Friday, December 9, 2022

Plattsburgh’s vinyl revival

Hales Passino

Plattsburgh’s reviving vinyl.

Collecting records dates back as far as the early 1900s. When we think of records, we think of the golden ages of music anywhere from the 1950s to 1980s. It was, or still is, the pastime of our parents and grandparents. 

A small variety of shops around Plattsburgh offer an extensive selection to choose from, with genres ranging anywhere from somber, melancholic blues and hearty folk to groovy funk and bewildering hair metal. Local music enthusiasts Eli Moore and Jon Templin have dove deep into the realm of record collecting and are both fond of buying from one place in particular:  Lake Shore Candy & Licks (formerly known as Jensen’s Vinyl Garage) located in the Skyway Plaza, owned by Mike and Elizabeth Jensen.  

“[It’s] really a hidden gem around here,” said Templin. It was there Templin purchased Primus’ debut album “Frizzle Fry,” which features an all-time favorite tune of his: “John the Fisherman. Overall, it’s filled with bangers on the A-side and B-side. “It’s boiling with psychedelic punk energy and astonishing bass playing,” said Templin. 

As for the shop itself, the concept of combining candy and records is the neatest concept to Templin. Jensen’s created a welcoming environment with heavenly chocolate and heavenly sound. 

Moore’s been a customer of Jensen for roughly a couple years now. One recent score of his was an early copy of The Velvet Underground & Nico. Jensen, hesitant to sell it, offered the album to him for a reasonable price. Though it was scratched and had a fair amount of skips when he played it, that didn’t matter. 

“It was about being able to be truly transported through an era-specific artifact,” Moore said, “Warts and all, it’s part of the previous owner’s history with the album.” 

To him, this particular record serves as a reminder that the sound quality isn’t the entirety of collecting vinyl. 

“I was grateful that Mike thought of me and continues to keep me in mind when he thinks I might be interested in something,” Moore said. 

Other places to shop for records in Plattsburgh include Old Soul. At Old Soul, located at City Hall Place, owner Kt Teaney features vinyl street sales on First Friday, an event that takes place on the first Friday of every month that showcases downtown businesses and a sense of community. 

Meanwhile, the branch of the Antique & Variety Mall on Margaret Street keeps their record selection down in the basement of the building. Anywhere from six to eight bins chock full of fine selections ranging from old school country to late-eighties pop are a treat for all ears. 

Overall, collecting records can be more than a trend. It can be about the experience of stepping into a shop, ogling the milk crates or shelves stocked with these fine artifacts and selecting that next lick to bring home. It’s a passion of the past continuing on. It’s an iconic way of searching and listening. 

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