Analog Adventures: Record Store Reviews

The Personal Touch

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Crate digging is a way of life. Image appears courtesy of Collecting Vinyl Records

Amazon, Target, and Wal-Mart are three of the biggest retailers in the United States. They all recognize the recent vinyl revival and have dedicated shelves for music and players. Their massive footprint and dominating presence ensure that they are the first choice for many budding vinyl enthusiasts. Big retailers cast a large shadow over the market. But local record stores offer something you cannot get from big retailers; personality.

No two record stores are the same. Each shop has its own unique atmosphere and selection based on the owner and demographics that they serve. Some shops specialize in rock music, some only sell hip hop. Some have big name concert posters on the wall, others highlight local talent. Each store tells you a lot with just the name. Sometimes it’s as obvious as the location. Square Records in Akron Ohio is takes its name after the Highland Square neighborhood it calls home. Others are abstract, such as My Mind’s Eye in Cleveland Ohio. Whatever the name is, the experience will be unique.

Beginning in March, we will highlight an independent record store. This will entail reviewing their selection, curation, and include conversations about the store and owners themselves. The first store to be reviewed will be Old Soul Vintage Attire and Records in Mansfield Ohio. The goal is to highlight local businesses and share the human side of the music business. Getting to know clerks and owners of these stores always highlights the one thing that big retailers cannot buy, which is personality.

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Jose Diaz

Collector of analog media.

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