Hot on the heels of the revelation that Bleecker Bob's on West 3rd Street is to soon become a Starbuck's (yeah, `cos we NEED another of those, don't we?) came more bad news this morning courtesy of EV Grieve, that being that Rockit Scientist Records on St. Mark's Place has lost its lease. Rockit Scientist was never my favorite shop (I much preferred that location's incarnation as Smash CDs, which later changed its name to NYCD and moved to a couple of perches on the Upper West Side before it, too, surrendered), but I did indeed shop there on occasion.
If memory serves, Rockit Scientist started off over on the other side of town on Carmine Street (another strip where record/disc shops used to be plentiful). I remember browsing through their racks one afternoon in that location and Chris Robinson, the beardy and highly talkative lead singer of the Black Crowes came in and started chatting with the dude behind the counter. I've never counted myself as a fan of the Black Crowes, but just from eavesdropping, I was encouraged to find that Robinson was a voracious fan of all types of music and shared a hunger for new sounds. I walked away with new respect for the guy.
Back on St. Mark's, with Rockit Scientist leaving, EV Grieve points out that St. Marks Sounds remains the last surviving disc shop on the strip (now that age-old spots like Venus Records and Mondo Kim's are long gone). There's still a Kim's outlet not too far away on 1st Avenue and, as Grieve cites, Norman's Sound + Vision just around the corner, but who knows how those respective ventures are still holding on. Now that I think of it, the only real remaining disc shops left in downtown Manhattan that come to mind -- apart from Norman's, Sounds, Kim's and the soon-to-be-shuttered Bleecker Bob's and Rockit Scientist -- are Other Music, Rebel Rebel, Bleecker Street Records (which used to be Golden Disc), Academy on 18th, Generation Records, Record Runner (which never seems open), House of Oldies on Carmine and (frankly shitty) Second Hand Rose on 12th street. Surely, I'm forgetting one or two, right? Help me fill in the blanks.
Regardless, time was when there were more than could be counted.