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.
John Kioussis opened St. Marks’ Rockit Scientist Records in 1996, after years of managing coffee shops and delis. “I realized one day when I was 30 I didn’t want to be hunched over a grill, with oil and grease all over me forever,” he says. Kioussis worked for years at the now-defunct St. Marks’ Venus Records, and later opened Rockit Scientist on Carmine Street. In 2003, he moved the store to the more-spacious (but still cramped) St. Marks location. The narrow, musty vinyl-and-CD haven caters heavily to baby boomers, with sections in psychedelic, blues, and jazz. There’s an extensive collection of Bob Dylan and Rolling Stones live recordings. One of the store’s rarest items? An live LP of Robbie the Werewolf, a cult ’60s folk beatnik who sang about monsters (it goes for $300). Kioussus avoids stuff found on the Billboard charts. “We don’t carry CDs of mainstream bands because people download it,” Kioussis says. “I’m the middle man who gets shoved aside.”
The Top 10 Records Sold at Rockit Scientist Records for the week ending July 21:
Rockit Scientist Records is located at 33 St. Marks Place. It is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week.