Record Store Daze (Found Sound)

Just what I need in my life, another Record Store! (No, really, I probably need it.)

Record Store Day is looming.

It's often a personal victory if I'm able to restrain myself from dropping dollar amounts surpassing triple digits - because then, really, I'd admit I have a problem...

But there are all kinds of exciting special deals at spots all around the metro area, (celebrated on Saturday, April 21st) - on top of an overall warm-n-fuzzy ambience of vinyl-enthusiasm surging inside each humble wax shack - each still goaded by the vindication of staying afloat in this still-quite-rough economy of ours...

"But...opening a Record Store? Now??" Chris Butterfield remembers when he was asked about the likelihood of him wanting to work in a new store, another record store!, in the waning days of his tenure at Record Time in Roseville. His tone tacitly inflected a yeah-right reaction... But, of course, this was before the surprising boom-year of 2011 - as Forbes reported last January: "Vinyl Continues Unlikely Recovery, According To New Numbers" -finding it to be year where more vinyl LPs were sold than any other year in the SoundScan era.

It was The Beatles' Abbey Road, more than 40 years after it was released that led the way in vinyl sales, not some indie-art-rock saint like Radiohead or hot-new-thing like Adele or Bon Iver, but still...still...people are coming around, more and more each year, to retail spots stacking vinyl records.

Now, Butterfield (-whom local show-goers might recognize as the suspender-sporting frontman to rock-boogie-blenders Pink Lightning), is assistant manager of a temporarily empty, unopened new record store.

-Found Sound hopes to open up in about a month or so (by early summer at the latest), moving into the old Mother Fletchers vintage clothing store (in the heart of downtown Ferndale).

Butterfield calls it a Frankenstein store - as the owner was keen to scavenge the collections of renowned spots like Car City Records, including the Roseville Record Time and another spot up in Flint, each of them marking their prices down more as they, themselves, closed down.

Butterfield and Found Sound Manager Ray Hayosh  have been working inside the store, organizing stock and painting, painting, painting... (Lotta purple and black everywhere, kinda reminds me of vintage Catwoman...)...for the last three months, receiving regular, if not daily visits and updates from the owner, Dean Yeotis.

Yeotis, meanwhile, is sending out what Butterfield calls a "vinyl scout", road-tripping all around to different cities and trolling the bins of stores from all across the state, including up into the U.P. and even out to Pennsylvania, reaping some valuable, eye-popping bounty to bolster their wares.

For Butterfield, this was somewhat of a salvation - as he'd been in unemployed-no-man's-land in the year-long interim after his Record Time job, waiting for this store to get going. He'd worked with the City-Year Program through Americorps before his time in Roseville's shop and now splits his time between Found Sounds and the non-profit organization JVS-Detroit. All that, plus, his band, Pink Lightning, are putting out a full length album April 28th titled Happy to Be Here.

Going from all that, a year of inactivity, Butterfield said, to all this clustering together...the pressure is up!

"We're hoping to be a destination store," Butterfield said, adding that the intent is to have live local music performances and maybe even a movie night. Lord knows there's a void to fill, now, particularly in Ferndale, with the passing of punk-boutique Hybrid Moments.

They'll just miss out on this year's Record Store Day - but once summer hits, swing by, check it out...

And, keeping up with vinyl-news, it may be easier for outlets to offer record-geeks vinyl online- The Wall Street Journal reported this week: "Music Industry, Online Services Strike Deal " proposing the establishment of guidelines for online services. Stay tuned.

Record Store Day - April 21

FIND YOUR STORE (anywhere in Michigan, from the Record Store Day main site).

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