From this neck of the woods

Revival Records provides an oasis to music lovers in the Eau Claire area

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From this neck of the woods

Photo by Carolyn Mennecke

Photo by Carolyn Mennecke

Photo by Carolyn Mennecke

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Billy Siegel, owner of Revival Records, said his dream of owning his own record store started when he was younger. He would collect vinyls for the record artwork, he said, and eventually  bought his first record player, popped in one of his records, and the rest was history.

Siegel’s dream was achieved in 2009 when he opened local record store, Revival Records, Siegel said. Revival Records — the one and only vinyl shop in Eau Claire — is home to a music lover’s oasis that features records, cassettes, CDs and apparel.

In addition to various formats of music, Revival Records provides customers with a variety of genres — from country to rock to rap for some bargain deals.

Jeremy Jenkins, a long-time regular for Siegel, said he has enjoyed listening to vinyl since he was young, using his parents’ record player. He still has no problem finding vinyls here to add to his collection, he said.

“I’ll come in and may not find what I’m looking for, but I always still find something that I wasn’t,” Jenkins said, holding a stack of vinyls to later purchase.

Listening to vinyl over other forms of music may be odd to some people, but to others it’s a whole different way to enjoy music, Siegel said.

Mariah Kewin, a store employee, said vinyl provides a physical form of music a person can look through, buy and collect. For some people, it’s the cover art they enjoy, for others it’s the appreciation of taking out their record and actively listening through the whole thing.

Actively listening through a whole album is the best way to enjoy music, Siegel said.

“Listening to vinyl is an experience, it’s more than just shuffling through songs,” Siegel said. “You have to actually listen to the whole album. You get a better understanding of the artist and what they’re trying to say.”

Other aspects of choosing vinyl includes the potential better sound quality they have and the collecting aspect to them, Siegel said. Revival Records offers a friendly atmosphere that promotes the sharing of the listening experience, according to their website.

“Where else can you physically pick out your music?” Kewin said. “Stuff like that doesn’t really exist any more. It’s fun to go through and look at the back at them, see the cover art.  Materialism at its finest.”

The statistics say it all: Vinyl is back. While CDs and digital buying are receding, thanks to online streaming, vinyl sales are on the rise. Since Siegel opened shop in 2009, the market for vinyl’s have seen a 260% increase according to Forbes.

People ranging from teenagers to older folks who own an original record player come in to enjoy browsing vinyls, Kewin said. For some, it’s the nostalgia, for others its appreciation of an older generation.

Nevertheless, Revival Records offers a variety of music for the young and the old.

The store is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday. It is located on 128 S. Barstow St.

Sipprell can be reached at [email protected]

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