Earwax Records (& the slow death of our streets)
Like many cities, New York isn’t without its Record Shop casualties. In recent years, despite the “vinyl revival”, some of my favourite stores have shut up shop, unable to keep up with the rising rents that are driven by global and chain companies. Bleecker Bob’s closing in 2013 was a huge shock, for 46 years this was ones of the best known record shops in the world, where the stars would rub shoulders with record geeks and even made an appearance on Seinfeld.
Recently J&R in Park Row went into liquidation, its store which closed in 2014 for refurbishment is still undergoing renovations and it’s uncertain what exactly will be happening with this company, although it still continues to trade online. Bleecker St. Records has moved to W4th St, albeit to a smaller location while its sister store Generation Records remains in Thompson St.
So I was somewhat relieved to find out that my unsuccessful search for Earwax Records in summer 2013, finding its Bedford St. Williamsburg, Brooklyn store vacated at the time, was relocated to its new address which I managed to track down last month. Whilst not a huge store, it did seem to have a lot of what I was looking for, including my favourite Green Day album “Dookie”. I’ve been after this for years but not been prepared to pay “silly money for nineties vinyl” prices, along with another favourite I’ve never been able to track down, Wilco’s incredible “Being There” lp. There is defiantly an air of “outside the mainstream” to what’s on offer here, so Taylor Swift & Sam Smith fans may want to look elsewhere. Along with some genuine wholesome Brooklyn customer service, knowledgeable and cool, topped off with an extremely comfy chair for the record widow/widower. If you are in NYC, I highly recommend a visit to this store with the added bonus of checking out Williamsburg.
Earwax is located at 167 North 9th Street between Bedford and Driggs Aves in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-486-3771).
Record Stores are only a small part of our culture that is being destroyed in all major cities. I’ve just read that one of NY go-to music shops, Rudy’s on 48th St will be closing in August 2015. For the latest in the slow gentrification and globalisation of our cities, take a look at the heart-breaking blog Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York http://vanishingnewyork.blogspot.co.uk/2015/07/rudys-music-stop.html