Monday, October 11, 2010

Inside The Insound Design Store

After the Hold Steady, I made my way east to the Insound Design Store on 201 Mulberry Street. The temporary shop, which was announced back in September, had a selection of vinyl records, turntables, head phones, posters and t-shirts. (I picked up Pantha du Prince and Broken Social Scene shirts.) The online music store also collaborated with Warner Bros. archives to display a gallery of vintage photographs on the left wall.

"We realized that a lot of what we sell – t-shirts, silk-screened posters, turntables and audio accessories, are hard to show off online. So, we first did some warehouse sales and people loved interacting with the physical product. We weren’t ready (or able) to think about a permanent physical location but the idea of a temporary retail location seemed manageable and like an exciting test," Insound's president Matt Wishnow told us via email.

In addition to the displays, Insound reached out to Nick Zinner of Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Kip Berman and Peggy Wang from the Pains of Being Pure at Heart, and Fred Armisen from Saturday Night Live, who DJed throughout the weekend. The store already carried Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Pains merchandise, so it was a naturally fit. Kip told us that he even used to work for Insound.

Insound ran a similar store last December, and had actually planned to return to Brooklyn, but the space fell through, said Wishnow. They chose Soho for its foot traffic, and because the space could be rented out by the day.

Wishnow didn't totally reject the idea of a permanent store, but he added that it wouldn't be your average brick-and-mortar. "We’ve done these pop ups to learn and see if a permanent store made sense. That said, we are not looking to open a traditional record store. The product mix and experience would have to be very different," he said.

The Pains will be playing the BrooklynVegan showcase during CMJ on Oct. 21. Video of "Young Adult Friction" below.

Pictures of the interior and Nick Zinner after the cut.

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