What is it that makes record shops so appealing? Perhaps it’s the good lighting that’s often found there, or the musty, nostalgic smell of old things. Music becomes tangible again, instead of just a file name on your iTunes.
“Some people like shoes, some people like scarves knitted by their own mother, or Italian sports cars,” Eric Jones explained. “I like records.”
Eric Jones, also known as Elvis, is the former owner of East Hill CD Exchange and the current owner of the new record shop, Revolver Records. Local journalist Troy Moon gave Jones the nickname “Elvis” many years ago when the two played in a band together that had too many Erics.
Jones owned and operated East Hill CD Exchange from 1995 until 2007.
“The building was basically a shack and the rent was dirt cheap,” Jones said. The building was eventually sold to a third party and Jones couldn’t afford to pay a mortgage.
“You have to watch your costs when what you sell can be downloaded for free on the Internet,” Jones said.
After a few years without a shop, Jones decided to open Revolver.
“I missed it, and thought I’d give it another go,” Jones said. “Some people said it seemed like a pretty gutsy move, but I’m not getting any younger.”
Revolver opened its doors on Oct. 15 in the old Subterranean Books location on Gregory Street, and despite the lack of advertising, seems to be drawing a crowd.
“We have actually been doing pretty well, considering the economy still sucks and CDs are about as hot as a polar bear’s tongue,” Jones said.
Revolver sells new and used CDs, new and used records, music DVDs, VHSs, record players, T-shirts and offers a small selection of books.
“As soon as I could, I started ordering new release records,” Jones said. “You’re not a real record store unless you have new releases—otherwise you’re just a low-fi pawn shop.”
Some of the newer releases Jones has among the crates of records are Joanna Newsom, Kanye West, Spoon, Arcade Fire, Deerhunter and Beach House.
“I was excited to get some new stuff in the store, but I love the classics too,” Jones added.
One of the best things about Revolver is that they accept trade-ins. You can trade in your used CDs for store credit, or your vinyl, depending on whether Jones can use it for the store, for cash.
“I do pay cash for vinyl because it’s pretty on demand right now, especially older originals,” Jones said.
Amidst the array of records and CDs, there is currently a very small selection of books for sale, and Jones is considering expanding the selection.
“I am a book lover,” Jones said. “East Hill CD Exchange was actually patterned after a store in Atlanta called Wax and Facts.”
Wax and Facts is a used book and record store located in Little Five Points, outside of Atlanta, Ga.
“It’s definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area, although you’ll probably get some crap from the 25-year-old bike-riding hipster dude who thinks he’s the bee’s knees because he works in a record shop,” Jones said.
Revolver Records has only been open a few months and it’s already becoming a name on everyone’s lips. The selection and quality of merchandise will no doubt make Revolver one of the best places in town to spend your time and your money. They just need to have a sign made so people will stop thinking the place is still called Subterranean Books.
WHEN: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Mon.-Sat.
WHERE: 9 E. Gregory St.
DETAILS: 712-6373 or email@example.com