4/23/2008

Record Stores - Let's Go Back in Time

I regret that I didn't find out about Record Store Day until AFTER it happened. It would of been the perfect opportunity to show off this cool photo of "The Record Pit" in Greenpoint and reminisce about my favorite Brooklyn Record store that has been gone for a few years. Everyday should be record store day so I'm doin' it anyway!

Does anybody remember Don's Music on Amity Street near Court Street? The Village Voice named it "Best Record Store named after it's memorable owner" in the year 2000. I wrote the following AFTER I read that blurb. It's all pretty true, Don's Music was more than about music! It was one of the last businesses with any character in the area. It was difficult to go in there without ending up gabbing for at least an hour. Many times I didn't go FOR THAT REASON!!! I know it's bad! I was a loyal customer and many of my albums and CD's were purchased there, he always knocked a couple dollars off if you bought in bulk, WHO does THAT anymore?! His dollar bins were not all junk either. My best find was "Sounds of the Zodiac", an amazing album with a psychedelic go-go song for each sign of the zodiac. The songs all have a sinister edge, which makes it awesome. Anyway Don became a good friend, one of those "friends for life" types. Once I was invited to his annual Christmas party, I was "in". The man liked to throw down a party with D.J's and everythang. He moved out of that spot which later became a high priced bootery (now gone) due to a rent increase and also to follow a woman to the west coast. He is still out there, he opened another Don's Music, and I’ve heard it's almost a replica of his funky shop on Amity Street. If you remember Don, say hello to him on his MySpace site and if you are in Los Angeles, take a trip to the Eagle Rock area and pretend it's record store day. He's taken the store to the next level, having block parties, art shows and he is DJing like crazy all over L.A. Always with a gift for words, he has told me that L.A is like a "prison with palm trees". It's beautiful and too cheap to leave. It's sad that a born and raised NYC boy can't afford to come back, which, he would like to, or at least that is what he says. Currently the old store sits vacant, waiting for the next boutique to move in and fail.

Anyway, It's sad that there are so few record stores left. "Holy Cow" in Park Slope was pretty good and later "Something Else" gave it a good go but alas it's also gone. Growing up, I liked "Venus Records" when it was on Eighth Street, when they moved to St. Marks they weren't as good anymore. Freebeing on 2nd Avenue near St. Marks was pretty good too, now that's going waaaaaaaaaay back!

2 comments:

The Music Director, WWIB said...

FIB has The Zodiac?!?! (Fuckin' hippy...) Seriously, to ya'll who dunno-- that's a great great album.

"This Record Should Be Played In The Dark" right?

Don's was great-- a wee bit pricey on the vinyl (i.e. you wouldn't freak like, wow, i'm gonna turn this over on ebay!!) but a lot of good stuff across all genres. Don was a "character" for sure, & one who is sorely missed in South Brooklyn.

The Holy Cow scene was WEIRD, & even a bit inscrutable. There'd be some good stuff coming through used tho', before all the horeshit about Park Slope having a lot of "writers" & "editors" (which is to say horrible magazine crap even they know is worthless), it was just people: some writers, musicians, Spanish folks, jazz musicians, cops, janitors: it took all kinds, even rock musicians.

Question: if Park Slope is so fucking "literary" (cough), how come it can't keep a goddamn used bookstore? Uhhhh... and the one new indie one is garbage, even if Park Slope zombies won't admit it. (I know Unnamable is books is still open & do hope they succeed.)

Last Exit Books on 6th below 9th was great but even then it was too late-- the literary had moved on, and those moving in, well...

Anyway, why did Holy Cow always play some weird techno ambient?

Music Matters on 7th is good Lady FIB, they deserve props, tho' I miss that other joint on 7th also.

Don't forget Beat Street on Fulton-- crossroads of the hip-hop/dj world for real & fun to browse just for the show.

COME BACK DON!! The few cool, confused people you'd turn on to the weirdness are gonna be at motherfucking Trader Joe's instead soon, when King Tubby or The Pagans or O.V. Wright could have set them free.

The Music Director
WWIB
(formerly of South Brooklyn, now living the low life in Gravesend)

Lisanne McT said...

Oh so you moved?!

Don's wasn't that pricey, c'mon!! Like i said he would always knock a couple bucks off(unless hat was ony for the ladies!)..the last time I went to Holy Cow I bought a Slade Album and a ? Mark single for less than 10 bucks... Music Matters? I've never been there. WILL make a point!