by Kevin Dicciani
In a world where music is confined inside of electronics, imprisoned between wires and microchips and motherboards, music as an art form seems strangely alien and characterless, coldly robotic in its intangibility.
Enter Brian Reisman, owner of Hideaway Music, an independent record store where you’re as likely to find a classic John Coltrane vinyl as you are an Aesop’s Film Fables DVD.
For the past ten years, Reisman has been dedicated to preserving a plethora of art from the past, virtually selling nostalgia one record, one Hi-Fi turntable, one vintage concert poster at a time – successfully coloring a medium that often appears blank and unresponsive.
“I remember carrying around my records all the time,” Reisman said. “I used to bring them to parties and sit around just listening to them with people. Nowadays you simply push a button and put your headphones on.”
That view of music, as communal and interactive, is lacking in today’s cyber world. Sure, music is constantly being shared over the internet and there are more bands and genres today than there were years ago, but the media they’re presented in seem more solitary than social.
You can sit at your computer, buy an album and listen to it without ever having to leave your house, and once the album’s over, you can write a review or chat about it online. Listening to an album with a friend for the first time and talking about it after is an incredible experience – borderline spiritual – and Hideaway Music and Reisman are bringing that back to life after watching it fade into obscurity for quite sometime.
“Vinyls disappeared for a while, “ Reisman said. “They seem to be making a comeback, though, whether it’s from people buying them for collector’s sake or just appreciating it as music in its original form. Also, there’s a lot of music out there on vinyl that never made it to CD, and for people who enjoyed that music and can’t find it, those old records are a source for nostalgia.”
For the younger generations vinyls are attractive and possess, as Reisman calls it, the “cool-factor.” They’re artifacts which maintain their purity in their imperfections, and that’s alluring when you’re sabotaged by a cacophony of crystal-clean sounds and synthetic instruments.
“People will tell you audio files sound better, but that lo-fi sound can be very appealing, very real,” he said.
On Nov. 3, Hideaway Music celebrates its 10th anniversary. I asked Reisman whether or not he ever thought he’d be in business that long.
“Sure, I didn’t know exactly what to think,” he said. “There were some struggles with the changing medias and whatnot, but we’ve been having fun. We’ve had our store at a few locations around the Hill, and each store was bigger than the last. We’ve been at this location for six years now, and it’s been great.”
For the 10th anniversary of Hideaway Music, there will be a free in-store concert by John Wesley Harding, a well-known folk musician and author, plus an appearance by Elizabeth and The Catapult, a Brooklyn-based indie artist.
Everything in the store is 10 percent off, and they’re going to have special 10th anniversary T-shirts available for ordering. Reisman also added there’d be some “surprises.” The celebration starts at 1 p.m.
You can find out more on Hideaway Music and its 10th anniversary on its website – hideawaymusic.org, or on its Facebook page.