by George Wolf
The store was called Other Music because it was directly across the street from a Tower Records in the East Village of Manhattan. So from day one, the message was clear: if you’re looking for other music, come in here.
For twenty years, they did. And they often came in droves, trusting recommendations from the eclectic staff, seeing great new bands such as Vampire Weekend perform live in-store, and coming to feel like they had “found their people.”
But like so many other parts of society, “the way people consume music changed,” and Other Music closed up shop in 2016.
The first directing feature from music video vets Puloma Basu and Rob Hatch-Miller is a bittersweet ode not just to a beloved record store, but to a type of community that now seems longer gone than it actually is.
This film is funny (notables such as Jason Schwartzman and Regina Spektor speak on the staff’s intimidation factor), it’s touching, and it has a good handle on how to rise above the field of similar “last day” docs by not forgetting the valuable context available outside the actual store.
You can file it under “music nerdery,” but spend some time with Other Music and you’ll find a mix of celebration and eulogy. Both are worthy, for a small business in NYC and the similar culture of community disappearing from just about everywhere else.