Over the previous yr, as we’ve slogged, cried and persevered our approach by way of the pandemic, I’ve tried to supply up methods to assist native music venues and musicians. This week I’m pulling a barely totally different thread by suggesting some retail remedy within the type of report procuring in and round Portland and thru native shops on-line. Not solely will you assist native companies, you by no means know what you would possibly discover whereas on the market flipping by way of the stacks.
I reached out to a number of retailers in Portland to test in about gross sales through the pandemic and located that vinyl, which began its resurgence just a few years again, is as well-liked as ever. Whether or not you’ve already jumped on the development or are curious about beginning a group, listed below are locations to look and what they’ve to supply.
151 Park St., (207) 773-7672, enterpriserecords.web. Open midday to six p.m. Thursday by way of Saturday, 1-5 p.m. Sunday.
Bob Wirtz opened Enterprise Information in 1987. He advised me that the shutdown has been difficult, however he’s gotten by with some catastrophe aid funds and by promoting some uncommon classical data on-line. Wirtz reopened in June, and he estimated that gross sales have recovered about 50 p.c, however he’s additionally seen that extra individuals are including to their collections. “Lots of people shopping for data as of late appear to be possibly just a little extra purposeful about it, extra targeted, and extra excited, however these are individuals who make the particular journey.” Wirtz mentioned that with out the stay music scene and different pre-pandemic happenings, he’s lacking the impulse consumers who would usually be on the town for concert events and different occasions. Stock-wise, Wirtz says the rock part is by far the most important, however sales-wise, it depends upon the day and who is available in. “Every now and then, any individual would possibly flip the day into an oddball, shopping for an enormous pile of soundtracks or one thing.”
The Service provider Firm
656 Congress St. (207) 772-8525, merchantco.me. Open 11 a.m. to five p.m. day by day.
Todd Russell owns The Service provider Firm together with his spouse, Jessica Russell, and their enterprise accomplice, Package Flynn. The store opened in 2010 and is a haven for an eclectic mixture of handmade and classic gadgets, together with vinyl. Russell advised me that they selected to remain closed, for security causes, till mid-August. Since reopening, his enterprise hasn’t had as many purchasers come by way of the doorways as a result of there are fewer individuals out and about, together with Canadian vacationers who would frequent the place, however individuals are nonetheless shopping for data, he mentioned. “It looks like individuals are listening to vinyl loads through the pandemic, and once they are available in, they’re actually loading up.” The store’s main inventory is rock, jazz and punk with a small quantity of classical. Additionally they carry fairly a bit of kids’s music from the 1950s on, which Russell mentioned is a constant vendor.
650 Congress St., unleashabraxas.com. Open midday to five p.m. Thursday by way of Sunday.
Proper subsequent door to The Service provider Firm, you’ll discover Abraxas, which opened in 2019. Its web site describes the store’s mission as “offering refined collections of subversive supplies to the communities of Portland, Maine.” “The thought behind the store is to have contrasting components of the music, literature, movies, apothecary and different gadgets all intensify one another,” mentioned proprietor Matt D’Martigan. He mentioned that overcoming monetary difficulties through the pandemic continues to be a battle, primarily due to excessive overhead prices and the drop in foot site visitors. Abraxas’ specialty within the data division is in heavy steel and punk. The store additionally carries soundtracks, some pop and native releases, together with a piece curated by the label Psychic Sounds based mostly in Belfast. Abraxas additionally shares most new releases from Out of Season, a Portland-based dungeon synth label. “Different native labels and particular person bands do consign data, cassettes, CDs, shirts and patches with the store as properly,” mentioned D’Martigan.
On-line solely at portlanddistro.com.
Portland Distro, owned by Robin Goodhue and April DeMerchant, operated a retail store within the State Theatre constructing however needed to terminate its lease when issues shut down final March. The house owners moved stock into their Portland house and shortly entered tens of 1000’s of merchandise into their Shopify on-line website. Goodhue mentioned that on-line enterprise has gone up about 500 p.c. Portland Distro makes a speciality of punk, steel and indie rock and works with native artists by providing delivery companies for them. “Every part on-line is totally licensed vinyl, 100 p.c in mint situation and, if potential, on coloured limited-edition vinyl,” mentioned Goodhue.
566 Congress St., (207) 899-1149, on Fb. Open 11 a.m. to six p.m. day by day.
Moody Lords has been a scorching spot for vinyl and classic clothes for a decade. It closed for 3 months, however since reopening in June, proprietor Andrew Chang mentioned enterprise has been good. “I believe that there may very properly be a rise in report procuring on account of individuals quarantining at house, and as listening to data is such a deliberate exercise, it offers individuals one thing to do.” He additionally mentioned, and he’s not fallacious, that taking part in data could be the closest individuals can come to attending a present. Style-wise, Moody Lords is stocked with rock, free jazz and new age and in addition has some releases from native artists, together with Robert Stillman and Huge Blood.
OTHER PLACES TO FIND VINYL
Unusual Maine, 578 Congress St., (207) 771-9997, kraag.org.unusual. Open midday to six p.m. Thursday by way of Saturday.
Unusual Maine is a cool store jam-packed with tons of vinyl in each possible style. Stock is at all times altering, and visiting is at all times an journey. Additionally an awesome store for classic toys, video video games, books, VHS, artwork and extra.
Electrical Buddhas, 49 Oak St., (207) 200-8864, electricbuddhas.com. Open 11 a.m. to six p.m. Wednesday by way of Friday, 10 a.m. to six p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to four p.m. Sunday.
Electrical Buddhas carries all kinds of data together with CDs, cassettes, T-shirts, posters, patches, magnets and classic stereo tools.
Portland Flea-for-All, 538 Congress St., (207) 370-7570, portlandfleaforall.com. Open 11 a.m. to five p.m. Friday and Saturday and by appointment.
Portland Flea-for-All is a paradise for all issues handmade, classic and vintage. The king of vinyl on the market is Matt Sukeforth of 13th Ground Vinyl. Sukeforth additionally sells classic hi-fi tools, and one other vendor named Jim White makes customized report cupboards.
Bull Moose, places statewide, bullmoose.com.
Though the Portland Bull Moose location closed final yr, I’d be remiss to not point out the native report retailer chain as a result of I’ve purchased an incredible quantity of vinyl from their shops since shifting to Maine within the ’90s.
Newbury Comics, Maine Mall, South Portland, newburycomics.com.
I additionally should give large honorable point out to Newbury Comics. I grew up outdoors of Boston, and a few of my early vinyl purchases got here from their unique Newbury Avenue location and the one in Harvard Sq.. Newbury Comics assist solidify my future to develop into a lifelong lover and collector of data.
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