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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Milwaukee’s Record Store Day Line-Up

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On Saturday, April 19, independent record stores around the country will celebrate Record Store Day. In an effort to drive consumers back to record stores, artists like The Black Keys, Built to Spill, Death Cab For Cutie, R.E.M. and Vampire Weekend will release in-store-only singles, and local record stores like Atomic and the Exclusive Company will offer special sales and free live music throughout the day.

There’s an air of desperation to the event, which was founded in response to dwindling sales caused by a slumping music industry, the rise of online retailers and, of course, rampant illegal downloading. Area Record Store owners, however, say their situation isn’t as bleak as the press sometimes makes it sound.

“I prefer to look at Record Store Day not as a rescue effort, but as a celebration of record stores, contrary to the prevailing believe in that media that everything is dying and dire for stores like us,” says Rich Menning, owner of Atomic Records. “Granted, the music industry is in a terrible state for the most part, but those stores that are still here are doing something right. And we’re still here.”

Menning says that in the face of the industry decline, his store has focused on offering musical expertise and customer service that can’t be found at larger retailers.

Dan DuChaine, co-owner of Rush-Mor Records in Bay View, echoed Menning’s assertion that things aren’t all that bad for savvy independent retailers. He says that by running a small enough operation and keeping overhead down—and also following music and stocking selectively—he’s been able to keep his store running comfortably.

“We have a loyal costumer base that we enjoy interacting with,” DuChaine says. “Nobody will ever get rich in this business, but you’ll meet a lot of cool people.”

Below are the live music line-ups for Atomic Records and the Exclusive Company. DuChaine promises that Rush-Mor also has plans for Saturday, but has not yet announced them.


Atomic Records:

1 p.m. Juniper Tar (acoustic)

2 p.m. Mark Waldoch (of The Celebrated Workingman)

3 p.m. Brief Candles

4 p.m. Testa Rosa

5 p.m. The Scarring Party

6 p.m. Signaldrift

7 p.m. Collections Of Colonies Of Bees


Exclusive Company (1669 N. Farwell Ave.)

11:00 a.m. Golden Coins

11:45 a.m. White, Wrench, Conservatory

12:30 p.m. Quinn Scharber

1:15 p.m. Goibbledoimbs

2:00 p.m. The Nice Outfit

2:45 p.m. Jack Raasch

3:30 p.m. Juniper Tar

4:15 p.m. Clementine

5:00 p.m. Sleep Tight Co.

5:45 p.m. The Saltshakers

6:30 p.m. The Candliers

7:15 p.m.Beach Patrol

8:00 p.m. Plexi 3

8:45 p.m. Thee Fine Lines

9:30 p.m. The Midwest Beat

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