Archive for Vinyl

Permanent Records

Posted in music, record stores, Tom with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 18, 2008 by criticalreviews
181 Franklin St
(between Green St & Huron St)
Brooklyn, NY 11222
(718) 383-4083

Permanent Records is located in Greenpoint just a couple blocks north of Greenpoint Ave on Franklin Street (a very short walk from the Greenpoint Ave G Station, or a 20-25 minute walk from the Bedford L). In 2007 Permanent relocated from it’s original location on Long Island to Greenpoint. While this is a tragic loss for it’s former location, it was a great addition to Franklin Street.

While some of the record stores in the Bedford area have an air of pretension Permanent Records is friendly and welcoming! Marjorie, the owner of the shop, is typically behind the counter and is extremely friendly. I have been in several times, and have only had enjoyable experiences.

Permanent has more vinyl than CDs, and of course this is a plus for me. The store set up is records down the right side, and CDs down the left. There are a couple stand alone racks in the center of the floor: one for newly arrived used LPs, another for 7″s, and a third for DJ esque type LPs). They have a variety of record players in the windows, and lots of sun light. The store is not huge, but feels spacious, and comfortable.

Selection wise I always find more records than I need to be buying in my hands. I’m not quite sure how it is labeled, but they have one large section of LPs (that lives in the back right side corner of the store) that is comprised of a very eclectic selection of rock, noise, folk, electronic, and country of the modern varieties. Then they have some smaller section of things like reggae, soul, jazz, ect. The selection is really wonderful. They have your typical record bins, (by alphabet), and then they reserve space on the walls to display albums too (as pictured). They have pretty much something for everybody, and I find that you might end up with something you didn’t quite expect to find.

On my most recent visit I purchased Boris’ new effort Smile, the repress of Thurston Moore’s of Psychic Hearts, a used copy of the Grateful Dead’s Blues of Allah, as well as the reason for my visit… my special order of Eat Skull’s new album Sick to Death.

I have to thank Marjorie and Permanent Records for allowing people to do special orders. I had been looking all over to find that Eat Skull record, and had asked several places about ordering it for me…but no one would do it. I just kept hearing “Check back next week.” Marjorie ordered the record for me, and kept in touch with me until it came in stock. The LP I wanted was on back order, but the store followed up with me three times. Once to let me know that it didn’t come in, a second time letting me know the day it would be there, and finally a call to let me know that my record arrived. This is wonderful customer service, and they didn’t even make me put down a deposit (which I happily would have done).

They are also open until 9pm! Which means I still have time to make it to the store before they close after I’m done having happy hour (it is one of my favorite activities to record shop after a beer or two)! Permanent Records does instore performances too. To find out what is about upcoming events stop into the store, or email: and ask to be added to the mailing list.

It may be that Greenpoint just has wonderful specialty shops…besides my consistently good experiences at Permanent, I was also recently surprised by the kindness of the young lady that was working at Dalaga (we didn’t catch her name, but she mentioned she was a new employee). KLK and I were in the store on Sunday, and she was just so genuinely nice that she really made us want to frequent their shop.

While I had never visited a lot of these shops before moving to Greenpoint, overall I am just pleasantly surprised with the shops in my new neighborhood. I am happy to live here and be supporting them. Permanent Records (and Dalaga) are both doing good things. They both have made some return customers out of us. I love the Franklin Street shopping district, and I can’t wait to explore it more.

If you are a record collector, or just in the mood for some new tunes stop by Permanent. If you can decide on something I’m sure that they are full of recommendations. One last thing I forgot….Permanent is typically a couple bucks cheaper on new LPs than Earwax and Soundfix!


Greenpoint Store by JT (via Picasa)

Inside Greenpoint Store by Michael Kirby (via Time Out NY)

Old Store on Long Island by Seamus McGuire (via flickr)

More music news in Greenpoint this week…if you are a fan of punk rock or folk music… Defiance, Ohio is playing Club Europa this Thursday August 21st. If you don’t have anything going on, or are looking for something to do, I highly recommend going (I plan on being there)…it is not so often that you get to see a mostly acoustic punk band play. Good times.


Brooklyn Record Riot. Sunday June 29th at the Warsaw.

Posted in music, record stores, Tom with tags , , , , , on June 30, 2008 by criticalreviews

The Brooklyn Record Riot was held at the Warsaw (261 Driggs Ave., Greenpoint, Brooklyn) this past Sunday. While I am a pretty big record dork this event fell pretty short of my expectations…and honestly my expectations were pretty low. While the short list of dealers that I read on Brooklyn Vegan looked pretty promising:

Denis from Le Pickup of Montreal
Josh Rock from Montreal
Bobby Soul from NYC
John from 21st Century Music
Billy and Miriam from Norton Records
Chris from Relative Action
Neil Drucker from Record Cellar of Philly
Marjorie from Permanent Records of Greenpoint
Malcolm from Trash American Style
Mike from Slipped Disc
John from Rockit Scientist NYC
Larry from ShoutShimmy Of Jersey City
Reggae Tim from Baltimore

Overall it just turned out to be overwhelming due to people and amount of merchandise, and underwhelming in terms of selection and/or price.

My first complaint off the bat is that it was a record riot, and not a CD or DVD riot. While I agree that these items do fit into the category of things a record buyer might purchase, I feel that too much space was given to them. While there were some really wonderful tables, KLK got some of the more obscure Pink Floyd LPs and Leah had some good cheap finds and a very special Nick Cave LP, I came up empty handed.

I felt like there was a lot of good stuff at the record fair, but that overall prices were high (on used LPs specifically). Personally I am always looking for Brian Eno and Frank Zappa but what I found, even records that I already own, were exponentially higher than what I paid for them or had seen them being sold for in Williamsburg or the East Village.

I almost felt like prices were jacked up due to it being a record fair. Possibly people thinking “Oh there will be record Geeks and DJ’s here.” This wasn’t all of the tables, but I did get this vibe from tables that didn’t have prices on anything (or that used a hand written pricing code: example A= $10 D=$40). I guess what I am getting at is that there was a serious lack of good things in the $10-$20 range, and even $20-$30. There were tons of cheap $1-$5, and plenty of collector-y $30-$200 things…but the median range was really weak.

While I will admit that every LP I looked at did appear to be in almost perfect condition, I don’t consider this too much of a luxury. I find that most used records, in stores, priced over $10 tend to be in excellent or at least very good condition.

Some tables were really organized…whether it was by alphabet, genre, or era, but others were just by price. And while this could be good for someone looking deal, it really is too much of a time investment with not enough results.

One of the highlights was the table of Permanent Records (of Greenpoint), which I didn’t shop at because I would rather support them in their very relaxed store. While their table consisted of mostly new records it was a nice change. They were organized, and friendly. Their store deserves a proper review of it’s own (and that should come sometime in the near future after a couple more visits).

I actually think it could have been better if there were more vendors selling new vinyl (like Permanent)…maybe by recruiting the likes of the recently closed Jammyland (because honestly from what I saw the reggae was particularly weak) or Hospital Productions, or other specialty shops.

Four things I would like to see that would have made the experience more enjoyable:

1. Organization (I don’t care how you do it…era, genre, alphabet…just not by price…unless it is a $1 bin).
2. Prices (post your prices on the records, or at the very least have a code that the customer can decode without asking you).
3. More specialty vendors.
4. Those portable record players are obnoxious…vendors should have them set up (if they want to), and customers should not be allowed to bring them.

Not being impressed might have been due to the fact that I didn’t get there til 2pm, but all of the bins looked full, and if it was in fact picked over I can’t imagine what it was like at 6 or 7pm. I can say the Brooklyn Record Riot was worth the $3 admission, and I’m not writing off record fairs completely (I’m looking forward to the next WFMU fair.)


Black Moth Super Rainbow- “Dandelion Gum” 2xLP (Graveface Records, 2008)

Posted in music, records, Tom with tags , , on April 30, 2008 by criticalreviews

My first experience with Black Moth Super Rainbow was last summer, they played one of the first free shows that I got to go to after quiting my job at Whole Foods(I used to work all weekend). BMSR was opening for Fujiya & Miyagi at South Street Sea Port, and I honestly wasn’t all that familiar with either of them. BMSR played a really amazing set, and although I was too far away to really see them it was just nice to zone out and hear their wonderful music on a beautiful day. It took me until this past February to track down something of theirs on LP, and boy was it worth the wait!

Dandelion Gum was officially released in 2007 on CD, but the LP didn’t come out til the beginning of 2008 (both versions are on Graveface Records). I really didn’t know it was coming out, but it was magically on the shelve of Sound Fix! After I left the record store I noticed that my tote smelled sweet, and I was wondering what was in there. After further examination I found out that the cover of Dandelion Gum was not only beautiful, but also SCRATCH AND SNIFF…bubble gum scented (which is located as you can probably guess on the pink bubble)!

I have been buying records for a longtime, and this is the first time I have encounted Smell-o-Vision on an LP. I have seen skulls, buzz saws, hearts, just about every shape inmaginable, 5″s, but I have never had another one that smelled good. This was a great start to my first record purchase off of Graveface.

Once I got past the smell of the record, I found that the whole packaging was really nicely done. The LP jacket is full color and gatefold. The LPs themselves are pressed wonderful pink and gold splattered heavy vinyl (seen above).

BMSR making their own vein of electro-folk-psychedelica that can really can take you off into a dream world, and the art and smell of the record really add to it. All of the vocals are run thru a vocader with the result being constant distortion. Honestly the vocals kinda bothered me at first, but I find the more I listen to it they just blend into the rest of the music adding to the whole feel. Musically BMSR draws from late 90’s early 2000’s IDM like Boards of Canada and Air as well as psychedelic pop from the early ’70’s. They desribe themselves as:

“Led Zeppelin in search of the perfect riff, folk tales of western pennsylvania, [and] people who broadcast stuff from hidden places”

I could imagine that this record might be an alien transmission that is picked up from deep space satellites…it makes me think of breezy summer days with the windows open, laying on the floor with the sun shining onto my face (or better yet with my headphones on in the park…but that involves the iPod). Some people thought:

It’s almost as if the whole album is about drugs. But by drugs I don’t mean conventional drugs, I mean drugs as in how sugar has an adverse effect on young children and you should never feed them candy or else this album happens inside their minds.

While others were more positive:

Still, despite the occasionally folky melodic sensibility, Black Moth’s aesthetic is always spacey– they’re more likely to be scoring a laser show at a planetarium than busking on a street corner. Wherever these guys are holed up and whether or not they really call the drummer Iffernaut, Dandelion Gum is a nice surprise and a good example of why doing one thing very well is sometimes more than enough.

I have to say that Graveface Records is a label to watch out for. They seem to be doing really interesting limited edition records, and all of them done right. I am 99% sure that this edition of the Dandelion Gum is sold out (only 1000 made, 500 of which were hand numbered…I didn’t get one of the first 500), but there is a second edition coming out on black vinyl and it will still be scratch and sniff. But if you see it on the shelf at your local record store you might get one of the first press!

Black Moth Super Rainbow has a couple shows coming up (two of which are in NYC):

May 21: Cambridge, MA @ the Middle East*
May 22: Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s*
May 23: Manhattan, NY @ Knitting Factory*
May 24: Washington DC @ Rock n’Roll Hotel*
July 27: Brooklyn, NY @ McCarren Pool$ (This show is on a Sunday and most likely will be free)
*=w/ Subtle

media (enjoy):

“Forever Heavy” (from Dandelion Gum):

a really fucking weird video for “Sun Lips” (also from Dandelion Gum) directed by Matt Dilmore