Join me in shouting a robust “Cheeri-O!” to this London import which is newest to hit the NYC indie record scene and is already drawing in music nerds from every borough. You can do some serious lollygagging here, as the 2-story store not only features a plentiful music selection, but a café (stocked with a full bar) an exhibition room, a playroom area complete with ping-pong and other table games, and more (including a balcony!). Rough Trade NYC is also now soundproofed and hosts both free and ticketed shows. Although I've never seen a show here, friends who have say the acoustics are killer.
The only catch: they have a very small selection of records (thus the prices are a little steep – but decent). If you’re looking for that obscure tune in the dregs of a bargain crate, RT is not for you; if that is the case, I still encourage you drop by and demo some tunes with their high-quality headphones. You’ll be pleased to find their selection is not haphazard like in many other record shops, but tidily organized by genre and easy to weed through.
The Rough Trade inventory runs the gambit of genres from rock to indie to shoegaze to classic to jazz, hip hop, rap and more. Surprisingly though, since they are based in London, Rough Trade carries a weak electronic collection.
In terms of price, you’ll find a curious range from full-priced vinyls that run about $10-$30, but then you’ll also find an occasional album for $3 - $5. CDs are in the $15 range – the same as you might find on Amazon minus the ridiculous shipping costs. The shop also carries books and is pasted with some major rock and roll memorabilia that is really impressive.
Rough Trade is a definite haven for music lovers, indie show-watchers, and those who just want to hang for a while in one of Williamsburg’s newest and hippest additions. You’d be bloody silly to pass up a drop-in.