Monday, January 19, 2009

:::Goodbye, Old Chap::Mondo Kim's @ St. Marks:::

After the shuttering of their Avenue A, Uptown, and West Village outposts, the closing of Mondo Kim's flagship location on St. Mark's following a 20 year run somehow feels like a harbinger of woes to come for indie music/ film retail. While it's not quite the death knell many predict it to be, it's certainly discouraging. Apparently, several attempts to save the store fell flat after scant did plans to salvage the entire VHS/ DVD rental collection. Instead, this lauded, eclectic lot will end up half way around the world in Italy. Go figure.

I used to love digging through Kim's funky little 99 cent used vinyl bins. Even though 99% of it was crap, you'd always find a gem or two in there if you were a patient enough crate digger. I went weekly to stay up on the latest indie releases and copped many a bootleg vinyl, CD, and DVD. Kim's @ St. Mark's was like an institution for me: I've traded and sold so many CDs there, browsing till the clock struck 11:59 PM, even gawked at their ridiculous porn collection. Yeah, they've opened up a more scaled down version of the store on 1st Avenue, but it will never be the same. Yet and still, it's up to this new location and Other Music to uphold the indie rock torch in NYC. But the question is...if the weight gets too heavy for them to bear with waning record/ DVD sales and a lingering economic slump, will there be any successors to pass that torch to? Are we witnessing the last gasps of an era? Stay tuned through the technical difficulties.

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