The “loot” my wife and I acquired in Other Music.
I’m not a New Yorker. Heck, I don’t even want to be a New Yorker. When we first went to the States, we came to the conclusion we should go to NYC first – the rationale behind it being that it’s a town everybody should visit at least once, and that probably we wouldn’t like it so much (because everybody made such a fuzz about it we assumed everyone was bluffing and it wasn’t that cool).
We’ve ended up going at least twice a year. We really enjoy it but still we wouldn’t want to live there. That’s why it shouldn’t be a surprise to me if it actually happens.
In that first trip we tried to see as much as we could – after all we weren’t really planning on going back, it just happened- so we read furiously one of those Lonely Planet guides of the city, we were trying to be sure we could see as much as we could. One of those recommended places in the guide was Other Music, a legendary alternative/indie record store in the Greenwich Village, which has sadly announced it will close on June 25.
I really wasn’t expecting a huge shop, and what I found in that cool spot was just like a dream: tons of records I had always wanted, both cds and vinyl, cool music playing all the time and a walkable store (in which I could spend hours without getting tired). We had just purchased a turntable to replace my old one which died abruptly after 20 years of service, so I made sure I bought vinyl (Mogwai’s Rave Tapes, a gorgeous record, and Sling Shot To Heaven by Margot & The Nuclear So and So’s, which had come out weeks before our trip and a band that is partially responsible for our little kitty’s name); Andrea bought every The National CD she could find (we ended up seeing The National live in Chicago later that year, but that’s another story). Next time around I bought Jesus and Mary Chain, Ride and Slowdive. In our following visit we bought the latest Decemberists records – we went to NYC just to see them live – (and I secretly bought Future Islands’ Singles as a gift for Andrea). In our last visit last January I finally bought ( ) by Sigur Rós – an album I had been looking for for 10 years. The rest of the albums pictured came with their excellent mail order service.
I may have only gone 4 times to the shop and bought less than 20 albums there, but it’s a place I knew I could count on to get some music I’d really really want to have; a place where I could lose track of time trying to decide what to get (as it happened when I was younger), a place where I could really remember why I loved music so much, why it is so important for me and why buying albums is so much different than getting them online or streaming them. I still love the ritual of playing an album, I always will.
And most important, the whole point of this blog came from that day I was listening to Alligator while driving in my car (which has a cd player but no Bluetooth nor USB) and I had the “third record epiphany” that has driven this blog from the first day: it all came from an album my wife got at Other Music.
Who says record stores are useless?