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Tropicalia in Furs
Nearby Subway Stops
F at Second Ave.; 6 at Astor Pl.
This venue is closed.
Joel Stones specializes in Brazilian vinyl—specifically psychedelic Brazilian—at his rowdy, tropical-hued record shop. He blasts Latin beats from behind the counter most nights of the week, singing and improvising along with a smattering of neighborhood regulars. Fanta-orange walls are bordered in blue and record covers in the front window are lit by strings of multicolored Christmas lights and disco balls. Stones travels to his native Brazil five times a year to replenish his stock, though his musical excursions also take him to Turkey and the Jaarbeurs Utrecht record fair in the Netherlands. Records are filed in neon-blue shelves, with genres like Soul, Funk, Latin, Jazz, and “Crazy World” music separated by collaged dividers. The selection ranges from mainstream American standbys—the Beatles, Elvis, Meatloaf, Kiss—to exceedingly rare Brazilian finds: Stones sold the O’Seis record by Os Mutantes to a California collector for $5,000; only 300 copies were made in 1966. The party continues after the grate goes down for the night — and is audible from the sidewalk — when Stones and his friends uncork wine in the store’s comfy back room and crank up his self-released Brazilian compilation record, Brazilian Guitar Fuzz Bananas.