So is IG back up and running again? Let’s find out with a test post: This is a shop I went to a few weeks ago—Vinyl Paradise, far out on Long Island. Unfortunately, the truly awesome storefront, referencing Elvis Presley and Clash album covers, is the best thing about it. Inside, you’ll find lots of carefully curated screamo bands and everything else appears to be randomly scrounged from garage sales—lots of Judy Collins and Seals & Croft. Apparently they’ve been there three years, which says to me their rent must be dirt cheap.
After getting tipped off about it by @thesharpnotes the other day, I went to Lynbrook to check out a new shop, Needle & Groove, which is less than two months old. My purchases here aren’t really indicative of their offerings—this is a shop tailor-made for serious collectors of Seventies Rock. Deep, deep sections of the staples like Floyd, Zeppelin, Zappa, The Who Kinks, and so on—with, of special note, Japanese pressings for many of those acts and particularly Van Halen. They played quality T.Rex and Motörhead the entire time I was there. But as it turned out, I stumbled across a sweet 1993 UK pressing of Billy Joel’s final album, “River of Dreams,” which was never released on vinyl in the US, and also an autographed copy of Bruce Hornsby’s first album. Doing a quick comparison to signature exemplars on the web via my phone, I nabbed it for a bargain $7. Mish, the piano player in our house, is rarely interested in my finds and she was thrilled by both.
Anyway, it’s a good shop, with a friendly staff and fair to moderately high prices (you’re getting what you pay for; it’s a very clean and rarity-heavy inventory). If you’re in the area or on the LIRR (2-3 min walk from the station), check it out.
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Yesterday, I went to New Jersey to speak at a library and hit record stores along the way (and in one case, waaaay out of the way). That main photo was the most amazing thing I saw—a Dunkin Donuts in a deconsecrated church that was attached to the library!
So I hit Vintage Vinyl in Fords (lower left), which I’d heard lots about. Great shop, though everything was about 10% higher priced than elsewhere.
I hit The Record Store, which I didn’t get a photo of. Despite the name, it’s a lousy vinyl shop, but they had the most Funko Pops I’ve ever seen in one place; I spent more there (on the kid’s Christmas presents) than anywhere else yesterday.
Princeton Record Exchange (the white house) was lame but they must have such inventory turnover that there’s no way to really ensure what you’ll find there. The place was PACKED with people.
Lastly, I schlepped all the way to Spin Me Round, whose IG videos have quite a following. I was hoping, quixotically, to find a record that appeared in passing in a video a year ago: the lone album by Milkwood—a folk trio that was The Cars before they went New Wave. It’s so obscure that I was sure no one would have bought it. Alas, I was wrong.
Nonetheless, I did find goodies over the course of the day, the best being the shaped U.K. picture disc of Tears For Fears’ “Head Over Heels” with the impossible-to-find cardboard plinth to stand it up. Great day and I’m glad it’s over!
You don’t go to Portland, Maine without hiking (check!) and going to LLBean (check!). With that accomplished, it was time to return to MY natural habitat: Record Stores. Portland has three within 2 minutes walk of each other and they’re great. Strange Maine was silly with lots of non-music stuff to grab attention. Electric Buddahs was the most fun, with sections like “WTF?!” and “I always vote progressive” for Prog Rock. Moody Lords looks like it would be the lightweight of the three because it’s also a clothing boutique, but it was the hands down champ—the kind of place where I found 45s by forgotten indie act The Tweeds and a Russian pressing of Peter Gabriel’s “So.” For those inclined, there was a MFSL copy of Dark Side of the Moon on the wall. It’s the serious record hang I was hoping to find. And honorable mention goes to Yes Books, with no Records but who cares? It’s an old-school, used book shop—the kind with a big, dimly lit maze of narrow aisles and shelves reaching to the ceiling, surrounded by piles on the floor. All of this made for a lovely afternoon of puttering.