By now you’re probably past the denial stage of grief and it has started to sink in that Other Music is closing at the end of June. New Yorkers began posting teary-eyed tributes to the beloved East Village record shop as soon as it announced yesterday that it was shuttering after two decades in business.
“Losing Other Music is just as heartbreaking as losing Lemmy, Bowie and Prince,” wrote Flaming Pablum blogger Alex Smith. In a deeply personal eulogy on Noisey, Zach Schonfeld, like many others, remembered the albums he scored there in his youth. Jim Siegel (aka Ning Nong), a clerk, revealed that Benicio Del Toro is one of the many customers who regularly puts his trust in Chris Vanderloo, who co-founded the store in 1995 and “can recall details about almost any record released from the mid-80s until now, but is so humble that you wouldn’t know any of this unless you asked.”
Mike Sniper, founder of Greenpoint-based Captured Tracks, spoke to the importance of Other Music for indie labels such as his own: “As Manhattan continues to become more and more the Vacation Island for wealthy Europeans on a cultural tour of a place which is losing it’s cultural value day by day,” he wrote, “Other Music has continued to be a place whose tastes you can trust that has singlehandedly broken a new band more than SXSW ever could or a new reissue revival more than MOJO ever could.”
After the store announced on Facebook that its last day would be June 25, hundreds of comments poured in from all over the world. Market Hotel owner Todd Patrick wrote: “You guys kept New York, particularly Manhattan, connected to its musical artistic history for all these years — you will be missed.”
On Twitter, most remembered Other’s clerks as helpful and friendly — a far cry from those at Kim’s Video, and an even farther cry from this Human Giant skit in which a young Aziz Ansari and Andy Blitz play snobby clerks who don’t hesitate to smack Julie Klausner for not knowing what Pitchfork is.
Here’s how others reacted after the news broke on Twitter.
There were throwbacks to OM’s early days.
— Nils Bernstein (@NilsBernstein) May 9, 2016
someone posted this invite to the launch party for other music’s website in 1998. Autechre played, and Plaid! pic.twitter.com/5s2FNMWfHX
— HannahSilkChampagne (@hsilkchampagne) May 9, 2016
Some remembered in-store performances and drop-ins.
I saw Real Estate play at Other Music. The crowd wanted them to play Out of Tune and they said nah.
— Jeremy Purser (@jeremypurser) May 9, 2016
I first went to Other Music in 98. I bought the Mogwai remix 2CD and my ex took a picture with the big guy from Parker Lewis Can’t Lose.
— Sebastian Stirling (@newartillery) May 10, 2016
I saw Lee Ranaldo teach an experimental guitar workshop at Other Music. It’s a special place, and it’s a bummer to see it go.
— Eric Brown ★ (@ericbrownzzz) May 10, 2016
NYC’s Other Music is closing – article from 2013 on how you could find Rodriguez aka Sugar Man there https://t.co/47vbBCJD7b
— Laurie Gwen Shapiro (@LaurieStories) May 9, 2016
Musicians, bands, and others in the industry thanked the shop for its support and expert curation.
R.I.P. Other Music. one of the all time great NYC record stores. thanks for everything.
— el-p (@therealelp) May 10, 2016
— Walter Martin (@WaltRMartin) May 10, 2016
Big thanks to Other Music for supporting us throughout the years. It will be missed.
— Junior Boys (@Juniorboys) May 10, 2016
— Jon Cohen (@faderfam) May 9, 2016
i'm super bummed to read about other music. https://t.co/YoX1jj844g
— Kill Rock Stars (@killrockstars) May 9, 2016
Rocks in your head and other music were the first two independent record stores I ever visited. RIP.
— Alex Bleeker (@AlexFreaker) May 9, 2016
Sad to see our neighborhood record store go. Other Music has been a long-time supporter and friend to WNYU! https://t.co/TaFiaX6gVX
— WNYU 89.1 FM (@WNYU) May 9, 2016
Fellow record stores and neighboring businesses expressed solidarity.
Say it ain’t so @othermusic ?! Love you guys. Been buying music fr the Other Music family since the late 80s. Cut NY-teeth there in the 90s.
— Record Grouch (@RecordGrouch) May 9, 2016
Rest in Peace Other Music. You are an awesome, trend-setting store and will be missed. https://t.co/u881xUOs1z
— PrincetonRecordExchg (@Prexmusic) May 10, 2016
So sad to hear about Other Music, a true NYC landmark in the music community, found so much great music there! @othermusic
— Academy Records NYC (@AcademyRecords) May 9, 2016
Other Music to close, neighborhood to become Significantly Less Good: https://t.co/hxPKXFEJc4
— McNally Jackson (@mcnallyjackson) May 9, 2016
There were plenty of personal memories.
Besides turning me on to amazing music for 20 years, I met my husband at Other Music. Devastated. Such a huge loss. https://t.co/EkXoiCQKHn
— Angelina Cap0dann0 (@degi14) May 9, 2016
In honor of Other Music, here’s a video I shot there for Jim Jarmusch’s The Limits of Control… https://t.co/6LvzR6rrlc
— The Mutiny Company (@MutinyCo) May 9, 2016
the Other Music shop always felt like a logical extension of my school’s campus. I learned so much there https://t.co/GjPJxDho7N so sad
— jenn pelly (@jennpelly) May 9, 2016
Many pointed fingers at themselves and others for abandoning the store.
Other Music didn’t close because of some inexplicable cosmic forces. We stopped shopping there, just as stopped renting from Blockbuster.
— Alexander Nazaryan (@alexnazaryan) May 9, 2016
i want to lament other music closing, but also i probably haven’t been there in 10 years, so i’m part of the problem https://t.co/Enanzq5c2D
— Ivan Brandon (@IvanBrandon) May 9, 2016
Them: why is other music closing? it’s a great store
Me: when was last time u were there?
Them: last spring
Me: that’s why
— Rich Russo (@DJRichRusso) May 9, 2016
There was snarky speculation about what might take Other’s place on East 4th Street.
— Bear In Heaven (@BearInHeaven) May 9, 2016
I just made this pic.twitter.com/P22fHgWFD4
— Geeta Dayal (@geetadayal) May 9, 2016
There was the usual “NYC is dead” sentiment, from punk chronicler Legs McNeil and others.
GOODBYE NYC… OTHER MUSIC IS CLOSING! https://t.co/CFnrAyHJUt
— Legs McNeil (@Legs__McNeil) May 10, 2016
How can Downtown NYC survive without Other Music? https://t.co/dvAoPeyqMV
— Greg Morabito (@GregMorabito) May 10, 2016
NYC, this might be grounds for divorce. https://t.co/m3mff4LX5y
— Josh Perilo (@joshperilo) May 9, 2016
But wait, there’s hope!
Other Music would thrive in LA.
— Andrew Brown (@Roctakon) May 9, 2016