The Local Record Store Clerk… Now In Your Pocket

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What ever happened to the local record store clerk?

The storm that swept away brick-n-mortar retailers took plenty of knowledgeable employees with it, and a certain human touch in the process.  In its place, music fans have access to millions of songs and more sophisticated recommendation sources, though the latest technology lacks the highly-opinionated guidance so aptly portrayed by Jack Black in High Fidelity.

Maybe some opinions are better left unsaid, though a new iPhone app, called ‘Panel,’ is attempting to replicate some of the magic of the dusty record store.  The freshly-released app currently features input from Mark and Wendy Redfern (Under the Radar Magazine), Jason Hughes (Sonic Boom Records), Justin Gage (Aquarium Drunkard), producer and musician Matt Bayles, and Peter Harper (sculptor and brother of Ben Harper).  Each week, an appointed tastemaker will stream two full albums from various categories, including but not limited to rock, pop, indie, alternative, amd jazz.

The selections will also be padded with an ample amount of commentary, fan feedback, and interviews.  The whole concept was concocted by producer Darius Fong, who spend a large portion of this childhood trolling record stores in Hong Kong.  Grab the app on the App Store, and learn more at