EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) – Despite constant innovations in music streaming, vinyl records have shown real staying power over the years. Through the eras of Napster, iTunes and Spotify, older generations helped keep vinyl alive, and millennials are discovering the joy of endlessly sifting through records at a store and the experience of finding sounds of a different era.
It’s been adding momentum to a true vinyl revival. In 2019, records are poised to outsell CDs for the first time since 1986, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.
Owner Patrick Holl opened Space Monkey Records in Evansville in August and is already impressed by the community’s response. He said he’s seen customers of all ages walk through his doors.
Holl has two passions in life: music and comedy. After he retired from a 20-year career as a local DJ playing hundreds of weddings throughout the Tri-State area, the next step for Holl was to open a shop that reflected his interests.
That’s how Space Monkey Records was born. In addition to records, the store sells everything from comic books to shirts and cards with humorous musings on them, music posters, stickers and body jewelry.
When customers first walk in the store, their senses are instantly engaged. The smell of burning incense wafts through the store. Classics play over the speakers, and the walls are decorated with rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia.
Holl was inspired by nostalgia for his teenage years, when he first stepped inside FolzCity Boutique and record store.
“I’m sixteen years old and I walk in this place, and here is a store you get bombarded with the sights and the smell. There’s music playing and there’s carpet on the walls. And I had never been into a store that spoke to me,” said Holl.
“What an experience for a young person; it was just the best. I mean here was a store to me for me and my friends, it was incredible. It makes an impression on me to this very day.”
FolzCity was a popular store in downtown Evansville in the 1970s run by Robert Folz who also owned Funky’s, a popular disco nightclub.
Holl wants his customers to have the same reaction he had when he first stepped foot into FolzCity.
He describes his store as being 10% museum, 10% art gallery, 10% rock ‘n’ roll shrine 70% the most awesome display of vintage vinyl records and rock n’ roll eye candy since the early days of FolzCity Boutique.
He finds unique memorabilia and music art to hang inside the store to serve an educational purpose. Often, it sparks conversations with his customers, which he loves.
“I’m just delighted with the caliber of the people who come in. They’re music enthusiasts form every creed and walk of life. They’re just music lovers,” said Holl.
“I love talking to the customers about their music interests and their travels and the musicians that they have met and the concerts that they have been to. One guy the other day was telling how he went to Liverpool to see Paul McCartney perform, and the list goes on and on. It’s just incredible.”
Holl’s favorite genre is classic rock, but he carries records of all genres in his store. Space Monkey currently stocks 75,000 vintage records and keeps adding to the collection.
Going along with the pursuit of having fun, Holl has added a large backdrop with cutouts of iconic musicians such as Prince fitted with a microphone and guitar that visitors can pose with for a photo.
By BROOK ENDALE
Evansville Courier & Press
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