I guess it's not surprising that there's a record store called Permanent Records -- or, as it turns out, three record stores called Permanent Records. The one at the top is located in Brooklyn and has been open at least since 2011. The one in the middle, with the annoyingly hard-to-read sign, is in Chicago and has been open since 2006. And the one on the bottom, which is a spin-off of the Chicago store, is in Los Angeles and opened in June of 2011.
It makes sense that all of these shops opened relatively recently. A record store called Permanent Records wouldn't have made sense in, say, the 1980s. But now, with vinyl records and even CDs seeming like antiquated audio formats, the name "Permanent Records" registers as a statement of defiance -- like, "Okay, most of you may have moved on to MP3s, but we're still not going away."
As it happens, vinyl records (and, to a lesser extent, CDs) can have stories to tell, just like the other objects we examine here at Permanent Record. Personally, I never wrote my name on any of my records, but I know some people who did -- sometimes on the jacket, sometimes on the inner sleeve, and sometimes on the label. I specifically remember one kid I grew up who always wrote "Property of..." and then his name on all his records, which seemed like a bit much to me at the time. I've come across lots of these personalized LPs and 45s in used record stores over the years; maybe you have too. Not sure if I still have any of those records (I've pared down my vinyl collection pretty significantly in recent years), but I'll check. It would be interesting to try to track down the record's previous owner and find out why he or she chose to part with it.
In any case, this is a good reminder that Permanent Record -- both the name and the concept -- can extend in some unexpected directions.
(Special thanks to Heather McCabe for the inspiration on this one.)