“Vinyl’s back …it’s great,” said Craig Wright of Inner Sleeve Records on Main Street in Amagansett amid the smell of new paint and the sights of deliveries and curious customers.
While he was speaking of vinyl record sales, which have doubled in the last year, surpassing that of CDs, his vinyl-filled store is also back in the hamlet, and this time it is in a prime, light, airy and highly visible location. He will keep the shop he opened on Long Wharf in Sag Harbor too, and he said he could fill both stores with all of the new vinyl currently released if he chose to.
From re-releases of the old classics to new recordings across all genres, the pressing, price, and packaging is in high demand around the globe. All ages are contributing to the more than half million dollars of vinyl record sales this year, and diverse crowds were represented locally at the shop’s new home during its store’s first days there.
Browsers will not find CDs here, because Wright wants to encourage people to listen to music “the right way.” The best method according to him is to involve the tactile, physical vibration rather than laser beams. To hold an album is a part of the experience, he said, so is placing the needle gently upon it, flipping it, observing the album’s artwork and hearing the music in its entirety as the artist intended. Listeners should learn about the songs and artists through liner notes and read the lyrics, he said, in order to connect with the human spirit of the artist.
Those who yearn for that warmer sound and a few crackles here and there and those who wish to add to their collections…can choose from his extensive selection new, re-issue, indie, jazz, ’60s and ’70s music, he said. Although he does auction some vinyl on eBay in the off-season, he said he displays and offers the “cream of the crop” as well as the commonly sought selections during peak season. Albums start at $9.99, he said, but most are around $19.99. Some are pricier, such as those which include collectible, original posters. He also is open to purchasing record collections, he said.
Holding a Beatles’ White Album just steps away from Stephen Talkhouse, Crossroads Music and Neoteric Gallery, he said the space will soon include a stage upon which musicians from near and far will be invited to play live tunes. The proprieters of all three music-loving businesses have been brainstorming about collaborations that will further transform the hamlet’s progression into a hub for good, authentic and diverse music.
With a selection of turntables on hand that includes a portable version that has been very popular in dorm rooms of local college students, the Springs father of twin 10-year-old boys, a drummer and a flautist, said that with a USB cord and a desire, one can rip vinyl into iTunes, too. Since it is not always practical to have a turntable on hand, he has been known to download a song or two himself, and does not take issue with that advance in music technology.
Another new addition to his business is the offering of Sonos wireless HiFi home theater systems for those who wish to wirelessly stream sound and control the vibe in each room of their home or business via a smartphone, tablet or computer.
He also has a selection of flat screen televisions in stock upon which videos will be shown. On Thursday, a fire was displayed on one such large, mounted screen adding warmth and holiday spirit to the space.
Holiday hours are extended in the bright and refreshed spot formerly occupied by Gone Local, which has transitioned to a space on North Main Street in East Hampton Village. Those wishing for a unique collector’s item or simply a slow, nostalgic trip through music history would do themselves a favor and stop there.
Inner Sleeve Records, 199 Main St, Amagansett. 631-604-6248. innersleeverecords.com