In 2009, the traditional practice of exchanging physical copies of records for money is a trade that might best be called quixotic. But New Yorkers are stubborn people, and the record store is not dead. Below, the top ten records that sold in the last week at a store near you.
You won’t find much off the Billboard 200 at Downtown Music Gallery in Chinatown. “We don’t sell pop music, metal, or any commercial crap,” says Bruce Gallanter, 55, who opened the store with partner Manny Maris on Bowery and 2nd in 1991. The store moved to a more much wider, rent-friendlier basement spot in Chinatown last year. It specializes in avant-garde, free jazz, and progressive music, and is supported by a base of faithful regulars and online sales. Gallanter organizes free in-store shows every Sunday, which have featured modern jazz headliners like John Zorn and Nels Cline. Gallanter also runs a label from the store, DMG Arc, and acts as an archivist/critic, writing more than 6,000 reviews for the store’s weekly e-mail newsletter. The store is technically open Thursday to Sunday, but there are exceptions. “Monday or Tuesday I’m here, so I’ll let [customers] in anyway,” Gallanter says. “As long as they knock on the door.”
The Top 10 Records Sold at Downtown Music for the Week Ending June 14th:
John Zorn — Stolas (Tzadik)
Off On Off — Slap & Tickle (Smalltown Supersound)
The Thing — Bag It (Smalltown Supersound)
Masayuki Takayanagi New Direction Unit — Archive Vol 1 (Jinya)
Iannis Xenakis — Electronic Music (EMF)
Jim Black — Houseplant (Winter & Winter)
Wadada Leo Smith & Jack Dejohnette — America (Tzadik)
Michael Musilami Trio — From Seeds (Playscape)
Carl Maguire — Floriculture (Firehouse)
Marc Ducret — Le Sens De La Marche (Illusions)
Downtown Music Gallery is located at 13 Monroe Street, between Catherine & Market Streets. Open 12pm-8pm, Thursday through Sunday, 212-473-0043.