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Noteworthy Photography

  • Burning Flags Press
    The website of Glen E. Friedman. Renowned for both his work with musicians like Fugazi, Minor Threat, Public Enemy, the Beastie Boys, Slayer (and many, many more) as well as his groundbreaking documentation of the burgeoning skateboard phenomenon in the late `70's, Glen has been privvy to (and has summarily captured on film) some of the coolest stuff ever. He's also an incredibly insightful and nice guy to boot.
  • SoHo Blues - Photography by Allan Tannenbaum
    Allan Tannenbaum is a local photographer who has been everywhere and shot everything, from members of Blondie hanging out at the Mudd Club through the collapsing towers of the World Trade Center on September 11th. You could spend hours on this site, and I have.
  • Robert Otter Photographs
    Amazing vintage photographs of New York City, specifically my own neighborhood, Greenwich Village.
  • oboylephoto
    Just some intensely cool photographs of abandoned places.
  • Rikki Ercoli's Legends of Punk
    Much like Glen E. Friedman (see above), Rikki Ercoli has managed to catch some amazing bands in their manic element.
  • Lost & Found Film
    A fascinating website devoted to undeveloped film found in vintage camers. A curious mixture of interesting and spooky.
  • Pinhole Photography by Veronica Saddler
    NYC landmarks shot through a pinhole lens. Neat-o.
  • Eugene Merinov
    Compelling shots of Punk, Post-Punk and New Wave band performing live in various long-lost venues in a pre-sanitized New York City. Great stuff!
  • Edward Colver

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« If It Has Come To This.... | Main | One Year Old »

March 08, 2007

Comments

Tim

I've never heard anyone argue about the pronunciation of the title of the 2nd Joy Division album, but I have to say your friend is correct. You must like being contrary?

99 actually closed in the mid 80's. '84 or '85.

This is a very cool posting...a great trip down memory lane. Thank you.

Tim

p.s. Thank you for the mention of the 99 myspace page - thats mine.

Alex in NYC

It's not that I like being contrary, it's that I enjoy being right. And until Messrs. Sumner, Hook and Morris tell me differently, I'm sticking with my pronunciation (and I'm not alone).

And I didn't realize that 99 closed that much earlier. It couldn't have been earlier than `85, tho'. I don't think, at least.

And cheers for the kind words.

Tim

If I remember correctly, 99 the label was done by sometime in '84. The record store may have stayed open thru sometime in '85 but definitely no longer. However, the clothing part (99X) stayed open, has been in several locations, and continues to do business on 10th btwn 3rd & 4th where they've been for a while now. Ed Bahlman's old girlfriend, Gina, does not own it anymore though.

I realized there was no mention of Free Being here...

Alex in NYC

Perhaps you should read it again.

Amanda

I used to work for Second Coming Records in Cambridge.. I'm not surprised in the least that they were shuttered. It was an odd store to work in, the owner was-how to say this delicately?- not the most up-and-up guy I'd ever met. A large amount of the non-bootleg stock was reportedly ill-gotten goods... don't know how true that was, but I know that when I moved to Planet Records, I saw how the model could work and not be sleazy.

Matthew Kaplan

The greatest store New York City ever had was of course in Hoboken New Jersey! Pier Platters it was and never a better joint for indie, alternative, punk, ska or reggae. It was a sad day when it closed and the area has never had a store that carried so many 7" singles since.

Mike Fornatale

DISCOPHILE!! South side of 8th street, somewhere between MacDougal and Mercer. Basement entrance. This was, at first, pretty much the only place to get UK punk 45s. Prior to that they had been pretty much the first stop for import UK prog-rock and such.

DAYTON, 12th street and Broadway. They were mainly for jazz aficionados -- but in the early-to-mid 70s they were one of the best sources for rare 60s LPs, and the prices weren't bad. Gone by the late 80s -- in fact the building they were in was later used for the perennial outdoor establishing-shot on the TV show "Mad About You."

PANTASIA. I can't recall exactly where this was, nor can I find anyone that remembers the place. ;) It was on 2nd Ave, a couple of blocks south of Free Being. Very good source for obscure UK punk and new wave in '78 or so.

lisanne

Glad to know others remember, sometimes it feel so much has been erased that those times didn't seem real...i was a regular Venus Records Saturday shopper when they were on 8th Street...I used to live around the corner from Free Being and remember that woman Annette with the black mohawk and her english boyfriend from"Broken Bones"working there...great blog by the way!

Alissa

I remember that the most powerful crushes I had as an adolescent in the '80s, were on the cute, hipster guys that worked in the record stores. Beginning with Hans, the headbanger at Crazy Eddie's, I had many love affairs with record store boys in my head. In NYC, I loved 99, Free Being, Rocks in Your Head; Pier Platters and Crazy Rhythms in NJ, and Mad Platters in Westchester (Later to become Record Stop, then Rockin' Rex). The most fun I ever had at a job was working in a record store. With the internet making the hunt for music treasures such a solitary experience, I guess the music-head kids today must feel kind of isolated a lot of the time. They probably would have enjoyed the pursuit, the culture, and the accompanying interactions with like minded kids in record stores, which often led to the forming of bands, friendships, and even romance. Even though I don't like it when people older than me reflect on their youth as if it were ideal, I don't envy the cool kids these days. My teens, no matter how frustrating and awful they seemed at the time, are looking a lot better these days. At least there were those moments of belonging, discovery and passion... and finding yourself reaching for that same Delta 5 7" as that cutie you've been eyeing...

David

I worked for two year at the Disc-o-Mat in Riveredge NJ, their flagship store. As a teen, collecting Who albums, a friend and I used to venture to the village once a month and visit many of these stores, Bleaker Bob's, St. Marks Sound, etc. seeking out rarities, imports, and bootlegs. It was such an experience. I'll never forget the time we were in one of them (I forget which one) around the time Tower Records was just opening in the market, and we asked the bohemian clerk behind the counter where it was. Her response was priceless: "It's up the block on Broadway, you can't miss it, it's 'so Californian'" My friend and I laughed all the way to the store

Michael

I didn't know Rocks In Your Head had closed. Shit. Second Coming was the first downtown shop I ever bought something at.

I had to pick up some toys yesterday...an errand for my wife. I went into Toys R Us at the Tower Records site. There are dolls in the jazz section.

lawrence

YES, PANTASIA - Originally on broadway, corner of Dykeman street in washington heights, then second avenue like maybe between 5th and 6th streets, then moved to yonkers. Joel ran it...a genius and absolutely the best import shop, especially pre-punk ie. lots of krautrock and pubrock etc...ALSO, earlier on, Discount records on 8th street corner of fifth ave. early 70's....maybe before your time I think closed around 1974.

Duder

Boy, I can't wait for Vintage Vinyl in Fords, NJ to close... what's taking so long?

Michael

Great stuff. I came across this site while searching for info on Pantasia. I lived in the Bronx and Pantasia wasn't too far from the 204th Street Bridge. Which brings me to the point. I seem to be a bit older than you and most of your commenters (born in 1952), but while definitely a child of the 60's I still love punk and new wave and frequented so many of the places you list. I have all the Killing Joke singles and that only scratches the surface. Yeah I had a vinyl habit, a plastic junkie faithful to my drug. Record stores, (which back then were starting to emerge from the old music stores that sold instruments and sheet music et al), record stores were so new back in the 60's it was like being a kid in a candy store. So it was eye opening when, circa 1974, I came across this record store, Pantasia, in the upper reaches of Manhattan. I still have their clear plastic business card to this day. Card graphics run the gamut today, but I had never seen such a card like it back then. It added to the perplexing motif of the place. It was a small store with a limited selection, but there, in my tentative browsing, is where I stumbled across Fripp and Eno's No Pussyfooting and King Crimson's import of Earthbound. Whoa! What's this!? Fripp? Eno? A King Crimson import! Hmmmmm... I think I paid something like $9.98 for it, which was a hefty price in those days when a domestic LP was still under four dollars. But hey, it was Fripp and the cover was so cool and it was as if it was my little mysterious secret. It turned out to be one of my cherished albums. Later I got a job teaching at the Manhattan Occupational Training Center, a city school on Houston off Varick, for learning disabled kids and it was during those years (1974-79) that I frequented many of the stores talked about here. In fact a very good friend of mine lived at 240 Sullivan Street, directly across the street from Second Coming and above the Italian-American club. I was there a lot, Second Coming not the Italian-American club. I still have a black 45 sized bag from the place. Yeah that's how nuts I am. I still have bags from these places. I remember their singles were in some sort of theft protective fiberglass box you had to flip through. I could go on and on about this. In any case great memories. Thanks so much...

Mitchell

One of my rarest records came to me in the mail from Pantasia. It is Silver Faces by Doggerel Bank. Pantasia was at 200th and Broadway.

GG Allin

You'll be happy to know that the Joy Division documentary released a few years ago (and available in full on PooTube) refers to Closer many, many times. However, NOT the way you think it should be pronounced! The boys in New Order are pretty clear about it.

Alex in NYC

That's nice, but what matters is how Ian pronounced it.

paul a

lookin for info (& photos) about the lifespan of Joey Psychotic Decurzio's record shop on avenue A. I recently discovered a short 2008 film "gravity". The screenplay was based on a day in the shop:

the tagline reads:

"Lower East Side record store owner Joey Psychotic has a bad day when his debts catch up to him."

would love to get some dialogue goin' about this fading memory. i think he closed down sometime around '94-95?

Eric Hansen

Thanks for the reminiscing. Reading the piece five years after it was written, I wonder if you considered including Kims. . .or was that too video-oriented?

I have lived in northern Manhattan since I moved to NYC in the 70s, so must admit I was not a regular customer of the record shops you listed (ignoring Bleeker Bobs, which is arguably still in business). Then again, I came downtown enough to at least know about them. I think 99 Records impressed me the most - in part because they were promoting their own label. For inexplicable reasons I was also fascinated with their imported shoe inventory - not that I've ever bought a pair of Doc Martens.

Glad to hear from others about Pantasia Records in Inwood. It was a real hole in the wall, as I recall, and I still wonder how it stayed in business for any length of time. Well, fortunately, it was in business when I went there to buy my first imported "punk" albums: The Clash and Never Mind the Bullocks, Meet the Sex Pistols. If the store hadn't been mentioned in the Village Voice, I'm not sure I would have ever heard of the place.

I've found one other record store in Washington Heights/Inwood the past 35 years, and it's only worth mentioning because it existed for any length of time in the area. Well, that and the fact it was located underground in an entrance to the A train stop on 181st St. Can't even recall the name of the place, but I think I only bought one album there - if that. The surprising thing was that by shifting to VHS rentals they kept the business afloat for a few more years (though they relocated to an above-ground store front across the street).

lee

i use to like golden disc bleecker near 6th?

JoE

Mid-eighties there was a great record shop up on the east side...wanna say 81st ans 2nd ave. killing me that I can't remember the name.

Rosemberg NW

I own thousands of records from the 70's and more than half free being record store on 2nd ave . I loved it

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