Sunday, April 20, 2008

A welcome correction: More record stores

Well, not exactly a correction. But since my story on Friday about the gradual disappearance of record stores in New York — at least 80 have closed in Manhattan and Brooklyn since 2003, and several more are now on the brink — I’ve been contacted about some that I hadn’t included.

As the map with the story noted, there are around 70 stores now open in Manhattan. I arrived at this number through both my own research — which involved tracking down on foot and bike a long list of addresses compiled through means too tedious to mention — and information from the Almighty Institute of Music Retail, which maintains an extensive database of stores nationwide. Joel Oberstein, the president, helpfully crunched numbers for me and sent several pages of listings from Almighty HQ.

PhotobucketThe map could legibly cover only from 59th Street to Delancey Street. That left out J&R World and a bunch of stores uptown, among them a number of important Latin outlets. We included one Best Buy, one Barnes & Noble and one Borders to have those chains accounted for, but otherwise didn’t include the big boxes — partly because, much to my irritation, I couldn’t confirm on deadline exactly which carried CDs and which didn’t.

But I’m delighted to report that in the last couple of days I’ve learned of two more independent shops. One is Deadly Dragon, a reggae store on Forsyth Street. (Vivien Goldman had actually mentioned to me another reggae outfit besides Jammyland, but I misunderstood and didn’t realize it was retail.) The inventory on their website is impressive, and they also promote live events.

The other is Malachi Records, on Fulton Street downtown, which says it opened in November. Not much else on their website, but this blog says the store specializes in “hard-to-find LP’s, 45’, 12”, and CD’s. Musizik from Abba Zappa, Funk, Soul, Jazz, Latin, and movie soundtracks.” The pictures show a pretty standard Village-style vinyl mix of rock and punk standards (Ramones, VU), snob catalog (“Vincebus Eruptum”!), bubblegum guilty pleasures (Donny Osmond) and those soundtracks (“Barbarella”!). But it looks good.

I’ll be happy to add more if they come in, though first I will post a list of shops I knew about but couldn’t include, and I’ll also try to post a list of closings. But don’t even get me started on Brooklyn, which it broke my heart not to include. Please believe me, people, I had to draw the line somewhere.

UPDATES: A building list of Manhattan record stores, alive and dead; and map of same.

Thanks to JD for the tip on Malachi.

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