Cambridge and Somerville Local First - 2011 Coupon Book - Shift Your Shopping to Local First

Somerville Grooves: Long Live Vinyl!

Aug 24 9:33 am

By Danielle Kennedy


Somerville Grooves storefront, pre-grand opening

The new millennium has ushered in the age of digital technology, and these days the news is full of stories of book storeclosings and struggling media publications turning away from print in favor of web content. So who would have thought, in an era when iTunes reigns king, sales of long-outdated vinyl would be steadily increasing?

Think these records are restricted to used copies of pre-‘80s tunes? Well, think again, because even modern-day artists are producing new vinyl recordings. These days, records exist for all sorts of music lovers, and it is with this mindset that new entrepreneur David Plunkett has opened Somerville Grooves, where you can leave pretention at the door. The soon-to-be SLF member business, now in its second week of fulltime hours, has been drawing curious crowds interested in the store’s collection, which ranges from classic rock to jazz to hip-hop to post-punk to the just plain strange (a workout narrated by the Governator set to 80’s one-hit wonders is just the motivator you need to get in shape). Aside from the ample and growing collection of new and used vinyl, Somerville Grooves carries a small selection of other goodies, including books and apparel.

I think Somerville Grooves promises one of those stores that brings the community together. When you think about it, a new record store goes perfectly with some of the best things about local. It brings people back into the shopping experience in a time of faceless online purchases. Not only that, but you know that every record on sale in the store has made it there only after passing through David Plunkett’s discerning hands, an assurance of the quality of the product (Plunkett only puts records in worthy condition on his shelves) and the devotion and expertise of the owner. Not to mention, the simple setup of the store is just begging to play host to a multitude of sweet future local music events – cross your fingers, everybody! Indeed, the launch of the new soon-to-be hotspot has already coincided nicely with Chris Daltry’s 4th (!) annual Somerville Rock & Roll Yard Sale, a wonderful event celebrating our city’s varied artistic and DIY side with a healthy dose of vintage and vinyl.

Somerville Rock & Roll Yard Sale - August 2011 from Nitya Rao on Vimeo via Your Town

Plunkett, who spent the early ‘90s working at In Your Ear Records before moving on to a career writing for a publishing company, is thrilled to return to his music-lovin’ roots, and Somerville seems to be just as pleased. According to Plunkett, a number of customers have come in to say “thank you” for opening a real record store. Call it sentimentality, but there may be something more to favoring vinyl than simply a better quality sound. Vinyl, especially with all the extras it can come with (liner notes, posters), has an appeal of collectability; people like to talk about music from a standpoint of ownership (“Can we listen to my music now?”). Music is meant to be an experience, one both social and aesthetic, which is hard to attain with the anonymity and over-inundation found in the digitalized world – much as a true “experience” is much more likely to come from a local independent business as opposed to a national chain or big box store, for similar reasons.

In any case, Somerville Grooves, in dealing mainly in used commodities, inherently will be a space for sharing and bonding over music, one of the great socializers. So stop on by to say hi to David, and let him know you appreciate him keeping the unity, passion, and quirk alive and well in Somerville!

Somerville Grooves: open Tues-Sat 11am-7pm & Sun 12-6pm, 26 Union Sq.

– To inquire about selling your records in good condition, call 617-666-1749 or email [email protected]

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