After 21 years of incredible curation and maximization of space, beloved Greenwich Village record store Other Music will be closing its doors this summer. It was the David to Tower Records’ Goliath on West 4th Street, and is still a competing indie presence clashing with the SoulCycle across the street. OM managed to outlast Tower, which closed in 2006, and the Virgin record store in Union Square that closed in 2009, but it will be shuttering its storefront and mail-order service on 6/25.
It seems odd that the store would close now with vinyl flying off the shelves, but the store’s owners see it is a precautionary measure to avoid an unsustainable future. Co-owner Josh Madell tells The New York Times: “We still do a ton of business — probably more than most stores in the country. It’s just the economics of it actually supporting us — we don’t see a future in it. We’re trying to step back before it becomes a nightmare.”
Sales had dropped by 50% since the store’s zenith in 2000, but rent has done the opposite, doubling since it opened in 1995. That coupled with consumers being more likely to order online signaled a foreseeable doom for the beloved indie outlet down the road. It’s getting tougher for record stores to survive in Manhattan, a move to Brooklyn could prolong the inevitable, but despite vinyl’s resurgence, this may be an ominous sign for indie record stores in big cities.
Over the years, Other Music employed members of Animal Collective, Nude Beach, Widowspeak, EZTV, and other musicians. They also regularly hosted memorable in-store concerts and showcases at festivals like SXSW. The store’s Other Music Recording Co. record label — which has released acclaimed music from Mutual Benefit, Shintaro Sakamoto, Anna von Hausswolff, Monika, Boogarins, and others — will carry on.
June 25th will be a sad day.