Independent vinyl shops deliver more than music

Kids these days have music wrapped around their little fingers. They can pretty much listen to whatever they want, whenever they want, thanks to online streaming services, such as Spotify and Pandora.

“Alexa: Play ‘Watermellon Sugar.’ ”

“Alexa: Repeat.”

So it was surprising when our 13-year-old daughter, Rosie, put “vinyl records” atop her Christmas wishlist in December.

In an effort to support local businesses during the pandemic, we set out to find Rosie’s top requests at record stores in central Ohio, where we were quickly reminded of how much fun these music-lovers havens really are.

“You get the browsing experience,” said Kyle Siegrist, owner of Lost Weekend Records in Clintonville. “If you’re buying online, you’re usually looking for a particular record. When you’re in the store, something might catch your eye.”

We flipped through crates of albums, admiring the covers. We reminisced at the site of promotional flyers from past shows plastered on the wall. We listened to the banter of customers.

“Plus, you can haggle in the store,” Siegrist said.

“Wait, you can haggle?” a customer retorted.

“Not on new stuff, but on old stuff. That’s part of the fun of a record store.”

At home comes the joy of listening to your new or used record.

“Sick,” said Rosie, as she pulled a new 5 Seconds of Summer record from its sleeve. She held it in her hands, admiring a rainbow created by the grooves in the vinyl. She placed it on her record player and put the needle atop the spinning circumference. She sat on the edge of her bed and listened, as we once did.

The magic of vinyl wasn’t lost on our daughter.

Here are a few other places in central Ohio to get in the groove and start spinning vinyl.

Lost Weekend Records: You’ll find vinyl in all genres at this 18-year-old shop located along High Street in Clintonville. We’re talking new releases, classic rock, jazz, country, folk, reggae, pop and many others. They also have many used CDs, DVDs, books and music collectibles.

Elizabeth’s Records: Here’s another Clintonville gem, along Indianola Avenue just south of Studio 35 theater. She’s got many, many cool rock albums and more from several other genres.

Used Kids Records: An Ohio State University staple since the mid-’80s, Used Kids boasts a huge selection of new and used vinyl, CDs and DVDs, as well as used stereo equipment. In 2016, it moved to the city’s “SoHud” neighborhood near Summit and Hudson streets.

Magnolia Thunderpussy: Five decades of experience is behind this well-loved Short North shop that has lots of boxed sets, rare items and imports. Its website offers more than 15,000 titles.

Spoonful Records: This small shop in downtown Columbus just passed the decade mark and specializes in new and used vinyl. It also has 8-track tapes, CDs, new Audio-Technica turntables – and pinball machines you can play.

Records Per Minute: Pony up just $2 for more than 50,000 used records at this University District shop along High Street. Plus, it’s just a cool interior space to wander through, with wood floors and brick arches.

Pat’s Endangered Species: Pat likes to call his Delaware shop “The Last Record Store on Earth.” There are just a few more left (as you can see here), but Pat’s is a really nice space to wander through, not only for records but for vintage concert T-shirts and some used stereo equipment.

Outside of central Ohio? Check out Rolling Stone’s “10 Best Record Stores in America.”