News & Politics

In Honor of Record Store Day: As CDs Sales Plummet, Vinyl Finds Its Fifteen Minutes

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It was
announced
in early January that Bleecker Bob’s Golden
Oldies, the record store on West Third Street that was a staple of Seinfeld
and a personal favorite of Bob Dylan’s, would be closing after 43 years of
business as a result of the neighborhood’s high rental demands. With the famous
Fat Beats down on Bleecker out of business for more than a year now, Bob’s
joins the graveyard of record stores unable to keep up with the cyber-age of
the mp3.

“The
realtor wants $20,000 for this place. If you can get it, great,” said assistant
manager Ski, a burly man with a backwards hat. “But do you want some mom and
pop or a Sbarro’s down here?” Plans are in the work to move to an East Village
location but, as of now, the ‘For Rent’ sign above the Bob’s awning speaks for
itself. However, their closing is running oddly parallel to the music
industry’s turnaround, epitomized in today’s Record Store Day celebration that is attracting long lines all over the City, after a recession rough patch.

In a recovering market, vinyls have oddly found their nostalgic niche: their raw tangibility is not in cyberspace and big-named bands like Mumford & Sons continue to release LPs because people like Rachel and Spencer are still buying them. CDs, on the other hand, are being buried as a middleman between the past and the future of how we listen to music. 

But it might be too early to tell if this revival is permanent, as Ski warns: “They say that girls are wearing their mothers’ bell-bottoms from forty years ago. Everything just goes around.”

Follow John Surico @JSuricz

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