From the blog

I just ran across this on my Facebook feed. (For once it actually displayed something that was relevant to me and what I actually care about.) It looks like Aaron Levy put up an IndieGoGo page to help fund a new record store in downtown Charleston called, The Vinyl Countdown.

The goal that’s in mind is not just creating a retail store front for wax slingers and vinyl heads like myself, but to create a real communal atmosphere for all music lovers to enjoy and experience. I have to admit, I do miss those times as a teenager, hanging out in the local record stores and listening to music. I would love to have that experience back as an adult.

The donation perks are great too! The tiered system ranges anywhere from stickers, hefty store discounts and for those that have a dream of being pressed up, donate enough and you can be on your very own special limited pressing 7″.

Enough from me, here’s a link to the IndieGoGo page: The Vinyl Coundown – Independent Record Store.


The Super Quick Pitch:

– Vinyl is back in a big way!

– The Vinyl Countdown will be the only place in Downtown Charleston to buy new and used vinyl.

– We already have a huge record inventory and a fantastic sound system, and we have great ideas to make The Vinyl Countdown your favorite record store ever!

– Help us make The Vinyl Countdown the place you and your friends will want to hang out and shop!

– Awesome Contribution Perks include stickers, T-shirts, LP frames, gift cards, record players, limited edition merchandise, music lessons, a free concert and more!

– If you like what you’ve read, and you’re excited about what we’re trying to accomplish, read on for more detailed information.

– Alternatively, if you like what you’ve read, and you’re excited about it and want to help, but don’t feel like reading any more, just check out the perks on the right side of the screen and choose your level of contribution.

Thank you for being a part of The Vinyl Countdown!!

The Longer Pitch:

The Vinyl Revolution Comes to Downtown Charleston

Vinyl is back, baby! In 2007, fewer than 1 million new LPs were sold, in 2014, that number was over 9 million, and that upward growth is expected to keep rising exponentially. In the last year alone, sales of new vinyl were up 40.4% over the same period last year.

But where can one go in Downtown Charleston to get one’s hands on a vast selection of quality new and used vinyl? The current answer is: nowhere. The Vinyl Countdown intends to remedy that problem.

With a wide selection of classic used vinyl, The Vinyl Countdown will be the only place on the peninsula where you will be greeted and helped by a friendly and knowledgeable, record-focused staff. You’ll actually be able to examine with your own eyes and ears that vintage copy of Zeppelin 4 or Abbey Road that you’ve been considering buying online, but have been hesitant to purchase, because, when buying online, you can’t touch it, visually examine it up close, or listen to it before making your purchase (You also can’t smell it online, which, believe it or not can be super important!).

We will also carry new releases on vinyl from indie record labels such as Merge, Matador, Sub-Pop, Rough Trade, etc., as well as from major labels.

Used CDs and DVDs as well as T-shirts, stickers, memorabilia, etc. will be for sale as well, but, as the name of the store implies, the primary focus will be on vinyl.

Additionally, we will host in-store performances and have DJs spinning on a regular basis. Our goal is not only to simply sell records, but to create a communal gathering space where people can listen to music (using headphones, over the stereo system, or live), discuss music and feel comfortable finding a place to sit down for a while, have a free cup of coffee, and enjoy the vibe.

I have personally been in the music business in one capacity or another (performance, teaching, songwriting, etc.) for my entire adult life. Now it’s time for me to enter a new phase. Additionally, I have experience working at two record stores and an almost encyclopedic knowledge of music from the 1960s up to the most current artists.

With your help, The Vinyl Countdown will be more than just a record store. It will be an opportunity to build and connect a community of music lovers, vinyl collectors, and musicians.

What We Currently Need & What You Get In Return When You Contribute

At this point, we already have:

– a decent inventory of both new and used vinyl, as well as used CDs

– some display fixtures

– a PA system and stage lighting for in-store performances

– a high end stereo system upon which to play records in the store.

But, there is so much more necessary to make this store a reality.

Quite a bit more inventory is still needed. Additionally we need more fixtures, a cash-wrap and point of sale system, office supplies, a dedicated work computer and a killer website.

We also need to make sure that we have enough cash on hand to pay rent and utilities for the first few months, as well as to purchase records and CDs from customers.

By donating to The Vinyl Countdown, you will have the opportunity to receive a wide variety of rewards, based on your level of contribution.

You can check out all of these rewards on the right side of the screen.

What We’re Up Against (And Why We’re Not Scared)

By all accounts, retail isn’t an easy business. That being said, if I didn’t believe so strongly in this project, I would not be doing it. I am following my heart and am excited about being able to do something I love and that I have dreamed of for many years.

As a recorded medium, vinyl has outlasted every other format: reel-to-reels, cassettes, 8 tracks, Minidiscs, etc. have all gone the way of the dinosaur, while vinyl continues to be a sought after format. Even CDs are experiencing a long, slow decline that will ultimately lead to their demise as an audio format.

According to an interview with industry expert, Josh Bizar, who works as sales director for Musicdirect, “The forecast is for the eventual demise of CDs, but 50 years from now, there will still be new vinyl albums being made. Vinyl will outlive us all.”

Is $15,000 Really Enough To Open a Record Store?
No, not really, but we already have a lot of what we need to be up and running, and $15,000 seems like an attainable goal. Plus, if we don’t reach the goal, Indiegogo takes a lot of money from us, so please help us make it there! If you see that we’ve reached our goal, please don’t hesitate to continue donating. Perks will still be available, and with more funding we can create an even better experience for you.

Other Ways You Can Help
We know not everyone can make a financial contribution, but that doesn’t mean you can’t help make The Vinyl Countdown Charleston’s premiere community-building record store. Tell your friends, tell your neighbors, tell musicians who want to have their products stocked in our store.

And don’t forget about the Indiegogo share tools!


Follow along with the campaign on Facebook!

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