Jeff and Sommer of Black Gold Records. Best thing to happen to Carroll Gardens since cannolis.
Who are you wearing?
Jeff: Beat up black jeans, a plain brown t-shirt, and these crappy custom Vans shoes that I was so excited to design and order. Shoelaces come untied every fifteen minutes on average no matter what I do.
Weirdest piece of taxidermy that's come through the shop?
Sommer: Our beloved hyena, which is a permanent fixture in the store. Apparently they are quite rare to come by (in taxidermy form). People come in and spot him chilling out in the back of the store and are always like, 'What is that thing?' They're weird looking animals, and they're a hell of a lot bigger than most people think.
Most expensive record you've sold?
Sommer: We've had some pretty rare records come through the shop, worth thousands. It doesn't happen that often, but it's always pretty exciting when it does.
How many cups of Black Gold coffee can a person drink before having a heart attack?
Jeff: I get the sweats and a dangerously rapid heartbeat after about six cups. I am yet to venture beyond that point.
What record are you ashamed to have in your shop?
Jeff: We had a plan from the start to never include a record in the shop that we wouldn't be happy to admit was ours, so there is no real answer to this question.
If Black Gold wasn't a record shop, what would it be?
Sommer: Our idea from the start was what is now the reality, so it's hard to think of it as being anything else. If we didn't have the records, we'd still have the coffee and antiques. With the extra space, we'd definitely have larger pieces of taxidermy!
Best dead format: 8 tracks or 78 rpm?
Jeff: 78s are far superior to 8 tracks. 8 tracks are pretty much the bottom of the analog media food chain. They have 'programs', not tracks, and they often interrupt in the middle of a track to flip to the other side of the tape to the middle of another 'program'. 78s are incredible. There are rockabilly, blues, and some jazz 78s that I'll get my hands on some day.
What's the one thing you wish you knew before opening a record store?
Jeff: That I'd be giving up one of my favorite pastimes in exchange: sleep.
What would an employee have to do to get fired from Black Gold?
Jeff: Play bad hip hop or contemporary country and/or forget how I take my coffee each morning.
Sommer: Tell us they collect 'vinyls' for the pops and crackles.
Black Gold or Blood Diamond?
Sommer: Haha. I haven't actually seen either of them, if you're referring to the films. Our coffee IS fair trade and organic, though!
And, for the win: how black is black gold?
Jeff: Like the heart of a goblin, black as pitch.
Sommer: Varg from Burzum might smear blood on our walls.
Black Gold's website
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Black Gold is located at 461 Court St., Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn