reselling.

According to the breakdown, Melissa Etheridge, Jessica Simpson, Soul Asylum, Jewel, and Perry Farrell are among the many musicians turned away from its shelves.

The list, established three or four years ago by an employee, has been officially dubbed “The Do Not Never Ever Buy List.” It itemizes over 50 artists and a few generalized collections -- almost all soundtracks –- that the store refuses to purchase in CD format.

Manager Nick Myers told NBC News that the list was created specifically for CDs, not records, due to waning sales of that format.

“You begin to reflect what your customer base is looking for. In our case, it’s a lot of indie rock and classic rock; classic music of the ‘50s, ‘60s, ‘70s until now,” Myers says. “I’ve been here for 10 years and a lot of that stuff we used to sell, no problem, but over time, (it) falls out of favor…It’s just kind of specific for us, being in Chicago, in a dense, urban demographic.”

Meant as a guide for employees and also a joke for customers, “The Do Not Never Ever Buy List” has been posted behind the register desk until recently, and continues to grow over time. Also included with the undesirables are artists like Fuel, Macy Gray, Journey, Foreigner, and “60s/70s Artists’ CDs from the 80s/90s/2000s.”

Myers explains, “An example of that would be like a David Crosby record from 1999 –- artists who came into popularity in the ‘60s and ‘70s –- (we won't buy any) of their later CDs.”

He also clarified a line nixing, “everything Pitchforky.”

“The ‘15 minutes of fame,’ flavor-of-the-moment CD on Pitchfork –- in one year, be wary of it,” Myers notes, referring to the popular music blog. “I don’t know if it has quite the power it once did. It used to be anybody that got a good review on Pitchfork, we would have to make sure we got it in because we would have a flood of people come in and say, ‘I heard about it on Pitchfork, I want to buy it.’”

Late pop icon Whitney Houston was added to the list prior to her death in February, although Myers notes that now her greatest hits album would probably sell fairly well.

So far, few customers or industry representatives have complained about the list. Myers said everyone finds it pretty funny, though some did accuse the store of embracing a high-brow, “holier than thou” attitude.

Myers adds, “There were some negative comments…But I can’t think of a record label per se that came forward and was like, ‘Why don’t you like k.d. lang?’”

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