Aside from selling goods, record stores have turned into a place dedicated to preserving, rediscovering, and curating solid-state music in a way that is defiant to current trends of consumption. Not merely a holdover from a bygone era, the record shop is a place dedicated to the particular corners of a community. Music is discussed, traded, and argued over. Neil Young and The Young Adults find themselves glanced at in the same finger-flip through the racks. Maybe they both end up bought, maybe they get passed over, but that moment is what a record shop is all about. It’s not a place to get some preconceived item, it’s a place to find the unexpected. It delivers a desire for music not typed into Google, but rather physically stumbled upon and scratched out of vinyl, or rolled through a near-endless coil of tape.
Providence is home to a healthy host of earnest and vibrant record shops. Each with its own vibe, philosophy, content, and album playing in the store. Over the next few months, we will be checking in with local and regional record store scene and see what makes them the kind of thing that just sticks around. Hopefully, we will find that spot you were always looking for. Let’s start with A for Armageddon Shop and talk to owners Chris Andries and Ben Barnett.
What genres of music would you find in your shop?
We certainly try to cater to fans of just about all genres. We carry a wide variety of Rock, Blues/Jazz, Funk/Soul, Punk, Metal, and Indie on record, CD, and cassette. And we always try to keep a variety of more niche genres like local artists, noise, and world music.
What record would be playing when you walk in?
This week the WOLF – Edge Of The World LP reissue has been getting a lot spins and the Shakin’ Street LP.
What kinds of people would you find perusing your shelves? Do you have regulars or a mix of different people?
The people coming into the shop are a pretty diverse mix. We definitely have our regulars coming in to see what’s new on the shelves from week to week, but everyday there’s always someone coming into the shop (or any shop for that matter) for the first time. The people that come into the shop vary from young kids buying their first record to experienced collectors digging through every record and everything in between.
What is different about discovering and listening to vinyl in a shop from streaming an album off the Internet?
The sense of community is definitely the biggest difference. When you go to the shop to buy a record you’re interacting with other people sharing the common interest of music and its culture. You’re more likely to hear something playing completely new to you, or see a flyer for a show you never would have known about otherwise, or even overhear your future bandmate talking about needing a new drummer.
Mon-Sat 12-8pm; Sun 12-6pm