In a world full of technology, where everything is a few clicks away, here on Long Island, the age-old tradition of shopping in record stores is flourishing thanks to the vinyl revival. Sure, there is easy access to music via iTunes, YouTube, Pandora and Spotify, but they do not provide the physical connection. Here are five local shop windows throughout Nassau and Suffolk that keep the flame lit.
LOONEY TUNES RECORD STORE
The Groeger family opened Looney Tunes in West Babylon back in 1971. Karl Sr. has since passed on the business to his sons Karl Jr. and Jamie. Today, the Groeger brothers have balanced the store’s inventory with new and used vinyl and CDs plus turntables. Karl Jr. seems, however, vinyl is making a comeback because the listening process is more fun.
“Listening to music as a stream uses only one of your senses – hearing,” he says. “With vinyl, you use three of your senses – hearing to listen to the music, sight to see the liner notes and touch to feel the cover in your hands. This will give you a different emotional experience. Listening to an album from the beginning to the end is like reading a story. “
INFO 31 Brookvale Ave., West Babylon, 631-587-7722, looneytuneslongisland.com
At Infinity Records in Massapequa Park, the focus is primarily on vinyl both new and used.
“Usually, the old vinyl sounds better because some of the new vinyl presses on the vintage artists are just a transfer of digital copies that are not analog,” says owner Joe Ostermeier. “It’s all in relation to the transfer process.”
However, the store also sells CDs, cassettes, 8 tracks, music memorabilia, used guitars and vintage stereo equipment.
Ostermeier says, “If it’s about music over the last 60 years, we’ll usually have it if we’re able to acquire it.”
INFO 510 Park Blvd., Massapequa Park, 516-221-0634, infinityrecordsusa.com
HIGH FIDELITY RECORDS & CDS
High Fidelity in Amityville, named after the book of Nick Hornby / 2000 John Cusack films, zones into used vinyl and CDs. Owner Marc Sendik feels that music fans still like to buy music physically.
“People want to say they own an album, not just listen to it,” he says. “They like to have a tangible piece of music that they can watch to see who produced and constructed the album, who wrote the songs and read the lyrics. You can’t do that on Spotify.”
Currently, the store’s vinyl sales are increasing.
“Right now, vinyl is getting stronger,” Sendik says. “I do not see it going anywhere in the near future.”
INFO 141 Merrick Road, Amityville, 631-264-0524, highfidelitycds.com
Record Stop in Patchogue has been serving Long Islanders since 1974. Although the store sells both vinyl and CDs, vinyl has never been hotter.
“The last four years, vinyl has exploded,” says owner Jeff Berg. “The sound is imperfectly perfect. It’s much warmer and fuller.”
In fact, these days, Berg is seeing his customers get younger.
“Lots of teens come in with their parents,” he says. “I think they want something to collect. Vinyl records can be brought home and shared with their friends.”
INFO 30 Railroad Ave., Patchogue, 631-585-3294, recordstopny.com
SIR. CHEAP CD & RECORD REPLACEMENT
With two locations in Mineola and Commack, Mr. Cheapo its business life for the re-flare of vinyl.
“If it were not for vinyl, we would be long gone,” says co-owner Stu Goldberg. “I thought we were closing up 15 years ago when vinyl disappeared. I’m in shock that we’re still here.”
Mr. Cheapo is known for its deep stock catalog of used vinyl and CDs, which customers browse for hours.
“Some shop to collect, while others try to fill in topics they can’t find on streaming services,” Goldberg says. “We have everything from classic rock to classical and everything in between.”
INFO 46 Jericho Turnpike, Commack: 631-543-8686, 134 Jericho Turnpike in Mineola: 516-742-7670; mrcheapocds.com
RECORD SHOW IN WESTBURY
Back in the ’80s and’ 90s, Slipped Disc Records in Valley Stream was one of Long Island’s most popular record stores. Although the store closed in 2008, owner Mike Schutzman has started his own travel record show called Vinyl Revolution, which comes to Cluett Hall at 295 Stewart Avenue in Garden City on October 17 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“We offer a wide range of things,” says Schutzman. “You can pick up cheap $ 3 records for records that can be picked up at $ 300.”
There will be 55 dealer tables with huge amounts of vinyl ranging from rock to reggae to punk to blues to jazz to metal. A selection of CDs and music memorabilia fill the show. Admission is $ 5, and although no proof of vaccination is required, it is required to wear a mask. – DAVID J. SCREEN
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