In the age of streaming music, it may be surprising to learn that not only are record stores still in existence, but millennials are buying more than their fair share of albums. Perhaps it’s because records are tangible and there is a movement for feeling and touching items, or maybe it’s a natural progression of hipsterdom, but 20-something New Yorkers are buying the same records their parents listened to as well as current chart toppers—yes, even Taylor Swift releases vinyl. One of the happy observers of this resurgence is Peter Kaye, a manager at Bleecker Street Records in the West Village.
For the last 18 years, Bleecker Street Records has been a go-to destination for those looking for records, CDs, and “extracurriculars” as Peter calls the posters, patches, pins, and playbills the store carries. While its address no longer matches its name, the musical mission at Bleecker Street Records remains the same. Peter has a very important hand in how the store runs. As both a manager and the LP guy, he’s responsible for finding the records and serving as an in-store historian. He’s able to put each record into context and explain why it matters, which helps lesser-known albums have their moment in the spotlight.
We recently spoke with Peter to find out what it’s like to manage a record store in a digital era.