Wednesday, November 15, 2006

New York Music Stores are Crap

How hard can it be to find a goddamn Duke Ellington CD in New York City? Pretty hard. The new Ornette Coleman? Impossible. Show me one music store, more or less centrally located, as good as Minneapolis' Electric Fetus and I'll be happy. But no.

Other Music, the Village CD shop legendary for its High Fidelity-like irritable employees has an extremely weak jazz section. Try searching for Duke Ellington on their website: they haven't even heard of him. It's a small store. There just isn't room for more.

If I hate the Virgin Megastore and get frustrated by the big chains that promise an expansive selection but only really offer wide aisles, what are my alternatives? In New York, everything is a niche market. You want New York downtown jazz? There's a store specifically for that. But it's small. Are you a club DJ? There are plenty of small (we prefer "intimate") storefronts for you. Academy Music on 18th also sells a wide variety of small plastic dinosaurs. No Duke Ellington though.

What if I want jazz and electronic and 70s glam rock all in the same outing? Three stops. Maybe more. All could be accomplished at the Electric Fetus.

Don't get me started about Brooklyn bookstores. There are none to speak of. Disagree with my rant? Find me a store. Of course the Twin Cities have lost all of their independent bookstores. At least in Manhattan we have St. Mark's. It's actually staying open till past midnight the day before Thomas Pynchon's new book comes out.


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