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 actually sold in the last week at a store near you.
Before opening Music Matters on a whim in 1998, Jason Figel knew nothing about running a business. “I didn’t know how to run a cash register until I bought one. I didn’t even know new releases came out on Tuesday,” he says. “I was naive.” Now, Figel’s cramped store on Seventh Avenue in Park Slope is one of the last go-to all-genre music shops in the city. Because the Park Slope population is now younger than it was a decade ago, Figel has shifted focus from selling older rock (his tastes lie in eighties metal: “Ratt, Poison, Slayer”) to indie music, pushing lots of Pavement and Built to Spill. Figel says business has been hurting for a year and a half, but he blames the economy rather than iTunes and file-sharing. “When the economy starts picking back up, is music going to do better to or stay stuck?” he says. “That’s the big question. If this stays stuck, who wants to be in a declining industry? I might have to say forget this, it had its run, and it’s over.”
The top five records sold for the week ending October 23, 2009 at Music Matters:
Music Matters is located at 413 7th Avenue in sunny Park Slope. Open every day of the week, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.