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Record Store Review: Permanent Records

February 19, 2013

Deep in the heart of Brooklyn, Greenpoint to be exact, lies a non-descript record store called Permanent Records.  This is one of those stores that you have to go out of your way to get to, unlike say Other Music in the East Village (just off of Broadway) or Earwax Records in Brooklyn (review to come, I promise) which is right on Bedford Ave.  Permanent Records hides away on Franklin Street, and if you didn’t know it was there there’s a good chance you could walk right by. (Full disclosure: I drove right by even though I was looking for it!)  Once inside the feeling is the same – neither cold nor warm, not inviting nor intimidating, this shop is more of a home for some records and a relaxed place to go if you live in the neighborhood.

PM-1PR carries only records and CDs, about 2/3 of which is the record collection. The vast majority of the records are (1) used, (2) rock, and (3) cheap.  Upon entering, the “New Arrivals” section is impossible to miss and is generally the only section worth looking through to find anything of value.  Surrounding the new arrivals are rows and crates filled with cheap vinyl, as low as $1 and 3 for $2.25.  Deeper into the store are other used records (still cheap, still mostly classic rock), including 45’s and 12″ singles, and way in the back are new releases. Overall the selection is weak but if you’re just starting out and want to find some basics, or are the kind of person who finds gems in the deep discount racks, Permanent Records might be for you.

Just some of the 99 cent CDs

Just some of the 99 cent CDs

Speaking of cheap, I don’t normally comment on non-vinyl but it’s impossible not to mention PM’s section of 99 cent CDs, 3 for $1.50.  I have literally never seen so many cheap CDs.  Hundreds and hundreds of CDs, row after row, as if they could not give them away for free if they tried.  I never buy CDs anymore except for the dollar bin stuff (I like having the hard digital, just in case) – if you’re the same way you can waste a good half hour flipping through these titles.

Bottom line:   Permanent Records is a run of the mill neighborhood record store.  Live in the neighborhood? You’ll be happy there’s a convenient place to get new releases or something on record store day that’s staffed by friendly people. Just starting out?  You’ll find some basics here at very good prices.  Mostly though, this shop is for the bargain-basement hunter.  Cheap vinyl (and CD) lovers rejoice.

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Sale! Cheap! More!

Sale! Cheap! More!

Quick stats:

  • Sells used, new, or both: Both
  • Genres: Classic rock, rock, a little of everything else (very little)
  • Non-vinyl for sale: Used CDs, $0.99 CDs, a few DVDs
  • Selection: 2 out of 10
  • Price: 10 out of 10
  • Atmosphere: 4 out of 10
  • Ease of browsing/shopping: 6 out of 10
  • Used vinyl condition: 8 out of 10
  • Yelp rating: 4 stars

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