Posted in music on January 30, 2009

the new Kim's on 1st Ave (via Vanishing New York)
Kims

Etherea on Avenue A (via Stupefaction)
Etherea

"Pretty soon, Other Music is going to be the only record store left in Manhattan. Blog Stupefaction reports that Etherea Records will shut down this February after 13 years in the East Village. The shop, on Avenue A between 4th and 5th Streets, plans to honor all gift certificates and store credits, and until the doors close, everything is 30% off.

This news, of course, comes as Mondo Kim's empties on St. Marks and both the Times Square and Union Square Virgin Megastores limp out their final days. (Remember when chains like Virgin were the main threat to little independent record shops? The 90s were such an innocent time.) For more context, check out this New York Times map from last April illustrating Manhattan's surviving record stores, as pointed out by a helpful Stupefaction reader." [Racked]

I don't think there is official word yet on Virgin Megastore Union Square actually closing, but some say it is inevitable.

In related news, Sound Fix's record store isn't closing, but its attached venue is.

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Comments (49)

BUMMER!!!!!

The dude at Etherea was super nice and always helpful. Sad Sad.

Posted by Brussel Sprout | January 30, 2009 1:16 PM

we were in Etherea last fri and the sales guy was telling a friend they'd had a good year overall and sounded secure.

Posted by nygrump | January 30, 2009 1:19 PM

So where are all the unemployed musicians going to work now?

Posted by Anonymous | January 30, 2009 1:22 PM

i feel like virgin union square is clearly on its way out - they seem to be starting to clear catalog titles out w/discounts. also they recently cut down their hours - this could be an economic thing, but it was always nice to go there late...

Posted by tom | January 30, 2009 1:23 PM

Generation Records is still going strong. There are plenty of stores left.

Posted by recordnerd | January 30, 2009 1:25 PM

i don't think other music can last much longer either. the location is now way too small and i'm sure costs a boatload in rent. they need more vinyl & a better cd selection. we need amoeba bad.

Posted by jocko homo | January 30, 2009 1:25 PM

Let's not forget Gimme Gimme Records, 325 E. 5th St.! 99.9 percent vinyl!!!

Posted by Rajah of Rehab | January 30, 2009 1:25 PM

kims was horrible. i hope their new store closes with the quickness.

Posted by Anonymous | January 30, 2009 1:25 PM

Generation Records is the shit. I fucking love that place. Way better than OTHER.

Posted by yoga | January 30, 2009 1:26 PM

etherea records?!

FUCK.

Posted by Anonymous | January 30, 2009 1:27 PM

Fuck, Etherea records was good. Dudes who worked there were friendly, didn't have the attitude you find at many other indie record stores

Posted by Anonymous | January 30, 2009 1:33 PM

fuck kim's, but Etherea?!?!??! end of an era.

Posted by Anonymous | January 30, 2009 1:43 PM

Thanks for the link & reporting BV. And thanks for your nice words everyone. Its a sad day indeed for Etherea.

Posted by Tim B. | January 30, 2009 2:03 PM

does anyone remember what etherea was called a long time? I seem to recall another record store there. was it called adult crash?

Posted by Anonymous | January 30, 2009 2:28 PM

Kim's was great for DVDs, their new location doesn't compare. I heard that Virgin at union square was going to close down at the end of the year because there lease was up and they didn't want to renew.

Posted by anonymous2 | January 30, 2009 2:37 PM

other music > amoeba
or maybe it's just because I listen to so many brooklyn bands

Posted by Anonymous | January 30, 2009 2:49 PM

noooo! not etherea too!? agreed, they had the nicest, most helpful staff. they will me missed.

Posted by Anonymous | January 30, 2009 3:33 PM

I bought plenty of vinyl at etherea. despite the small selection, it was a good one.

Posted by Anonymous | January 30, 2009 3:35 PM

You're a retard if you think Other music is better than Amoeba. It's so small, nearly every time i try to find a new 7" or Lp Other lets me down

Posted by Anonymous | January 30, 2009 3:40 PM

which amoeba are you talking about?

Posted by Anonymous | January 30, 2009 3:42 PM

Its really heartbreaking to have all the record stores I grew up shopping at close up. But considering how rare it is that I/most people I know buy something on CD these days, I shouldn't be that surprised. It doesn't make it any easier to deal with knowing that though.

Posted by Anonymous | January 30, 2009 3:45 PM

Don't forget HOSPITAL PRODUCTIONS, probably the best record store left in Manhattan.

And there are two Academy Records locations in Manhattan (in addition to the amazing Brooklyn location), one on 12th street and 1st ave and another one on 18th street between 5th and 6th.

Posted by Anonymous | January 30, 2009 4:03 PM

This is sad but not surprising. As friendly a place as Etherea was, I can't imagine many people are still buying CDs for 16.98 that are preopened with the disc taken out. I know, this is what independent shops do in place of a security system. But the few people who still shell out for physical CDs probably are gonna go for reasonably priced, wrapped ones.

Posted by Anonymous | January 30, 2009 4:42 PM

etherea was called adult crash in earlier days. like mid 90's or so. I clearly remember. then the owner changed or something, it became etherea. used to go there all the time. sad.

Posted by Anonymous | January 30, 2009 4:45 PM

Sad to hear that Etherea is closing -- such nice people and such a well curated store. Bummer. But there are still plenty of great stores around and about (especially if you're hunting for vinyl: Permanent, Academy, Halcyon, Gimme Gimme and of course Other Music.


Posted by Anonymous | January 30, 2009 5:10 PM

The real tragedy here is the loss of the Kims film rental section. 50,000 titles, and the certainty that you would find ANYTHING you were looking for. Mexico-era Bunel in its entirery? Check. David Lean in his entirety? Check. It was regularly used for teaching materials by NYC universities, and I was there weekly, so this is a real loss. Never bought music there, tho.

Posted by alien.soundtracks | January 30, 2009 6:42 PM

NYC Renaissance ? or what! NYC! NYC! let's be cool, friendly, cutting edge and explorative! :)

Posted by Killroy | January 30, 2009 7:49 PM

rebel rebel in the west village is the shit!

Posted by Anonymous | January 30, 2009 8:13 PM

now that there are no record stores left for unemployed musicians to work at, they will have to work at gasoline stations.

Posted by Anonymous | January 30, 2009 9:11 PM

I have not been there in a minute but is St marks sounds still in business or anyone know if they can or are staying in business ?

in the 1990's I would hit all the cd stores a few times a week

but in the last few years I have been going there less and less and each time the store is pretty much empty
.............and I still buy cd's most times now on line

when this shop and virgin on 14 street go out of business its the very end for records stores in NYC

only J and R music world will be left standing

Posted by 10000 cd's | January 30, 2009 11:06 PM

if you thought is was annoying trying to sell new CD's for 16.98 that were opened--what about Kim's vinyl selection, where every LP had been opened and listened to by many many people whose fingerprints and scratches on the record can hardly be qualified calling the product "new"

Posted by Anonymous | January 30, 2009 11:20 PM

Little-known fact: J & R actually has a pretty great/big CD section

Posted by Anonymous | January 30, 2009 11:34 PM

hooray for dead media

Posted by Anonymous | January 31, 2009 12:00 PM

Etherea closing is a travesty. Reasonable prices, friendly staff, such a deep selection. Good luck finding a record store so well rounded!!!

This is truely a sad day for NYC.

Posted by chip | January 31, 2009 1:29 PM

this is really a bummer. all the good record/cd shops are closing up. really sad

Posted by Anonymous | January 31, 2009 2:38 PM

Well, Kim's had nothing going on in music but incredibly rude staff (who didn't know what the hell they were ever talking about, to top it off). I'm surprised they didn't close years ago. Stores (like Halcyon) that offer a product people want, as well as good service, can survive. The problem with most music stores is that they sell CDs. And who wants CDs anymore? Vinyl, on the other hand, has its own unique sound and cultural value regardless of the electronicization of music generally.

Posted by Rachel | January 31, 2009 3:03 PM

holy shit...the staff at Kims were MAJOR ASSHOLES...all of them.

Posted by Anonymous | January 31, 2009 3:24 PM

i still miss Midnight Records...

Posted by Anonymous | January 31, 2009 5:47 PM

I loved Kim's on St. Mark's and would buy music from there every week. The used hip hop section always had a gem or two for $7 or so. It was a brilliant store that is irreplaceable.

The new Kim's location on 1st Ave has an obvious DVD emphasis. Its music section is shocking by comparison to the erstwhile St. Mark's store. Music is an obvious money loser.

I don't even rate Other Music. The air of pretension and Virgin Megastore prices of their music makes it less attractive a destination for me. If I'm in the neighborhood I will cruise the 15 CDs that are in the used hip hop section, but little else attracts me.

Generation Records is solid. Since Kim's closed I have been going to Generation more frequently. The staff there have been the same for years and they're all genuine people. Love them. Long live Generation Records. Its sister store Bleecker Street Records is still in business, though staff seem to outnumber customers any time I go there. Bleecker has more of a mainstream rock and jazz bent.

Fat Beats is still strong. Love those cats. Take the trip up the stairs to the 2nd floor at their location on 6th Ave. between 8th & 9th Sts. Brilliant. They got any kind of hip hop you want and the best vinyl selection in the City.

I work right around the block from Academy Records on 18th St. between 5th & 6th Aves. That's a much underrated store, which I recommend. From what I can tell Academy sells only used CDs and their inventory is always fresh. They have a more developed jazz section than the any of the above that I mentioned and their rock and hip hop usually have something of interest. It's not a store you can visit to buy a CD you have in mind, but more a store to browse and to be open to the possibility of surprise.

All this aside depending on the record store I visit I feel like there's never anyone younger than me and I'm 30. Kids don't buy music. I'm not blaming them for the demise of record stores, they're merely caught up in the machinations of this whole music industry melt down.

I wish Amoeba would open a location in Red Hook. Should we start a petition?

Posted by Damien | January 31, 2009 7:39 PM

>>fuck kim's, but Etherea?!?!??! end of an era.

To clarify, Kim's was around looooong before Etherea, Other, or almost any the shops listed above. They were one of the few stores to buy releases in quantity that you'd find well after the release had lost its shelf-life. They had the space dedicated to provide deep back catalog.

I think we all need to rethink how these shops provide a notion of community that on-line sources totally neglect---where else can you happen upon a release, overhear a conversation, take a risk on an LP from its artwork alone? Things are getting more, not less, narrow in the age of the internet. Soon we'll all go to Youtube to watch live shows in our underwear.

Posted by Anonymous | February 1, 2009 4:39 AM

What a fucking crying shame..one of the Best Records stores gone.

Posted by Anonymous | February 2, 2009 7:52 AM

i heard sam that used to be test icicles worked there
coooool

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