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RECORD STORE DAY: Music fans shop rare finds at three-part event

Customer at Rochester Records

ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) - Vintage music lovers were supposed to celebrate Record Store Day this April. Like many other things, it had to be re-imagined.

Record Store Day Day is a time for independent record stores to get rare and special vinyls that cannot be found elsewhere. Record stores do a lot of business and collectors do a lot of finding. Everyone was happy when Record Store Day got turned into three different events.

"Today, one in September, one in October. They split that up so we don't have a big group. Normally, it's extremely busy in here," said Hussein Esmailzadeh, owner of Rochester Records.

A busy store would normally be a welcome sight for the record store owners, who had to shut down for three months.

"We're a pretty small operation so it wasn't bad for us," said Vy Thorng, owner of Hidden World Vinyl Records. "We were worried about other people."

Others were kept afloat by repeat buyers.

"The collectors. The demand is there," Esmailzadeh said. "We're just here to fill that demand."

Hidden World Vinyl only opened last November but has managed to attract a customer base.

"There's not a lot of vinyl people in town, but there's more than I thought," Thorng said.

With digital downloads, why is there still a need for vinyl?

"There's no comparison between sound on Spotify or digital download versus a vinyl record," the Rochester Records owner said.

"This is a full on handling of music," Thorng added. "You don't get that with a CD or phone."

Vinyl fans were out for Record Store Day to check out the special releases.

"I had never been to this store so I decided to check it out for Record Store Day to see if they had anything cool I was looking for," said vinyl collector Elliott Shannon, who traveled from St. Charles.

"Business today has been really good actually," Thorng said. "But it's a normal Saturday."

Both the owners and customers say music has been a helpful distraction during the pandemic.

"Since they're not doing concerts lately, it's nice to put on some good music and jam out," Shannon said.

While some things might look different, others stay the same. Such as what the owners enjoy the most.

"The people and listening to music," Esmailzadeh said.

"I learn more about music from them than just myself," Thorng admitted. "That's pretty cool."

Rochester Records and Hidden World Vinyl will be open for the Record Store Days in September and October. If you don't see what you like among their thousands of records, both stores can order it for you.

Alex Tejada

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