Friday, November 16, 2007

"Shopping in Brooklyn: Independent Record Stores"


In addition to bars, boutiques, and overall snootiness, hipsters also bring independent record stores to their 'hoods. And since Brooklyn still reigns supreme as the place to live for twentysomethings, the borough is teeming with shops slinging everything from classical music on vinyl to CDs by up-and-coming bands guaranteed to boost your indie cred.

Though Manhattan has its fair share of worthwhile shops, Brooklyn's less chaotic atmosphere makes for a much more pleasant shopping trip. So, hop on the L train and skip Circuit City for your music fix.


Not just a record store, Sound Fix doubles as a performance space for free or low-cost shows. This past weekend, New Yorker music writer Alex Ross even graced the stage, discussing his recently released, 640-page tome on classical music, The Rest is Noise. Specializing in indie releases from an array of genres, the store boasts a friendly, knowledgeable staff -- a good place to start your trip through the audio realm. 110 Bedford Ave.

Next, head toward Earwax Records, a neighborhood favorite that has taken up residence on Bedford longer than most independent stores in the area. (They were here before Williamsburg was the place to live). Though much smaller than other local stores, Earwax makes up for it by stocking a carefully hand-picked selection of both vinyl and CDs. Rather than regurgitating the bands covered by, the owners at Ear Wax keep an ear to the ground and always keep releases from artists who could be the next big thing. 218 Bedford Ave.

Located in the much more posh section of the borough, DUMBO, Halcyon stocks both vinyl and CDs in an immaculately designed space, complete with carefully chosen decorations and wood merchandise displays. The store's attached cafe and art gallery make Halcyon the perfect mid-day spot to recharge for the rest of the day's shopping. 57 Pearl St.

Next, take the F train to southern Park Slope and check out Music Matters, a small shop owned by Daytona, Florida transplant Jason Figel. Stocked with CDs and vinyl, the shop also sells gear for musicians (think drumsticks, guitar strings), and the music enthusiast (think headphones). Figel has also added performance DVDs to his merchandise, as well as movies based around music, or about musicians. 413 7th Ave.

Insider Tip: After stocking up on new tunes, head back to Sound Fix on Tuesday nights for the store's Tuesday Music Trivia events. Each week, participants tackle a couple categories--this week's are Led Zeppelin, the 60s, and songwriters--with the brainiest winner taking home a prize. And, best of all, it's free!

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