It Is, In Fact, Record Store Day

Did you know that today was, we kid you not, Record Store Day here in the states and, apparently, internationally as well? I didn’t know this until somebody sent me this link of depressing photos of record store closings. In any case, the idea is to patronize your favorite record stores so they can ostensibly avoid being on the next list of depressing photos of record store closings. We endorse the message and the concept wholeheartedly and, if we can, we will do our part by visiting one of the record stores participating in the venture. You should check out the site. There are quite a few stores participating in the celebration — perhaps some you’ve never even heard of — and some quotes and other stuff about record stores. I, for one, really miss many of my old favorite record stores and it would be a sad day indeed if we were not able to walk into a store and see bins and bins of used jazz vinyl, hoping to find that one Blue Note or Prestige gem hidden among the rest.

22 comments

  • it’s recordstore day here in Amsterdam,NL too..
    lots of live music, cheap buys and “insanely rare’ special pressings….
    a week ago we also had the vinyl/music-fair in the Netherlands, i believe the biggest in europe.
    Quite a lot of jazz, but no really suprises. The Blue notes and prestiges where most of the time not in perfect conditions, and the prices are the same as in the regular stores… but offcourse i bought a few.
    one nice “free for all” original for 18 dollars, was listed as VG, but after cleaning a nice VG++.
    Also bought some japanese BN’s, but at market prices.

  • …I saw a few shops in those photos I used to haunt. Some of them used to be actual landmarks back in the day. Sadly, the very idea of ‘Record Store’ day is a grim reminder that it’s the end of an era. (Kids today with their mp3’s…) One wonders if there will even be the same interest in collecting rare Jazz vinyl by succeeding generations. Could this be the proverbial high water mark for us collectors ? In some ways, you can both pity or envy those future “vanguards” of Jazz Vinyl collecting. They will most certainly reap the benefits of all our efforts over the years if the bottom ever drops out of the market from lack of interest by the “on-demand” generation, but they will have missed out on the golden age of the Record Store experience in the process as ebay replaces the familiar sights, sounds and even smell of our local shops. Either way, it was a great ride wasn’t it ? Good times…

  • Don-Lucky, my friend, I fear the high water mark is long past. What we have now are scraps, sometimes delectable ones, but scraps nonetheless.

  • “scraps”-? Nah,I don’t buy it. I think that records that are rare now will obviously become rarer still with the passage of time(ya think?). An audience that looks for sounds in the home environment to replicate(or at least marginally imitate)that which they hear in concert will at some point come around to the LP format. Or at least have a tentative curiousity about same,eventually leading back to a search for…rare vinyl. If I’m not mistaken,a number of this sites readers have storylines of their own that are not so different,yes? I’m more concerned about the impact that “mp3” thinking has on artists as they construct an album. How does the quick fix that the web offers change what musicians eventually present as a finished “product”?
    Anyway,those closed store images are pretty sad…I didn’t know about some of the nyc locales. The internet,though,gives me access to dealers all over the globe! Only stores who are ready to use that to THEIR advantage will be successful. It’s a new world that requires a new business model,regardless of how music is formatted.

  • Bottom line here is, the world has changed and so has the music business. For those of us fortunate enough to have lived and thrived when vinyl was king, we’ll always have wonderful memories. Most of the jazz greats we’ve come to know and love are also gone, all that remains is their body of music, regardless of what format they’re on.

    Knowing what we all know NOW, personally, I wish we could all be transported back in time so we can once again search the dusty old record store bins for more elusive treasures.

    Those images of closed record stores really hit home. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Those speak volumes….

    Shed a tear of sadness for all those empty shops. And while you’re at it, shed a tear of joy, for the wonderful memories of hunts gone by. Here’s to the hunt! To the hunt!

  • times change….. how manny of you play 78 rpm’s on an old Grammophone…….

    Recordsales have been going up lately in the netherlands, and nowerdays a lot of the progressive bands also bring out their music on vinyl..
    I only play jazz music on vinyl, other stuff (reggea, classical,soul etc) on cd or mp3.
    I know 16 year old boys who buy lee morgan or jimmy smith on vinyl.
    i never buy on the internet, only in shops and on fairs..

  • There are several indie shops in my area. I stopped by a couple today and picked up a few limited edition RSD releases–Hendrix, Fela Kuti, and Peter Tosh 45’s and an Os Mutantes LP. Didn’t notice any special jazz releases, but one shop had a sealed Wynton Kelly “Kelly Blue” OJC on clearance for a few dollars, so I picked that up. The shops were both really busy and the limited releases seemed to bring a lot of people out. Because it’s all current bands or reissues, it would be of limited interest to a vintage jazz collector. Although I’ve gotten a lot of great stuff online, I’ve done well at local stores too and try to support them as much as possible.

  • I’ll be in Boston next month and I’ll have a day for record shopping. Are there stores still selling jazz vinyl? thanks for your help.

  • Try Stereo Jack’s, Cheap-o is OK as well.. I hear a lot of good things about Armageddon, but the day I was there, there wasn’t much happening. All of those shops are in Cambridge by the way.

    Boston record collectors have the misfortune of living close to two world renown music schools, so all of the “good stuff” gets snapped up pretty quick. The best luck I’ve had in Boston has been at the local Goodwill.

  • Re Boston stores, Twisted Village was great for the oddball stuff, but it closed about a year ago. And Stereo Jack’s is closing its’ doors in April of 2011, this year and may have done so already. A pizzeria will be taking its’ place.

  • I heard SJ was closing, it’s still open presently, and there is nothing in the store to indicate that it will be gone soon.. but the decor has always been a little sparse.

    he gets some pretty decent records sometimes.. all the good, good stuff goes on the ‘Bay though.

  • I was on business trip to Sweden last week (Gothenburg) and even not being aware of Record Store Day, did manage to visit some of them in the hope to find some vintage scandinavian jazz vinyls…
    Did not find any originals on 12″, but quite few lovely 7″ Metronome, Debute from mid 50ies (Miles, Bird, Getz, Bud Powell…) – ca. 2$ each… I cannot imagine such stores would all be closed some day…

  • CeeDee — I think you misinterpreted what I meant by “scraps.” I didn’t mean the records themselves, I meant the selection of actual physical stores in which to shop for them. There was a time when in the NY metro area there were dozens of high quality used record stores: Now there are but a few. Then when I hear about the possible closing of a once-great store like Stereo Jack’s in Boston, it further makes the point that the days of actually going into a record store to hunt for jazz vinyl may be dwindling down to a precious few.

  • Mojo’s (#20 on the list) was only around for 10 years or so, and closed more than 6 years ago. I can’t say I’m surprised they did end up going out of business. Their prices were ridiculous. I remember looking at a first pressing Elvis that looked like someone had listened to it using a nail instead of a needle. I think actual vinyl shavings fell out when I slid it out of its sleeve. Asking price:$400. Sometimes the stores are their own worst enemies.

  • lennib: I’ll miss Stereo Jacks – decent stuff at decent prices. At least we still have Looney Tunes.

  • This looks like a good spot for this article from todays NYT: “vinyl” vs.”MP3″..it’s a no-brainer,baby! Dustbin,you say?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/18/nyregion/brooklyn-factory-gives-second-life-to-used-records.html?scp=1&sq=vinyl&st=cse

  • Well, Ceedee, that Brooklyn plant uses, and I quote: “boxes of discarded albums from used-record stores that are piled high on wooden pallets, awaiting their end and a new beginning.” -One wonders what might be in those “boxes of discarded albums”. What if they recycle the very jazz treasures that we’re all looking for? 😉 Anyway, it was record store day in my favourite record store here in my home town as well and it was a lot of fun. Some new bands played live and sold their latest single releases on -believe it or not- beautifully designed 7″ 45s, so I bought a few whenever I dug the music. Throughout the day, the place was packed: old cats, young cats, it didn’t matter. There was just a nice buzz going on. People from all walks of life dug in the crates and bought CDs, 7inchers and plenty of albums on that good ol’ vinyl. The owner of the record store is a good friend of mine and whenever he buys up collections, he always gives me a ring when there’s some good jazz in there. From what I know and see, is that more and more younger cats -usually higher educated students, I have to admit that- order the latest releases on vinyl. The big names nowadays are all available on vinyl again. I don’t care much for Lady Gaga’s output, but lo and behold: her material is available on vinyl. And time will prove whether I’m right or wrong, but if -just like me- there are going to be younger cats who, for some reason, catch the jazz bug and start buying stuff on CD initially, then sooner or later they will end up on sites like these or pop into a flee market and buy their very first copy of whatever on vinyl; let’s say a worn out, kazillionth pressing of Kind of Blue by Davis. From that moment on, they will feel that inner urge to buy more. It’s clear that a LOT of well known chains and stores have closed their doors. But it’s my belief that the smaller super specialized record stores with a dedicated store owner behind the counter still have a long, long way to go before they call it quits. Nil desperandum, folks 😀

  • The problem is not the decline of individual record stores – they depend on the limited amounts of “footfall”- it’s the rise and rise of the global virtual store that is Ebay, which offers you near-limitless access to the precise item you are looking for, at a price.

    If you want a Van Gogh or Picasso, it’s no use waiting for one to turn up in a boot sale or your corner painting store, you have to get on down to Sothebys auction rooms, where there are lots for sale, at a price.

    As always, journalists asked to write a story look for the bad news, stores are in decline… because I bet you sales are up enormously globally, though the online market.

    But that’s a more difficult story to write, but probably more true. All high street stores are in decline, nothing special about records.

  • Jason et al,
    I lived in Chicago for 45 years, even owned a record store there, Detroit 5 years and during the two years I lived in Marion Massachusetts, before being in Jupiter Fl where I am now since 2005, I used to love driving from Marion to Middleborough Mass and taking the train into Boston to visit Skippy White’s and Cheapo’s and Twisted Village and Stereo Jack’s and other places. Big fun.

  • So, here is my record day experience: we were visiting the kids in LA this weekend, and I went to Record Surplus on Pico Blvd. in LA. Major record blow out sale. Got 200+ jazz and rock 45’s for 7 for 90 cents, 6 jazz albums for 3 for 90 cents, and some 1940’s jazz 78’s at 30 cents each. Got 250+ records for $40. Great store, terrific staff, wonderful, obscure digging. I pray they never go out of business! It’s a true flashback to my old record store digging days of the 1970’s……

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *