Posted in dance | music on January 7, 2013

Dope Jams

NYC record store Dope Jams, which is located at 580 Myrtle Ave in Brooklyn and has been home to a great collection of electronic music for the last 7 years, has announced via a statement that they will close its doors on January 26, 7 years to the day since opening. They will also be throwing a closing party that night from 8 PM until the store closes for good. The statement begins:

At the end of this month, 7 years to the day since it opened, Dope Jams will be closing its doors for good.

Rattling off a bunch of positive hyperbole or sentimental cliches without taking a good, hard look at the past would be a mistake. The truth is, we've made a lot of mistakes. Opening and holding down Dope Jams, however, was definitely not one of them. When we started working on the space at 580 Myrtle Avenue, well before it was the polished and finished form that you all know, dance music record shops were already jumping ship like the fucking Titanic. We knew exactly what kind of a logistical and financial shitstorm we were getting into. But ultimately, we wanted to devote ourselves, to put every ounce of energy and every dime saved into the perpetuation and expansion of dope music. We threw ourselves into installing the sound and the aesthetics to situate our project and our philosophy, and with that set in place, we proceeded to push music we thought was worthwhile, music that was beautiful and pure and capable of wading past the massive expanses of mediocrity and opportunism that we saw as gaining the upper hand. And along the way we did a lot of things that set us back, whether out of economics, ignorance, or idealism. We did our best to push past that, because we truly believed in what we were doing, we believed in the music we were championing, and we believed in creating a space and a community to allow that music to flourish. We gave enough of a shit then, and have continued to give a shit for 7 long years struggling through dwindling sales, personal loss, and daily disappointments. If only for the barage of weirdos, freaks and outcasts walking through that door every day, it was absolutely worth it.

You can read the rest of the statement (which includes streams of 15 songs that "will forever remind [them] of 580 Myrtle Ave") and check out the flyer for the closing party below.

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Dope Jams

There has always been a siege mentality here. Dope Jams was predestined to become a barracks where we held up and waited for the ensuing cultural apocalypse, making sure that we could at least control, and hopefully maybe even modestly disseminate, the little world we saw as still worthy of praise, adoration, and work. We did that by creating a culture of complete, total and brutal honesty. We called things exactly as we saw them, regardless of who's panties we got in a twist, because there's really no point in caring about music or art or culture if you don't give a shit enough to say what you feel when you feel it to whomever you feel. We get it. Saying the things we say without thinking twice on a weekly basis (or daily if you're in the shop), leaves us totally open. It leaves us wide open to be called mean, a bunch of dicks, hipsters, rich kids, hillbillies, arrogant pricks, hypocrites, etc. A lot of the time, all we had to do was sit back and let the wave of fad and popularity take its course, and just ride that into the sunset like a cheap whore. Or, to phrase it more politically, just issue "respectful critiques" and have "respectful opinions" and make sure not to hurt anyone's feelings. We'd have a lot more friends, a lot more customers, and fewer enemies if we had played it that way. But, ultimately, operating in that way is exactly how dance music has gotten to the point that it is now---no one is holding anyone else accountable, and the result is a veritable free-for-all of total and unabashed bullshit. Plus, what's the fun in holding back? At least we have a sense of humor when we do it. We don't really have a problem with being called names or being trashed. This isn't a Christ-complex where we feel like we're being sacrificed to repent for the sins of a world we've been operating on the periphery of for years now. The truth is there's no point for us if we can't tell the truth about the music and the culture we love---whether that's telling ourselves (most important), or whomever happens to be standing in front of us looking for the DFA section (still important).

But alas, our journey, at least in a brick and mortar manifestation, is finally coming to a close. Honestly, it's really heartbreaking. Despite all the suffering for us that has been inextricably linked with this project, a lot of incredible things have come out of it, too. A lot of special people and dope music have graced our presence because of this shop. A lot of chaotic, cathartic, ultimately redemptive parties were thrown here. Ultimately, we love what we do, since adolescence we've devoted every ounce of energy and resource to music, DJ and vinyl culture, and Dope Jams was overall an incredible experience. No, the mean police are not shutting us down, nor did the forces of our shop's demise originate anywhere within the dance music community (or its financial pitfalls). The truth is there are forces much bigger than our little universe: our rent has been raised threefold, and sadly our imaginary trustifarian benefactors just can't swing it anymore. And while we're sure a few diehards would make it to East New York to visit our new location, we're not confident that will be enough for a fighting chance. Don't worry: we're going to keep the website open, just in case you thought that special Dope Jams touch would be lost in the void forever.

It wouldn't be right to close up shop without throwing one last final in-store hurrah for the ages. So this January 26th, 2013, we invite you to our last in-store party ever. To the Dope Jams faithful, we can only express our gratitude in the best way we know how, so make the trip one last time to 580 Myrtle Avenue in Brooklyn, and celebrate with us 7 years of gargantuan dreams and unrepentant attitudes.

In closing, here are some songs that will forever remind us of 580 Myrtle Ave...

1. Analogous Doom - Living In A Zome
2. Alva Noto & Ryuichi Sakamoto - Ax Mr. L
3. Fever Ray - I'm Not Done
4. Chicago Shags - Live By The Sword
5. Theo Parrish - Can't Keep
6. The Laughing Light Of Plenty - The Pulse
7. A Broken Consort - Something Fell
8. Paul Watkins and Brooks Poston - Young Girl
9. Nine Horses - Atom & Cell
10. Chelsea Wolfe - Movie Screen
11. Bvdub - The Art Of Dying Alone
12. Burial - Distant Lights
13. Convextion - Solum Ferrum
14. Chasing Voices - Acidbathory
15. The Djoon Experience feat. Kenny Bobien - Old Landmark

Thank You.

Francis Englehardt & Paul Nickerson
DOPE JAMS NYC : 2006-2013

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Comments (90)

Dance music sucks.

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 11:35 AM

This was an amazing record store.
This is yet another loss to the city.

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 11:41 AM

This sucks because now there's only 7 million other resources for me to get my music from.

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 12:00 PM

Oh that's near me, really hope they open a Jamba Juice, been craving those smoothies

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 12:36 PM

This will turn into a Starbucks so all the lawyers can get their morning java fix

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 12:42 PM

if they were selling dope in a special record they would still be in business

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 12:48 PM

Why can't something just close nowadays without a statement and a closing party, and all kinds of closing bells and whistles. You had a store for 7 years, you do not have a viable business any longer, just close and shut up.

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 12:58 PM

Generation Gimmee, Generation Now, Generation Boring. Thanks again for not knowing the value of awesome.

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 1:01 PM

Yeah what a silly idea for a business to be less opinionated and have more customers....

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 1:01 PM

12:58 - Because absolutely everyone is important and everything everyone says is profound. That's what the internet has taught us.

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 1:03 PM

12:58 they announced it on their blog, for their customers. So it wasn't for you, per se. Regular customers of the store I'm sure appreciate it. Brooklyn Vegan chose to promote it as news - which I guess is what you are really finding fault with?

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 1:04 PM

when I first saw this post and headline I felt bad that another music shop, Any music shop was closing, or being forced to close. Then I read this self important rant about the closing, and I don't feel quite as bad. Seeya.

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 1:05 PM

I remember when my local Starbucks closed. I had to walk the street to get my coffee from another Starbucks. One of the baristas from my Starbucks was in the new Starbucks and he said he had to walk a block further to get to work, too. Times are fucking difficult, bro. Difficult!

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 1:10 PM

This store was haunted by ghosts. I am not joking, nor imagining.
Even employees there would acknowledge it.
Records constantly falling off the wall and strange vapors seething.
But the music will continue, but dope jams will be missed.

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 1:10 PM

Seems like another example of hipsters with access to the funds to continue a college life party existence disguised as a business, which of course ends up eventually failing because they are not really a business.

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 1:10 PM

My problem with this place(and especially when i would pass by) is the name. For what type of music they are pushing there, the name dope jams just does not fit.

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 1:26 PM

Damn, how are we possibly going to find out the "truth" about dance music now?

All is lost!

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 1:46 PM

I met my go-to MDMA connect there

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 1:47 PM

Due to the rapidly increased gentrification of Brooklyn...

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 1:47 PM

Multiple 1200s to preview records on, dim lighting, amazing selection, and I believe they also sold snake-bite kits? RIP, one of the best record stores in town.

Posted by Ben Sisto | January 7, 2013 1:49 PM

Went to their website and read their "Rules". This is a highly specialized music store for DJs, akin to a professional shop, apparently not for your average music-buying public. To have rules, no matter how ironic (and these don't read as irony but seem to be actually serious) for people visiting their storefront or online shops is a bit harsh and may have been a bit self-prophesizing in terms of fate.

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 2:01 PM

12:58-well put.

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 2:05 PM

2:01...
Here is Rule 11 for you-
Go eat a dick.

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 2:08 PM

They indeed do sound like a bunch of dicks. I guess they've been outdicked by hipsters.

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 2:13 PM

Maybe they should appeal to Obama? Business model be damned...market be damned...how about a subsidy, comrade? We are doing it for the love of dope music...please send some Obama-bucks our way. Please.

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 2:22 PM

Maybe they should change the name to Pope Jams and become a Catholic music seller.

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 2:26 PM

Best record shops in NYC history.
1. Temple
2. Throb
3. Dope Jams
4. Sonic Groove
5. Dance Tracks

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 2:29 PM

Store opens.

Store sells stuff.

Store doesn't sell enough stuff to stay open, because not enough people want their stuff.

Store closes.

It's called microeconomics and has been going on for thousands of years. Deal with it.

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 2:30 PM

2:29,

You are an out of touch idiot who has no clue about the history of record shops in NYC. Please go back from where you came and then die.

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 2:40 PM

Edit:

Store opens.
Store sells stuff.
Rent increses to astronomical rates due to changing demographics. Store doesn't sell enough stuff to stay open, because greedy land lords want to buy a a yacht..
Store closes.
It's called gentrification, and has been going on for ten years in Brooklyn. Deal with it.

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 2:41 PM

Please note how 2:40 offers no opinion on quality record shops.
I assume you were one of those, "Virgin megastore" dudes?

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 2:43 PM

@2:01, could not agree more. Those rules are ridiculous and they sound like dicks. Get off your high horse you fucking tools. It's a fucking electronic/dance/whatever other bullshit you want to call it music record store.

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 2:46 PM

I assume the people who have issue with these "Rules" are from Sunset Park?

(see rule #9)

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 2:49 PM

They really do sound like a bunch of arrogant dickbags. Fuck 'em.

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 2:55 PM

Record store employees are supposed to be dicks. If they are friendly, then they probably don't sell good shit.

If you can't handle a little attitude, then go back to Omaha and get your farm on bro.

They had a great selection of vinyl that wasn't avail anywhere in NYC. Sorry to see this place close.

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 3:01 PM

I want a yacht!

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 3:01 PM

The sad thing is that these guys honestly don't understand what dickbags they are.

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 3:02 PM

These guys got too much positive reinforcement and freedom from their parents growing up. Holy shit.

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 3:09 PM

Lemme get a yacht, son!

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 3:09 PM

There are adult movie theaters in Sunset Park?

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 3:11 PM

The Rules of running a business into the ground:

1. Post a list of arrogant, unfunny, holier-than-thou obnoxious condescending rules for your potential customers.

2. See your customer base dwindle into nothing.

3. Close as obnoxiously as you opened.

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 3:13 PM

"Record store employees are supposed to be dicks." - said by someone who loves to suck the assholes of independent record store employees in hopes that they'll be treated well by them. Once you graduate college, you laugh at yourself for saying something like that.

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 3:15 PM

This blog is read by people who have no business commenting on dance music culture. So no big surprise a good number of you fail to see or understand the significance of this shop and its importance for NYC music. There is so much haterade being swilled in these comments, and my guess is that it's because these "rules", if properly enforced, would exclude your Midwestern, twee-loving, asses from stepping one foot in the door. Grow a spine and explore before throwing stones from a distance. You appear weak in doing so

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 3:16 PM

seems these losers wanted it both ways.... a cool hip independent alternative, real, trippy, 'truthful' easygoing, liberal hang out atmosphere, but then post a bunch of strict hard ass rules that make it seem you are walking into a dictatorship where the owners treat everyone walking through the doors as children.

Confusing business model to say the least.

no doubt one that was destined to fail.

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 3:17 PM

"Record store employees are supposed to be dicks' is something from years ago. Nowadays, record store employees cannot afford to be dicks. Case in point.

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 3:19 PM

"Grow a spine and explore before throwing stones from a distance. You appear weak in doing so"

Explore? Pretty sure their diatribe above is exploration enough and ample proof that these cocksuckers are the worst. It's not about the music AT ALL; it's about a coupla total ASSHOLES sucking at life and business.

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 3:19 PM

"dance music culture"

Laugh my fuckin ass off!!!!

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 3:21 PM

"They had a great selection of vinyl that wasn't avail anywhere in NYC"

Yeah cause most people who love music could not give a shit about those records.

"This blog is read by people who have no business commenting on dance music culture. "

In other words, people who actually know good music.

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 3:25 PM

Record store employee resume selling points:

Knowledge of music.
Retail experience.
General dickish behavior.

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 3:25 PM

@3:19-What a great and wise comment. Or you could have also just said "What's a record store employee?"

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 3:27 PM

Do you really think anyone would open a vinyl record store that didn't care about music??!

Is this joke day?

Why else open up a sure-to-fail business (selling a rapidly dying medium almost exclusively) and ride the rims for many years while standing firm to your morals and convictions if not for the love of what you're involved in?

Do you think they were doing it just to see what defeat tasted like?

Seems like a passionate, cantankerous group of dudes who truly love music so much that they'd be willing to put their necks, and business on the line to defend it. These days that's a rare quality. Not many can say they'd do the same, "smart" business or not.

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 3:28 PM

"Record store employees are supposed to be dicks"
3:01 you're a fucking idiot. Yea, people who work at a record store are told by their boss to be a dick. That will definitely get the customer to come back. You will be going nowhere in life with such stupidity.

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 3:31 PM

No, 3:28, joke day was when these clowns opened up this store and came up with those idiotic set of rules.

Today, the day they announce their closing, is serious reality day

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 3:32 PM

^^^ maybe, except for the fact that they are the self-proclaimed guardians of some "dance music culture" that the average consumer is not worthy of admission to.

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 3:34 PM

Quite frankly, I think those rules are hilarious. To be offended by them so much that one would call these guys clowns, assholes, dick bags, etc, is far more telling about how those rules apply to you.

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 3:36 PM

Well there "joke" lasted 7 years...
Which is better then your joke of filing TPS reports in your cubicle.

This was a fine record shop filled with some of the greatest dick employees NYC has ever seen. It's a shame to see them go.

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 3:36 PM

3:28:

no, I think they were doing this for the 'hang'.

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 3:38 PM

Wow, that had to be one of the only used record shops in NYC with a strict no return policy. No wonder nobody bought stuff there.

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 3:41 PM

why the hell would anyone want to shop in a physical store for dance music?

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 3:41 PM

A 7 year "hang"?!? I dunno, seems like a reach but, hell, maybe you've got free time to think up wild ideas like "hanging" being a motive for opening a retail business.

Keep doing you, I suppose.

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 3:42 PM

3:36(1) thinks SNL is cutting edge humor

3:36(2) using lame old jokes from Office Space = Instant fail.

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 3:43 PM

I think @3:41 proves that other anons point: "this blog is not read by people with any business commenting on dance music culture."

Guess i can't be surprised so much willful ignorance of an entire culture of music gets written so quickly and with such venom behind it.

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 3:48 PM

3:43 has a pile of TPS reports to file.

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 3:49 PM

actually it seems like the owners had lots of free time... like 7 years of free time to run a barely profitable buisness, and would have continued to if the rent didn't get increased. That's what I call a long hang.

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 3:51 PM

3:43 still uses "fail".
Let that shit die. Quick

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 3:51 PM

Dance music sucks. A store selling nothing but dance music is a waste of a music store.

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 3:53 PM

They are the only people capable of knowing what is "beautiful and pure"

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 3:58 PM

this will be a great loss for myrtle ave. this place was a great fixture where one could go in and listen to quality music. their occasional late night affairs where filling a quality clubbing void that exists in NY.

dope jams, you will be sorely missed.

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 3:58 PM

"I hate apples. They smell funny and remind me of school (which also sucks). I think the apple industry should be shoved into a ditch filled with 5 million rusty AIDS needles because my personal taste is of such weight that I wield the ability (in my own mind at least) to disregard and disassemble the entirety of that industry and the culture that surrounds simply because it ain't my thang."

This is the logic of those 'dance music, huh?!?' commenters, applied to the apple orchard industry.

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 3:59 PM

"dance music culture"
Laugh my fuckin ass off!!!!
^
think you might be just a little ignorant?

dumbfuck.

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 4:01 PM

^^^^^ 4:01 is a sad case.

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 4:02 PM

Dope Jams was haunted?
Anybody else have confirmation on this?

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 4:04 PM

There is nothing wrong with dance music.

There is a lot wrong with some self-appointed guardian ass-hats who thank that only certain people are cool enough to be granted the privilege of admission to that "culture"

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 4:05 PM

4:02 is par for the douchery on these boards.

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 4:06 PM

3:59 has a lot of time on his/her hands. Thanks for coming up with the Apple Orchard Industry comparison. Now get back to work. Oh, You don't have a job..... that's right.

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 4:06 PM

What 4:05 said.

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 4:07 PM

The culture of dance music is broad with history and legends and mysterious white labels of unknown origin that crush your sound system into a psychedelic fractals.

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 4:07 PM

That apple orchard thing took about two seconds to come up with. How did you not wrap your mind around that? Oh right, because you work in a cubicle.

Damn. That's unfortunate.

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 4:11 PM

it would take more than two seconds just to type that nonsense.

Admit that you took about five minutes out of your day to come up with, edit, refine and type out your silliness.

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 4:40 PM

Dance music? So like, records with waltzes, ballroom dance songs, tango, salsa, cha cha, hokey pokey, chicken dance?

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 6:02 PM

Ahahah, BUMP!

Best record shops in NYC history.
1. Temple
2. Throb
3. Dope Jams
4. Sonic Groove
5. Dance Tracks

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 6:25 PM

at least bleeker bob is still in business

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 8:23 PM

Free Being (EV) was the best record shop ever. + You could buy a bag of dope on 2nd ave to go along w your music purchase. Top that.

Posted by Anonymous | January 7, 2013 8:55 PM

This place isn't closing because of gentrification it fucking opened because of gentrification

Posted by Anonymous | January 8, 2013 12:49 AM

"Free Being (EV) was the best record shop ever. + You could buy a bag of dope on 2nd ave to go along w your music purchase. Top that."

King Majesty in the Bronx circa 1991-1992. A one-stop shop, my friend...

Posted by Anonymous | January 8, 2013 10:52 AM

12:49 hit in on the head.

Posted by Anonymous | January 8, 2013 11:27 AM

most outer borough mom an pop/independent record shops in the outer boroughs in the 70s/80s were drug stores also.

Posted by Anonymous | January 8, 2013 11:29 AM

Free Being was cool. But then so was the whole East Village back then.

Posted by Anonymous | January 8, 2013 11:45 AM

yes...it opened 8 years ago....because of gentrification. totally.....do you know what myrtle ave and classon looked like 8 years ago? fuck what it looked like, what it was 8 years ago? guys please, do the work...dont get hit on the head

Posted by youreallsosilly | January 26, 2013 1:42 AM

I'm in love with the green door.

Posted by catering winnipeg | June 26, 2013 11:42 AM

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