Times are tough, and even tougher for the music business, but that didn't stop Jeff Ogiba and Sommer Foster-Santoro from opening a new record store, Black Gold.
It's in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, and I dropped by on Thursday to see how they were doing. Black Gold also sells freshly brewed coffee from Rook Coffee Roasters and baked goods from Scratchbread, so the shop has great ambiance. The vinyl selection covers rock, punk, hard-core, blues, jazz, hip-hop, and everything in between. Prices seem very fair, and I spotted one of my favorite Rolling Stones LPs, "Love You Live," a two-disc set, going for $5. Black Gold also sells new LPs and a choice selection of 45 singles.
The shop is just a month old, but it's already sold nearly every record it started with. That sort of fast turnover is good, so the locals drop by regularly to check out recently arrived titles. Customers run the gamut from teenagers experimenting with vinyl for the first time, to baby-boomers who never gave up on LPs. CDs aren't in the mix for Black Gold; Jeff and Sommer think CDs are already well covered, so there's no need to stock them. Besides, the vinyl aesthetic suits them better, and I think they're on the right track. Vinyl is what's happening now.
In the rear there's a turntable that's always spinning groovy sides, and customers can sample prospective buys there. Black Gold feels like an old-school neighborhood record store, but more inviting, so if you live in the city, and have a turntable, stop by.
Feel free to spread the word about your local record shop in the comments section.