New York’s record store landscape is ever in flux, with the most recent example being the closing of Good Records in the East Village and the opening of a San Francisco import, Stranded Records, in its place. The latest development in Brooklyn: A new endeavor from the owners of Greenpoint record shop Co-Op 87 and neighboring indie label Mexican Summer.
Brooklyn Record Exchange, as the shop is called, will open Saturday in the East Williamsburg complex that also houses Elsewhere and Mission Chinese. Later this spring, a sister location will open at 87 Guernsey Street, the narrow space where Co-Op 87 recently closed for a revamp.
Ben Steidel, a founder of Co-Op 87, described the new East Williamsburg shop as “just a larger version of what we were aiming to do at Co-Op, with room to do all the things we wanted to do there.”
The store will carry new vinyl from Mexican Summer (home of Ariel Pink, Jessica Pratt, Cate Le Bon, and others) and other select labels, but will mostly consist of a wide variety of used records. “We’ve got a lot of bases covered, genre-wise,” said Steidel, mentioning rock, jazz, and DJ-friendly house and disco in particular. Expect everything from dollar-bin filler to high-end collectors items.
In addition to the wax, there’ll be a small selection of used books as well as releases from Mexican Summer’s Anthology Editions, which published obsessive record collector Paul Major’s book, Feel the Music. And there’ll be a curated selection of DVDs and VHS tapes as well. (Yes, we said VHS tapes).
It might be surprising to see a record store opening when so many have closed in recent years (hence the soon-to-premiere Other Music documentary). But Steidel assures us that used-record stores that aim for an “all things for all people type vibe,” a la Co-Op 87, have been “quietly thriving,” as opposed to stores that specialize in one genre or rely on selling new vinyl. In fact, Co-Op 87 often had to turn away sellers for lack of space, and has been keeping records in storage ahead of the new shop’s opening.
“There are still a lot of people who enjoy buying physical media,” Steidel says.
For those die-hards, Brooklyn Record Exchange will be open at 599 Johnson Avenue, Sunday through Thursday from noon to 8pm and Friday and Saturday until 9pm.