It's been a year since beloved downtown record store Other Music unplugged the stereo and closed its doors for good after 20 years. (You can see photos from the store's final day in business above.) Now, a new documentary on the history and legacy of the store has launched a Kickstarter—you can see the trailer for the doc below.
The filmmakers write: "It was a place where bands were formed, record labels were born and careers were launched. And it was THE place where a generation of New Yorkers at the dawn of the Internet age went to discover groundbreaking music by artists who would go on to become household names and underground icons: Animal Collective, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Vampire Weekend, the Strokes, Interpol, TV On The Radio, Anohni (formerly Antony And The Johnsons), William Basinski, and countless others. This documentary will chronicle the 20 year history and legacy of Other Music, and explore how the spirit of independent record stores can be preserved as physical retail spaces for music continue to disappear."
They started making the documentary within days of the announcement of the store closing; they shot interviews with current and past staff members, as well as beloved long-time and notable customers (including Animal Collective, Vampire Weekend, Interpol, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Jason Schwartzman and Benicio Del Toro); they filmed the final sold-out show at the Bowery Ballroom (with performances from Yo La Tengo with Yoko Ono, Sharon Van Etten, Bill Callahan and more); and they have access to footage of in-store performances from hundreds of artists including Neutral Milk Hotel, the Breeders, DJ Shadow, Teenage Fanclub, Blonde Redhead, Broken Social Scene, the National, Mouse On Mars and Elliott Smith.
If you contribute to the Kickstarter, there are also some pretty cool rewards from the store's archives, including signed posters and records from the likes of Animal Collective, the Dirty Projectors and Vampire Weekend; t-shirts, tote bags and handwritten divider cards; and a painting by Hamish Kilgour of the legendary The Clean. Unfortunately, arguably our favorite completely random reward—a receipt from Elvis Costello's trip to Other Music in 2011—has already been claimed.
The store, which first opened on E. 4th Street in 1995 (back when it was across the street from Tower Records), had long been one of our favorite record stores in the city, with an emphasis on new, underground and experimental music. Owner Josh Madell told us last year that the circumstances around the shuttering was similar to that of many other music stores (both record shops and instrument emporiums). He blamed a combination of the changing music landscape and rising rents in the neighborhood for the shuttering: "We were squeezed on both sides," he said. "The music industry, selling new physical music —CDs made up a lot of our business in the past, now vinyl does more—that all has been plummeting."