NYC record stores, still kicking!

The record biz is in tatters, but tiny shops like NYC's Rainbow Music keep on keeping on.

Steve Guttenberg
Ex-movie theater projectionist Steve Guttenberg has also worked as a high-end audio salesman, and as a record producer. Steve currently reviews audio products for CNET and works as a freelance writer for Stereophile.
Steve Guttenberg
Rainbow Music's choicest vinyl and CD offerings. Steve Guttenberg

I don't care how many people get their music online, it'll never replace the joys of perusing CDs and LPs in brick-and-mortar record stores.

My Morning Jacket's Jim James apparently agrees with me. He said recently, "I think the thing that people forget about is the community and the memories that are created when you come to an independent and locally owned record store that you can only get in that town."

That's right. There are other humans there, looking at and buying music. The store, if it's any good, plays great stuff over their speakers. The people who work there love music. Online is a poor substitute.

I stumbled into Rainbow Music (212-505-1774), on 130 First Avenue in New York's East Village last week. It's tiny, but absolutely jam-packed with CDs and LPs. There's rock, blues, jazz, reggae, and not just piles of the usual cast-offs. Prices are good. Your host, The Birdman, is there to answer your questions, and he's a blast.

If you're in the 'hood, check it out.

And tell us about your favorite local indie shops. Spread the word.

Related stories:

Are record shops worth saving? (Part 1)

Are record shops worth saving? (Part 2)

Are record shops worth saving? (Part 3)