Kent stores offer outputs for fans to buy, sell music

Andrew Gaug

For many students, music is a way of life. It’s there when they exercise, party, hang out or just a way of breaking the silence.

But when Wal-Mart only stocks the most popular music and the drive to Best Buy in Cuyahoga Falls is too costly for gas, where do you buy music in Kent?

The CD/Game Exchange

Located on East Main Street is the CD/Game Exchange in the Kent Plaza near Acme. The store has been around for about seven years and despite its name, has expanded its list of things that can be exchanged from just CDs and video games to DVD players, VCRs, televisions and much more.

“We pretty much take in anything we think we can sell,” said former interim manager Gino Zielinski.

During the school year, Zielinski said the store sees a lot of people trading and buying used home stereo and car equipment.

A walk through the store finds a wide selection of used CDs from the dollar section that includes forgotten bands from the ’90s such as LEN to new CDs from current artists such as Dashboard Confessional, Chamillionaire and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Zienlinski added the store can also special order things.

“If they still make it, we can special order it,” Zielinski said.

The Exchange

Not to be confused with the CD/Game Exchange, the Exchange on South Lincoln Street is one of the most popular stores because it’s so close to campus. The store is located right next to the fraternity houses and Campus Book and Supply. The video game and music store is a popular place to go for the latest CD releases ranging from popular bands such as Tool and Gnarls Barkley to new or used DVDs. The store is known for allowing students to trade in their old CDs for either cash or store credit.

“Trades (receive) a little bit more (money) usually,” manager Randy Law said. “It depends on popularity.”

The Exchange also offers an extensive video game collection from the latest Xbox 360 games to old Atari cartridges.

” A lot of old sports games sell, because we sell them for cheap,” Law said.

The Exchange is unique because it also offers novelty items such as movie-based lunch boxes, bobble-heads and picture disc record singles.

“We try and keep an array of everything,” Law said.

Spin-More Records

Down the road on East Main Street is the largest and oldest music store in the Kent area, Spin-More Records. This family-run record store has been around for 26 years. Its collection of both new and used CDs and records cross the spectrum from The Beatles to electronic bands such as Kraftwerk to Rodney Dangerfield’s Rappin’ Rodney album to Nirvana.

With thousands of records in the store, finding something like an old obscure ’80s band single can be a daunting task, but assistant manager Brando Andexler said his years of experience have helped him become familiar with almost all the records.

“If I can’t find it, you can’t find it,” he said.

And if neither the shopper or Andexler can find it, he said he can also place special orders.

“Most people can wait a couple days for it,” Andexler said.

But half the fun, Andexler said, is sampling the records in one of the stores record players. He said there are some customers who enjoy coming in and playing records.

Much like the Exchange, customers can trade in their records or CDs for cash or in-store credit. Andexler said it’s always interesting seeing what people bring in, remembering a customer who traded in crates of old disco 12-inch records and old punk singles.

Records are not the only thing that Spin-More specializes in. They also have buttons hand-made by Andexler, Ghoulardi shirts, band clocks, framed concert posters, old toys and free kittens.

Turnup Records

Celebrating its first year of business is the only music store with an illuminated turnip in the window, Turnup Records. Located on North Water Street near Fat Jimmy’s, this store offers music for those who have an obscure taste.

“Our focus is on independent, more unusual (music), not so much Top 40,” said co-owner Charlie Loudin.

Loudin said he and other founder Scott Davidson created the store in order to sell underground and independent music that are hard to find in other places.

From the latest vinyl albums from Thom Yorke to Sufjan Stevens to lesser-known indie bands such as Skeleton & the Girl-Faced Boys and The USA Is a Monster, Loudin said the store is trying to provide the community with the music they’re looking for.

In addition to independent records, Turnup Records is also focused on promoting local artists in both music and other areas such as paintings – which are displayed and for sale.

Similar to the other mentioned stores, Turnup Records buys CDs, records and books. The store also offers gift certificates.

Loudin said in the past year they’ve developed some regular customers and hope to build their jazz and hip-hop collections. But so far, Loudin said the response to the store has been positive.

“A lot of people come in and say it’s a really cool store,” Loudin said.

Contact general assignment reporter Andrew Gaug at [email protected].