Well, here we are. Another week stuck inside our homes with the coronavirus blues again. As is the case with so many of small local businesses that we’ve come to take for granted, the Hudson Valley's record stores—our beloved sonic temples of vinyl respite—are, for the time being, shuttered with their owners and staff looking for creative methods to maintain operations as they ride out the storm with the rest of us.
To help keep up the visibility of these irreplaceable institutions, all of which have kept the habits of us music junkies so well fed over the years, I reached out to a few of them to find out which “cabin fever” albums they're shacking up with during the quarantine quandary. Read their responses below. And hey: Support your local record store!
Peter Lang’s The Thing at the Nursery Room Window
Recommended by Jim Eigo, Original Vinyl Records
Jim Eigo, jazz publicist extraordinaire and the owner of Original Vinyl Records in Warwick, is keeping cozy with Peter Lang’s instrumental album The Thing at the Nursery Room Window. “Lang is a virtuoso American raga/finger-picking-styled guitarist, perfect for quiet, meditative listening,” says Eigo about the acoustic player’s 1973 album for the similarly inclined guitarist John Fahey’s Takoma label. While Original Vinyl’s physical store is closed during the pandemic, the shop sells its inventory on Discogs, eBay, and on their own website.
Vashti Bunyan’s Just Another Diamond Day
Recommended by Spike's Record Rack
Harold Budd and Brian Eno’s The Pearl
Recommended by Rick Lange, Rhino Records
Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks
Recommended by John Lefsky, Jack’s Rhythms
John Lefsky of Jack’s Rhythms in New Paltz checks in with an undisputed classic, Van Morrison’s deeply comforting 1968 gem Astral Weeks. “The first album that ever made me feel stoned without drugs,” recounts Lefsky, who’s also been listening a lot to revelatory radio station WFMU. “I know it’s a cliched pick, but so be it. That is my feel-good LP. My feel-bad one is Diamond Dogs, David Bowie’s most dystopian album. That’s the one I’m more likely to play in the coming weeks and months.” Customers in search of titles can email Jack’s Rhythms at firstname.lastname@example.org or get in touch by way of the outlet’s Facebook page.
Idles’ Joy as An Act of Resistance
Justin Johnson, Darkside Records & Gallery
“My album pick is going to be Joy as An Act of Resistance by Idles,” says Justin Johnson of Poughkeepsie’s Darkside Records and Gallery. “I can’t get enough of this record lately. It’s vulnerable, passionately angry, and fun all at the same time, with just enough little zingers peppered in to make you smile. It’s a little microcosm of everything I think we’re all experiencing right now during these strange days.” Darkside is still shipping records "to anyone who needs anything. People can call the shop or hit us up on our website. We even just launched a whole new section on Tuesday that lets you browse all of our used vinyl inventory. We sell gift cards on our website that can be used anytime down the road, with no expiration.”
Frank Kimbrough’s Monk’s Dreams
Recommended by Doug Wygal, Rocket Number Nine Records
“I am taking advantage of this downtime to dig a bit into my record collection, revisiting old favorites like Charles Mingus, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Andrew Hill, Sonny Rollins, Eric Satie, Debussy, Nick Drake, Terry Riley, NRBQ—comfort music!” says Doug Wygal at Rocket Number Nine in Kingston. “I’m also taking the time to delve into pianist Frank Kimbrough’s wonderful Monk's Dreams, a 2018 six-CD set. It’s an incredible achievement; 70 songs recorded in just six days by a stellar quartet featuring Scott Robinson on everything from tenor sax, to trumpet to contra bass sarrusophone!” Although the Kingston shop is closed until further notice, Wygal and crew will still be posting updates and more on Facebook and Instagram sites and will be listing new inventory online in the coming weeks at Discogs as seller RN9. “We look forward to seeing our regular customers and friends again,” he adds.