Saturday, April 19, 2008

Today Is Record Store Day!

'Record Store Day' is the idea of independant record store owners across the nation who hope to remind us that a)there's still some of 'em left and b)because we download most of our tunes nowadays they are quickly going the way of BETA.

From the New York Times:
Some retailers are hoping that the effort (Record Store Day) is not too late. Jammyland and the Downtown Music Gallery, two East Village institutions -- Jammyland, on Third Street, specializes in rare reggae, and Downtown, on the Bowery, in avant-garde jazz and new music -- are facing untenable rent increases and are looking for new homes.
Jammyland is "the model of what a great record store can be," said Vivien Goldman, the author of "The Book of Exodus: The Making and Meaning of Bob Marley and the Wailers' Album of the Century" and other books. "D.J.'s congregate there from all over and exchange ideas. It's a crucible of music knowledge."

For a local music shopper with a memory of even just a few years, the East Village and the Lower East Side are quickly becoming a record-store graveyard. Across from Jammyland is the former home of Dance Tracks, a premier dance and electronic outlet, which closed late last year, as did Finyl Vinyl, on Sixth Street. Stooz on Seventh Street, Sonic Groove on Avenue B, Accidental on Avenue A, Wowsville on Second Avenue and Bate, an essential Latin store on Delancey Street -- all gone, to say nothing of stores in other neighborhoods, like Midnight Records in Chelsea and NYCD on the Upper West Side.

"Rent is up, and sales are down," Malcolm Allen of Jammyland said as he sold a few Jamaican-made 45s to a customer last weekend. "Not a good combination."

Here in little old Northern California we don't have a lot to choose from. There are, I think, only two half decent used CD stores and three crappy, overpriced retailers. The two indies can have some decent stuff, and the prices are great, but whenever I patronize either place it's usually deader than dead. It's a real pity. Those places are where we all learned about great new bands, bought our bootlegs and possibly even met our significant other.
I know it's probably too late for the brick and morter stores. Hell, I hardly buy the actual things anymore. But I still browse during my luchtime occasionally, hoping to find that long forgotten classic I used to own.

Oh well.



Hal Johnson said...

Funny timing, this. I was flying home on Friday, and I was thinking that it had been a long while since I'd set foot in Bog's Bean, one of Redding's used music and book stores. I'd really miss the place if it went away, and yet I'm part of the problem: I haven't set foot in the place in at least three years.

Uncle E said...

I understand through the grapevine that they're awfully close to doing just that, Hal. Shuttering their shop.
I can still spend hours in stores like Bog's Bean and Cal's Books down the 273. I need to get off my internet softened derriere and go patronize these places soon.