I will confess that I am responsible for the decline of music stores. Splurging on a $20 Pixies CD was something I once considered a failsafe mood booster when I was feeling down and out in College Park. But that practice became damagingly expensive and less practical as time went on and the idea of owning “stuff” seemed quaint and wasteful. That means I lost the joy of going browsing, and music shops suffered and closed, and I can’t say I feel that bad about it. But we lost the joy of going and searching for physical music, which is indeed a real calming boost of brain chemicals. So this is why we buy vinyl now, for the joy of thumbing through and collecting, the idea that maybe listening to a whole album and not just a Spotify Discover playlist has some value, whether it’s artistic value or the zen of just letting it play.
One of your best chances of the year to do some of the record browsing is coming up this weekend: the semi-annual Gold Dig record sale is taking place Saturday in Gowanus, and it’s got more than 10,000 records for just $1 each, including some secretly hidden gems.
The sale has gotten too big for the original Black Gold location on Court Street, so it’ll be held at the Morbid Anatomy Museum (424 Third Ave.) on Saturday starting at 10am.
The sale is cash only and includes promotional records, doubles, overstock, rock, punk, jazz, indie rock, blues, hip hop, electronic, metal, folk, country, latin, soundtracks, funk, soul, and so on, and organizers claim many of them have a resale value higher than $1. Organizers say they’ve gone an extra step this time and randomly hid much rarer records in the stacks. Like some sort of spring egg hunt!
And here’s the weird thing: records are actually doing really, really well, better than the free streams of Spotify, iTunes and YouTube combined. So music didn’t die after all, just Tower Records did, and that’s probably an OK thing to have happened.