Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Academy Records (Williamsburg Annex)
I think this is what most hip folks wish record stores were like: sequestered off the beaten path in a trendy part of town, staffed with knowledgeable, approachable sales clerks, stocked with a vast selection of affordable vinyl, and working listening stations.
This Williamsburg annex of Academy Records has more vinyl than the W. 18th Street and E. 10th Street locations in Manhattan. Also a plus is the down to earth sales guys behind the counter. They generally have a good idea of their stock without even looking.
This is a true vinyl hunter's spot, with 95% of the sales floor devoted to records and only two small racks on the wall near the front with CDs.
Price wise, they're pretty moderate. You can cop most records there between $5 and $25, depending on the pressing, grade, and obscurity of course. And they're by no means stupid resellers. Believe me. There was an original pressing of the Malone & Barnes record going for $130 nestled right behind the counter. But what gave them extra points in my book was the long stretches of dollar bins on the floor.
Although 40% of it was probably stuff like "The Great Finnish Yodellers sing The Beatles," the number of bins gives more of a possiblility of finding some useable stuff. In addition to the dollar bins, the illsburg annex managed to catch me off guard with an authentic promo banner from Funkadelic's 1978 monster hit album, 'One Nation Under A Groove.'
After a few failed attempts to strike a deal with the clerk to buy it, he informed me that he'd seen a few on Ebay over the past few years for cheap. And not a hint of snobbery in his response either. So that concluded my shopping experience. I must say that it's probably the most enjoyable record shopping experience I've had in the city to date.