Apr 20, 2008

My Record Store Day

Gary, Will & I couldn't have asked for better weather yesterday for a walk around the Village (West & East) during Record Store Day. I was actually in a festive mood & kept getting on Will & Gary for not being festive enough. This is definitely one manufactured holiday I can get behind 100%.

We started on the west side, at 319 Bleecker St, at Rebel Rebel. Its always good to see David, and I can't believe its been 20 years already since I met him when he had just opened the shop.

Since it was Will's first ever visit to New York, we stopped by a few places just so I could show them to him, but we didn't shop there. These included Strider at 22 Jones Street, and Record Runner at 5 Jones Street. And since it always looks so interesting from the outside, we also stopped in at the Music Inn at 169 West 4th Street.

Inside the Music Inn:

From there it was back to Bleecker Street, and into Bleecker Street Records. I believe this store is owned by the same owners as Generation on Thompson Street, and it replaced another store whose name I can't recall right now. But this spot has sold vinyl for years now.

Next stop was around the corner at 35 Carmine Street for the House of Oldies. Along with Bleecker Bobs, this shop is probably one of the longer surviving shops in the Village, if not New York, clocking in at about 40 years in business now. Also like Bleecker Bobs, the owner's name is Bob, however this Bob is a very friendly & one of the nicer guys you'll meet in a New York record store.

Window detail, House of Oldies:

Across Sixth Avenue, we moved towards glory days passed. First stop, the former site of 99 Records at 99 MacDougal Street for a moment of silence. Currently residing at the hallowed address is a restaurant/lounge called 99 Below.

Then around the corner to the historic Bleecker Bobs. In business since the late 60's, the 118 West 3rd Street location is, I believe, it's third & longest place of residence. I worked there from April '85-December '88, and have a lot of history with the place, so I'm always a little wary of going in. But went in we did...I didn't manage to find anything but was happy to realize that many of the other stores have caught up with Bobs pricewise. One of the things people always complained about with Bobs was the prices. Meanwhile, they couldn't find the records anywhere else.

From there we started making our way east. We hit Generation Records at 210 Thompson Street. Then a quick stop at a book street vendor near Washington Square Park followed by a bite at Dojo. From there, we hit Other Music, at 15 East 4th Street, which was definitely the most festive & crowded of all the stores we hit. They even had balloons! And, as if just for me, when we walked in, "It's Alright" by Curtis Mayfield & the Impressions was playing. What a beautiful thing.

Next up was, for my money, one of the best shops in the city, Jammyland, at 60 East 3rd Street on the Hells Angels block. Walking in there is like walking into Jamaica. Reasonable prices, great records, nice guy behind the counter = EXCELLENT.

Then with time running out, the last stop was at my buddies at 66 Avenue A, Etherea. Rich was there, we hung out for a while, and then I had to leave. I could have gone another 2-3 hours, and spent last night thinking about all of the stores we didn't hit. Its a good thing I live here.


Inside of Etherea - Old, Rare, New:

Turntable Lab, at 120 East 7th Street:

For the list inclined, here's a list of what I bought in no particular order:

- OMD - Dazzle Ships (Remastered Edition, CD)
- Roy Richards - "Freedom Blues" (Studio One, 7")
- Horace Andy "I Don't Wanna Be Left Outside" b/w King Tubby "Zion Dub" (Wackie's, 10")
- The Real Kids - Foggy Notion EP (Norton, 10")
- The Dickies - Stukas Over Disneyland (Triple X, 10")
- V/A - Feel Like Jumping: The Best of Studio One Women (Heartbeat, LP)
- The Smiths - Hatful of Hollow (Rough Trade, LP)
- Blue Mar Ten - The Sky EP Series #6 featuring Mark Hollis (Exceptional, 12")

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