For 21 years, independent New York record store Other Music was a mecca for left-leaning music fans and musicians, owned and staffed by hardcore music geeks who made the place into a definitive incarnation of the retail outlet as a tastemaker. And while the store managed to survive as most of its fellow outlets folded in the great post-Napster music-business recession — including the giant Tower Records that was formerly across the street from Other Music’s East 4th Street location — by 2016 its owners saw the writing on the wall and closed it down, prompting many mournful blog posts and even a New Orleans-style second line march from the store to a farewell concert at Bowery Ballroom several blocks away on its last day.
The store is even the subject of a documentary by directors Puloma Basu and Rob Hatch-Miller, and if their Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to finish the film is successful — it ends tomorrow, July 27 — all of that history will be preserved for posterity. Actors and frequent OM customers Benicio Del Toro and Jason Schwartzman appear in the film (and in a first trailer released in June), and musicians ranging from Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig and members of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Interpol — and of course the owners and many staffers — appear as well.
In a new trailer, Koenig talks about the importance of the store and how exciting it was for his then-new band to see their music stocked in the store. “To even remotely be connected to Other Music’s vision of what was important in 2007 was very meaningful to me,” he says.