Almighty Press

April 19, 2008
For some, record stores live on

When Von's Records held a midnight sale for albums by R.E.M., Snoop Dogg and Nirvana, hundreds of fans snapped up the releases.

It was the early '90s, an era before iPods and MySpace, and the West Lafayette store would stock 450 copies of one album to satisfy demand.

"Times have changed," said manager Mark Zamierowski. "If we did a midnight sale now, people would just trickle in. But they would come."

During the past decade Greater Lafayette's independent record stores -- JL Compact Discs, Von's and CD Land -- have survived while similar shops have shut down. Since 2003, 3,100 music retailers across the country have gone the way of the 8-track tape, said Joel Oberstein, president of Almighty Institute of Music Retail, an industry database service. Of those, 1,400 were independent stores.

Today, all across the country, independent stores are touting what's being dubbed the inaugural Record Store Day. They're inviting music fans into their funky dens of poster-covered walls to flip through dusty or new vinyl LPs and to get hip to artists by a clerk's suggestion.

"Record Store Day is a celebration to let people know that we are still out there plugging away," Oberstein said. "You find a sense of community when you walk into a record store."

Dave Samuelson, a record collector and producer in Battle Ground, remembers the social club atmosphere he found in stores long gone.

"These were places where you would go in and learn something," he said. "People were eager to share records with you."

The changes of the past decade have pitted record stores against digital downloads, increased rents, the sagging record industry and box stores such as Wal-Mart and Best Buy, said Jim Pasdach, owner of JL CDs in West Lafayette.

"I wouldn't tell anyone to start a new store," he said. "But we aren't going anywhere. This isn't a hobby, it is a lifestyle."

Though Pasdach said digital downloads, legal or illegal, have not bitten too deeply into his sales, John von Erdmannsdorff, owner of Von's in West Lafayette, says his store's numbers have fallen about 10 percent each year since 2000.

Will Allison, a Jefferson High School freshman, said his fellow students typically download music through file-sharing programs and discover new sounds through MySpace -- all without leaving home.

"I still buy music at stores because I know what goes into making them," said Allison, singer/guitarist for the band Thor. "But a lot get on file sharing networks. They don't go to stores."

While Apple's iTunes Store boasts 6 million songs, there isn't a music-obsessed clerk to separate the wheat from the chaff, said von Erdmannsdorff.

"That is what makes a store special," he said. "The interaction."

Drew Davis, a Lafayette resident and one-time Memphis record store clerk, said the relationship between customer and seller at a record store can be life changing.

"It is where you can still have your mind blown by a recommendation," he said "That doesn't happen on the Internet."

Independent stores are staking their importance not by competing against downloads or Wal-Mart. Many now offer new vinyl LPs and obscure DVDs or magazines, Oberstein said.

There are still 2,450 independent stores in the United States, he said.

As part of Record Store Day, shops across the country are holding performances and giveaways. Although Von's and JL CDs are not participating in the promotions, they welcome the exposure.

"People come to my store because it is a destination," Pasdach said. "We got what you want."

Pasdach said that at 7,000 square feet, JL CDs offers what box stores can't -- rows of rare import CDs, an artist's full discography and employees who know the music.

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Article List

November 21, 2013 - New York Times - Records Are Dying? Not Here

March 27, 2013 - Glendale News-Press - It's a matter of record: Burbank's Atomic Records and Backside

December 30, 2012 - Detroit News - As one record shop closes, vinyl music plays on in another

April 20, 2012 - - New vinyl album releases give record stores a kick

November 20, 2011 - - In an iTunes age, do we need the record store?

June 9, 2011 - - Curmudgeon Records closes its doors for good

April 16, 2011 - Wall Street Journal - One-Day Record-Store Revival

February 1, 2011 - Charlottesville News & Arts - Plan 9 Changes Location

August 13, 2010 - The Tennesean - Anita Wadhwani: Nashville indie record stores' sales spin in right direction

January 3, 2010 - Delaware News Journal - Delaware music shops get creative to compete with downloads, chain music stores

September 24, 2009 - Los Angeles Times - L.A. independent record shop is still in a groove

August 20, 2009 - CNN Money - You can make money off online music

June 14, 2009 - New York Times - Retailing Era Closes With Music Megastore

May 13, 2009 - Medill Reports - Resurgence in vinyl helps record store in recession

April 26, 2009 - Los Angeles Times - In a digital age, vinyl albums are making a comeback

April 18, 2009 - Charlotte Observer - Record stores band together

April 17, 2009 - Detroit News - Record Store Day spins profits and good beats at Metro Detroit shops

April 17, 2009 - Associated Press - Record Store Day celebrates indie retailers

April 10, 2009 - Detroit News - Street Corner Music moving to Oak Park plaza

April 10, 2009 - Toledo Free Press - New record store shakes up Adams Street

January 8, 2009 - OC Register - Closing date for Virgin Megastore at The Block

October 28, 2008 - Reuters - AC/DC back in "Black" with global smash

September 23, 2008 - Chicago Daily Herald - Independent music stores haven't yet disappeared from suburbia

June 23, 2008 - New York Times - For Tom Petty Fans, the True Sound of Vinyl, Also Captured on a CD

April 19, 2008 - Lafayette Journal Courier - For some, record stores live on

April 19, 2008 - New Jersey Star Ledger - It's Record Store Day. Play it again, Sam!

April 18, 2008 - New York Times - Record Stores Fight to Be Long-Playing

April 18, 2008 - Dallas Morning News - Retailers hope Record Store Day turns up volume at mom-and-pop shops

April 16, 2008 - Timeout New York - Platter Up

December 27, 2007 - Los Angeles Times - Virgin Megastore to close shop

December 16, 2007 - New York Times - For a "Dinosaur," an Exuberant Second Life (Looney Tunes Reopens)

December 3, 2007 - Detroit Free Press - The same old song: Music store closing

November 7, 2007 - Washington Post - Eagles soar past Britney to top of charts

November 4, 2007 - The Ledger - Two Young Entrepreneurs Unafraid of Risk of Going on Records

August 20, 2007 - Billboard - Almighty Taps Hans As VP

June 29, 2007 - ABC News - Long Live the Record Store

June 28, 2007 - Orange County Weekly - Locals Only

June 13, 2007 - Reuters - McCartney's Starbucks album heats up U.S. charts

June 9, 2007 - Billboard - Commentary: Retail Recovery

May 9, 2007 - Columbia Free Times - High Fidelity

March 22, 2007 - NARM Awards - Almighty Retail Named NARM Related Supplier Finalist For Third Consecutive Year

March 16, 2007 - Chortler - Shout! Factory Has Revamped Its Website

March 9, 2007 - - Internet killed the record store?

March 4, 2007 - Sacramento Bee - New groove for Solomon

February 28, 2007 - USA Today - Exclusives aim to pull music fans into stores

February 28, 2007 - New York Newsday - Latin record shops thrive despite changes in music business

February 23, 2007 - Montpelier Bridge - Buch Spieler Sails On Despite a Music Industry Decline

November 20, 2006 - Austin 360 - In Austin, Niche Indies Rule

October 20, 2006 - Sacramento Bee - Tower brand could survive

October 15, 2006 - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review - Tables have turned on record stores

October 14, 2006 - Sacramento Bee - Small labels lose valuable ally in Tower

October 6, 2006 - Desert Sun - Record Alley remodels

September 27, 2006 - Music & Copyright - Niche Marketing of CD albums continues to rise in the US and Physical Sales overall decline

September 22, 2006 - - Indie stores confront a new era

September 19, 2006 - New York Newsday - 34 years, and that's not all, folks

August 18, 2006 - The Roanoke Times - Plan 9 Music puts new spin on 5 Record Exchange stores

August 3, 2006 - The Hollywood Reporter - Nervous music retailers face hazy digital future

July 16, 2006 - New York Times - The Graying of the Record Store

July 13, 2006 - Rolling Stone - The iTunes Holdouts

July 11, 2006 - Roanoke Times - Record store's "last dance"

July 5, 2006 - Port Townsend and Jefferson County Leader - Quimper Sound moves, expands to change with times

June 6, 2006 - Billboard - NARM Nominations Announced

May 10, 2006 - Detroit MetroTimes - Out of the Groove

March 18, 2006 - Billboard - Indies in a bind

January 16, 2006 - Los Angeles Business Journal - Slipped Discs

January 6, 2006 - Los Angeles Times - Indie record stores doing slow fade out

December 26, 2005 - Los Angeles Times - The Music Stops for Indie Shop

December 1, 2005 - Rolling Stone - Fall Sales Dry Up

October 13, 2005 - Desert Sun - Music snobs rejoice: Independent record stores still thrive in desert

September 12, 2005 - Salt Lake Tribune - Twilight for Starbound Records

August 18, 2005 - New York Post - Oldies are now singing a new tune - Music stores go digital

July 2005 - Rolling Stone - Record Biz Still Sinking

June 18, 2005 - Billboard - NARM Noms Announced

March 21, 2005 - CMJ - Hart of the Matter

February 16, 2005 - MSN - Genius Loves Company

October 12, 2004 - Rolling Stone - Wal-Mart wants $10 CDs

July 10, 2004 - Billboard - Almighty Institute To The Rescue

January 14, 2004 - Creative Loafing Charlotte - Manifest Destiny

December 29, 2003 - New York Times - on the rise of mass marketers

November 13, 2003 - Rolling Stone - Best Buy snags rights to band's new DVD

October 9, 2003 - USA Today - Best Buy wins sales rights to Rolling Stones DVD box set

October 6, 2003 - Reuters - Stones Paint It Black For Retailers

May 31, 2003 - Billboard - Retail Track

May 9, 2003 - Hits - Rerap

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