Earwax Records

NY Magazine (Tom) Earwax Records
218 Bedford Ave
Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Earwax is one of the many record stores in Williamsburg, and in my opinion the best (possibly my favorite in NYC). I guess I might be biased because in brings back memories of my old haunt 52.5 Records in Charleston. Earwax is one of the smaller stores in the city, but that doesn’t stop them from having one of, if not the, best selection of new vinyl. I know that when ever I am looking for something specific, no matter the genre (indie, punk, noise, reggae, no wave, you name it), chances are Earwax will have it. The store is set up with the records in a small middle isle to the left once you walk in the door, and with CDs lining the walls. There is always at least a couple gems in the used section (this time those included Brian Eno’s Music for Airports, Echo and the Bunnymen’s Heaven Up Here, Frank Zappa’s Hot Rats), but you are going to pay what they are worth. As far as new vinyl they are on pare price wise with the rest of the city (there are so many stores that the prices seem to regulate themselves, at least from album to album).

There is an man that works in the store sometimes, probably in his 40s, that I can only assume is the owner, and several other employees (from what I’ve seem mostly guys), and the dynamic between the owner and the staff (from what I have witnessed) is wonderful. There is always some obscure music playing setting a nice atmosphere for shopping (I almost like record shopping best when I don’t know what is on the stereo, it lets me focus, and occasionally you will hear something that just grabs you).

I have concocted an imaginary feud in my head between the staff of Earwax and the staff of Soundfix, and it really makes me laugh. Two extremely different environments (ambiance and staff) selling essentially the same products (Earwax just tends to have the better selection), and they are just a couple blocks apart. A Soundfix review is probably in the near future…it’s not a bad store I am just hard struck to find anything I want there after going to Earwax.

I went to the store this past Saturday, and after perusing the 7”s I sifted through the new and used LPs. I ended up picking up Beach House’s Devotion and Soul Jazz Record’s New York Noise Vol. 2 (which was a total steal at $14.99…a good $7 or $8 cheaper than the usual price). There are several things I am torn about, and as always they are reissues…the Kinks and Blue Cheer ultimately got put back on the shelf. On another recent visit (probably two weeks ago) I found the Yellow Swans/Burning Star Core collaboration, which I had been looking for a while, and the Mountain Goats new album Heretic Pride (I can say John Darnielle is one of my favorite singer/songwriters , but am not totally into this one yet).

Thinking back on it, I probably should have snagged the Zappa record, but I usually feel that way about something after I leave the record shop. This is it until my next adventure in record shopping.

Photo Credit: NY Magazine

(Tom)

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