Yesterday, we outlined some ways to help local venues in need, amidst a total halt in live music while the world grapples with the spread of COVID-19, not only endangering venues whose revenue has been entirely cut off (a particularly devastating blow for smaller, more independent spaces), but also displacing countless staff members.
As cities and states take increasingly more substantial but necessary measures to enact shelter in place policies and to limit all but essential services (and as artists, freelancers, gig economy and service industry workers, and many others feel the burden of recent closures), another facet of the local music community, independent record stores, now closed to the public, have, like many other small businesses, been left without their primary means of revenue, and are seeking ways to help stay afloat.
Though store to store philosophies seem to differ regarding whether any employees should be working right now, even without public contact, most of the area’s record stores are offering at least some way to still shop from home, with options to ship (and in some cases, carefully pick up) orders, or to support them in other ways like gift card purchases. Sure, it might be quicker and perhaps a tad cheaper for vinyl fans to turn to big retailers like Amazon when online shopping in these isolated weeks, but, like all local business, this is when your local shops need your support the most, and we encourage you, if you’re still in an economic position to do so, to shop with them if at all possible (and/or, try alternate ideas like making a shopping list of what you want, invest in gift cards if available or set aside the money, and stream those records for now, then shop once it’s safe again to do so in person).
Below, we’ve put together a list of how you can currently help and/or shop from home at many of the area’s independent stores (some not listed, like McKay’s, Boulevard, Alison’s, and CD Warehouse appear to be closed with no alternate purchase options at this time). As things rapidly change and develop, however, we encourage you to check stores’ sites and social media for the latest updates. Finally, we should note that this year’s Record Store Day, originally scheduled for April, has been postponed to June 20 (another great chance to support your local shops).
3/26: Updated with latest online sales info for Vinyl Tap.
4/3: Updated with current links and the latest shopping info for Grimey’s.
4/21: Updated with ‘Other Music’ doc info for Grimey’s, The Groove, and Luna.
THIRD MAN RECORDS
As a local record store with a global following (and as an arm of their own label), Third Man Records has always operated an online store, which is still live. You can shop online here (be patient if there are any shipping delays). The boutique also rolled out home delivery, curbside pickup, and appointment-only shopping last week, though given the rapid developments of recent days, it’s unclear which, if any, of those services are still active.
Grimey’s is currently still selling merchandise and gift certificates, the latter perfect to save for a future shopping trip, or both a great gift for yourself or someone else from afar. The shop is also in the midst of ramping up online sales once again, after briefly hitting pause to strictly comply with the city’s Safer At Home order. You can shop from Grimey’s own site for new releases, or check out their Discogs profile for preowned, which will both continue to see further releases added. As with all local stores looking to maintain sales while keeping employees safe, please be patient with shipping. For a limited time, you can also digitally rent a new documentary about New York’s legendary, now defunct record shop Other Music for $11.50, with a portion of proceeds set to benefit The Groove (or, if you’d prefer, The Groove or Luna).
Fellow East Nashville record shop The Groove is still selling through their own website, as well as a Discogs page with hundreds of great listings, and will deliver within the neighborhood. The shop also encourages you to DM them on social media or e-mail [email protected]
Vinyl Tap has also launched a Discogs page for online sales, and they’re also still offering sales for delivery (within the neighborhood) or pickup Wednesday-Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.. You can e-mail [email protected] to verify your selection, arrange payment, and find out delivery/pickup details. Being a bar in addition to record store, Vinyl Tap also benefits from the new beer to-go policy, so if you’re in need of some brews, you’re able to put in a beer order (menu here) along with your vinyl as well (with a portion of sales going to help out their employees). With the bar and kitchen staff entirely displaced, they’re also running a GoFundMe to help aid employees.
THE GREAT ESCAPE
While both locations of The Great Escape are closed, the local record, comic, movie, and speciality shop is still selling online, with a massive selection of titles up on their Discogs account, and tons of music and more on their eBay account. If you’d rather wait and browse their eclectic selection later on in person, you can also help out TGE in the interim by buying a gift certificate online.
LUNA RECORD SHOP
Situated in The Factory at Franklin, Luna is currently offering to ship records, delivery for those who live nearby, and scheduled pickup. Check out their Instagram for selections, or reach out by phone (615.806.9435), DM, or e-mail ([email protected]) to inquire about selection and special orders. You can also buy merch to support the shop! For a limited time, you can also digitally rent a new documentary about New York’s legendary, now defunct record shop Other Music for $11.50, with a portion of proceeds set to benefit Grimey’s (or, if you’d prefer, Grimey’s or The Groove).