Entries tagged with: Record Stores
With CD sales sliding, "I tried my hardest to come up with a new model, and we were making a lot of headway with it before the holidays," said Virgin Entertainment Group North America CEO Simon Wright.PREVIOUSLY: Virgin Megstore Union Square (and San Francisco), RIP
Virgin outlasted HMV and W.H. Smith, with the former pulling out in 2004 and the latter selling out to Camelot Music in 1998. But Virgin couldn't withstand the combined blows of big-box loss leaders, chain-store exclusive releases and digital cannibalization.
"We have made a great contribution to music retailing, but it's time to move on," Wright said. [Billboard]
by Andrew Frisicano
Record Store Day - a nationwide event created to support independently owned record stores - will take place on Saturday, April 18, 2009. A list of participating NYC stores is available online at the Record Store Day venue list.
On RSD, Generation Records (210 Thompson Street, NY, NY) will host an acoustic in-store by punk band The Bouncing Souls, free for customers who pick up a copy of the band's 20th Anniversary Volume 1 7-inch the day of the show.
Other events, such as in-stores at Williamsburg's Sound Fix, which announced its intent to celebrate the event with live music despite ending shows after losing its liquor license in February, are still being announced.
Many record labels are supporting the event with limited-edition records. Matador, for example, will be pressing 2500 copies each of Jay Reatard/Sonic Youth and Sonic Youth/Beck split 7-inches, plus a Pavement Live In Germany LP. Thrill Jockey is sending out 900 copies of Records Toreism, an LP that includes tracks from Mountains, Tortoise, White Hills, Trans Am featuring Tim Soete, and Baltimore's Double Dagger (who cover "Stagger Lee") and will be packaged with two zines (feat contributions from Ian MacKaye and more).
Record Store Day, which coincides with the 2009 Coachella Festival, will also be running a record shop at the fest. The press release, copied below, notes that the Coachella on-site store, "previously operated by Virgin, is noted for its high profile foot traffic and good vibe." Both events come in the same month that the Times Square Virgin Megastore will close - the NYC shop is notable for having the nation's highest sales volume. Its sister location in Union Square will be gone soon after.
Full list of Record Store Day exclusives, in the form of a press release, below...
"Marissa Nadler played the last live concert in Sound Fix Lounge on Saturday -- or did she?The article goes on to say that Sound Fix has no plans on closing the record store, though Bradley "added that his lease is up in a year".
Owner James Bradley vowed to keep putting on shows, despite losing his liquor license last month.
"It is my fervent hope and desire to continue the tradition of live music in Williamsburg," said Bradley, who plans to have an event on Record Store Day on April 18, and to host weekly performances.
Sound Fix Lounge, on North 11th Street, just west of Bedford Avenue, had its license expire at the end of February following noise complaints under the former owner.
But Bradley hasn't given up on shows entirely, though he admitted that coaxing patrons to live music would be difficult without alcohol.
"The two seem to go hand-in-hand," he said.
Marissa Nadler also played in a church on Friday.
Video from Marissa's show at Sound Fix, below...
EthereaEtherea as we know it is now closed. Etherea employee Brion still plans on reopening the store (with a new name), but at the moment he and his partner in the new venture are stuck in negotiations with the landlord. Etherea posted this official statement on February 27th:
iswas an independent retail record store operating since 1995. We are located at 66 Avenue A, between 4th and 5th Streets.
Many of you have been bewildered by the blogging that has been going on about the closing of Etherea (specifically the Brooklyn Vegan post about Etherea being "saved"). Well, here's the real story. My lease here on Avenue A is ending and I intend to move on from 13.5 years of the music retail biz to pursue a new career. That is still happening, and Etherea is now officially closed, but one of my employees, namely DJ Brion, decided he wanted to buy out my store when I told him I was closing and start his own record shop in same location with a new partner. They have been hard at work trying to hammer out a new lease with the landlord. They plan to re-brand the store, and will have a different slant on music tailored to their tastes and aesthetics. I have been supportive of their efforts, and I hope to report good news very soon...I spoke to Brion today, and his version of the story is very similar. Though the new record store is no longer as definitive as he made it seem before, he is still very optimistic. Former owner Rich Kim is all for Brion's new venture, and, as stated above, it is now up to the landlord. If they can get a new lease, they will open the new store immediately. Brion said he will "carry on the tradition of ETHEREA", while moving forward "with a personal new idea, featuring tons of in stores and personalized service." He also said, "This is going to happen with the continued positive assistance of multiple parties. The new store will be a split partnership between myself and Jose Luis Pardo of Los Amigos Invisibles."
I sincerely hope that works out for them.
In related news, the Virgin Megastore in Union Square will be gone in May.
And Los Amigos Invisibles are playing Bowery Ballroom on March 6th. Tickets are still on sale. One of their videos below...
Circuit City / Virgin (pic via Racked)
"And then there were three.Circuit City, right next door, is going out of business too.
The Virgin Megastore music chain will close its Union Square location in New York City at the end of May and its Market Street store in San Francisco at the end of April, sources say. The company previously announced that its Times Square store would close in April.
In August 2007, the Virgin Entertainment Group North America was acquired by two real estate companies -- the Related Cos. and Vornado. Since then, the chain has been reduced from 11 units -- with the industry awaiting word of the fate of the three remaining stores in Denver, Los Angeles, and Orlando"
[MSNBC/Billboard/Reuters] (thx rob & liz)
Like many NYC record stores before it, Etherea was unfortunately set to close for good at the end of February. According to their website, they still are. In a February 19th message entitled "LAST CHANCE!!", they write:
This will be the final weekend of Etherea, so please stop in, say hello and take advantage of our closing sale. Everything will be on sale at 30% off. This includes new releases, new and used cds and vinyl, accessories, and magazines. There is a fixture list for those interested in purchasing cabinets, listening stations, lighting and more. During the last week of February, we will be closed to pack and clear out the space, so now is the time to do your last-minute shopping!Well, according to an email I received on Saturday from Etherea customer Patrick G, he "went there today to say bye (and take advantage of the 30% off). the owner guy (who's name I never knew) said he's 'going to save it' and they're not closing...good news." Definitely good news! And it is further corroborated by a thread on Rhythimism.com where Etherea's (manager?) Brion is participating. Relevant passages confirming the store's March 1st REOPENING, below...
the new Kim's on 1st Ave (via Vanishing New York)
Etherea on Avenue A (via Stupefaction)
"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.I don't think there is official word yet on Virgin Megastore Union Square actually closing, but some say it is inevitable.
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]
In related news, Sound Fix's record store isn't closing, but its attached venue is.
"We knew the iconic Virgin Megastore was on its way out, but now we've got a date for the goodbye party. The store closes this coming April; not long after, a Forever 21 will open in its space. Some fun facts: Virgin has the highest volume of music sales in the US, and that location was "profitable to the tune of $6 million," but it was only paying $54/square foot in rent (as opposed to the $700/square foot that's market rate for the neighborhood.) Worrying about the Union Square outpost, Idolator speculates about how long we have "before Other Music becomes the retail powerhouse of New York City by default."" [Racked]In related news, AC Newman & Nicole Atkins will be performing at the Union Square location on Tuesday, January 20th at 7:00 PM.
And in other related news, Record Store Day returns this year. The date is April 18, 2009. Stay tuned for a list of festivities that will happen in non-megastore type record stores across the country that haven't gone out of business by then. Last year there were sales and in-store shows and and limited editions and free schwag and other fun stuff like that.
Some 3,100 record stores around the country have closed since 2003, according to the Almighty Institute of Music Retail, a market research firm. And that's not just the big boxes like the 89 Tower Records outlets that closed at the end of 2006; nearly half were independent shops. In Manhattan and Brooklyn at least 80 stores have shut down in the last five years.The NY Times also made a record store map which you can also look at below....
But the survivors aren't giving up just yet. Saturday is Record Store Day, presented by a consortium of independent stores and trade groups, with hundreds of retailers in the United States and some overseas cranking up the volume a bit to draw back customers and to celebrate the culture of buying, selling and debating CDs and vinyl. [NY Times]
The past few years have been bittersweet for music retail in Los Angeles. The opening of Amoeba Records in 2001 gave the city one of the stronger music outlets in America, but was followed soon by the closings of Aron's Records and Rhino Records.
Yet indie music fans not wanting to brave the Hollywood traffic to hit Amoeba had an outpost outside downtown in Sea Level Records, run by Silversun Pickups merch man Todd Clifford. The store arrived as the city's Echo Park neighborhood was undergoing a revitalization, and stocked a heavily curated catalog (top sellers this month include Silversun Pickups, adventurous guitar rock act Electrelane and avant-folk duo CocoRosie). Yet come the end of this month, the 32-year-old Clifford will close up shop for good. [CNN]