Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Vinyl Mania

Another one bites the dust. VinylMania closed it's doors on March 18. Off course we are not surprised as every record shop takes its turn to close down. I mean, I guess it had to happen. And why should I be upset at all this when I haven't bought a vinyl record since the early 90s. But it's not even just the record shops but also shops that sell CDs. If Tower Recods could not keep up, how will the small shops do? It was sad to see Tower Records go though because I had special memories connected to that place as do most music maniacs. When I was 17 that would be around 1984, I abandoned the local records stores in Queens to that of Manhattan's Village shops. My first stop on my big venture out in the Village was Tower Records. On my first ever trip to Tower Records, I bought Depeche Mode's Speak & Spell. And when WLIR (The Station That Dares To Be Different 92.7) announced the release of The Smith's Hatfull of Hollow, I dropped everything ran over to Tower Records and dashed my way over to the import section to buy my most treasured and most beloved Smiths record. It began a love affair that is still strong. But soon I would even abandon Tower Records to those of smaller spaces. Those little shops where you walk in and hear the door make chiming noises. One in particular is located still at St. Marks place. SOUNDS was where I went to buy just about all my records. This is where you will find slightly used LPs, promos and imports at half the price as well as bootlegs. I would always find what I was looking for and there was so much music for me to catch up on and SOUNDS had it all. I remember buying Talk Talk, Alphaville, Siouxsie & The Banshees, The Cure, Soft Cell and a bunch of others and not spend any more than $20. And these albums got played plenty. And I always made sure to by blank tapes (chrome off course) whenever I finished my records shopping so that I can make a mix of all the music I had just bought for the walkman or the portable stereo. Imagine if we could blog then.

There was so much warmth in all that. Hunting for your records from store to store and getting home all excited and making those tapes. Now in the digital age, things have gotten so cold and sterile. But I'm mostly reminiscing and romanticizing the exciting days of my youth. I just wish it had the same hold on me now as it did back then so that I cold enjoy life more. Ah well....

St. Marks is losing its charm and I just know that it won't be long before SOUNDS closes its doors too.

12 comments:

steve said...

Yeah, it is sad to see things like this. I actually first discovered Tower when I moved to VA not long ago (as did my Discover card unfortunately) and was floored at the selection. And they usually played great music every time I visited. It was sad to see Tower go, and it would kill me if my favorite little indie shop out here, CD Cellar, closes. While I've bought most of my stuff online lately, and purchased a few mp3s here and there off of Bleep.com, I love spending a few good hours sorting through the cds, finding surprises in the bins, and going home with a stack of tunes under my arm and still enough $ to eat that week. It's the experience--the communal aspect, the visual aspect, all that good stuff that can't be replaced by downloading music.

xolondon said...

Steve! Who are you!? I shopped at CD Cellar non-stop for much of the 90's! I hate their parking lot. :)

Varant, I really enjoyed this post and it reminds of what will be the quote of the week on my blog...

Nice pic up there too!

xolondon said...

PS: My "Steve Who are you?" comment was meant in the "I should know you!" way, just to be clear. :)

V said...

Thanks Steve and Steve. :)

Looks like anyone in our age area is growing through the same pains of losing these shops that have given us so much pleasure.

Remember, XO, it's a pretty tiny world we're living in (as per my previous video post) and you two have probably crossed paths at CD Cellar, not once but twice.

V said...

I meant to say "going" not "growing"

Dan said...

I'm here via xolondon - and I agree, it's truly sad to see record stores closing - while I don't have a whole lot of sympathy for the chains, you make a valid point: if the chains like Tower and Sam Goody can't make it, how can anyone? One of my favorite indie music stores is Borderline Music in the heart of Boystown in Chicago. It's a music store made just for me. Fortunately, the owner seems to be doing well as he just opened another store in Andersonville (another Chicago burb) and is going to be offering digital downloads.

The last time I was there, I asked him how the online stuff was affecting his business, and while he tried to put a good spin on it, I could tell that it's getting tougher and tougher.

Great post.

Dan

V said...

Thanks Dan for dropping by. Chicago was the home of Wax Trax. I believe they had their own shop there. They put out some amazing albums from some of my favorite bands back "in the day" as they say. It was sad to see that go.

steve said...

Ahhh, yes , Wax Trax--still love 'em. In fact, just last week I got a copy of Pankpw's cd "Freedom for the Slaves" cd from Amazon--a Wax Trax classic. There's a teisted cover of "Warm Leatherette" on there too.

Xolondon, what's up man? Yeah, I think they're going on fifteen now. Was there Friday night in fact, on my wy to a concert. Made some good, cheap finds. As for the parking lot, yes, it does suck thoroughly--it's (the store) is located in a weird, difficult, heavy traffic place.

kilgorsky said...

V, what's the biggest CD store in NYC at the moment?

Btw, I just noticed your picture in the profile--cool photo, man!

V said...

Hey Kil. I think it's safe to say that the biggest CD place in NYC at this time is the Virgin Megastore. Two locations. I think the one on Times Square is larger and has better selection.

Thanks for the compliment on the photo!

Al said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Al said...

Back in the day, Vinyl Mania was where you went to buy all the records Larry Levan played last night at the Garage, it was only a couple of blocks away. Another icon of Underground NYC gone. Guess Giuliani won after all...BTW, I go by alkh3myst not "AL", infernal computer!