MONTICELLO — Local bands will have the chance to jam out among vinyl enthusiasts with the recent opening of the Amplified RPM record store on Monticello’s main square.
The owners, the Newlin family, came up with the idea to start the music shop in late 2018. The shop opened Wednesday (May 22), about nine months later.
“We’re big music lovers,” owner Debi Newlin said, explaining how her husband Chad caught (and spread) the “vinyl bug.”
“We’ve lived here for about 20 years,” Debi said. “We just love the area.”
She explained how she liked that the shop was on the main square, especially since students may pass by on their way home from school and stop in.
Her college-age daughter, Hannah, helped with the shop’s opening. She said her choice is the second album by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, while her mother prefers classic rock and currently listens to bands like Dead Weather.
The store feels like home to Debi and her daughter, with beige plush carpeting and burgundy red walls that Hannah said took a lot of painting.
Chad Newlin said thick carpeting helps prevent people from damaging the records with accidental drops that might shatter the disc.
Taking care of one’s own records isn’t extremely difficult for the average person, though, as Chad said a vinyl record isn’t that complicated.
“If you just take care of it,” he said, “it’s a piece of plastic.”
He noted that it’s generally good to arrange vinyl in a bookshelf-like setting, where the records sit next to one another without leaning over, which may lead to warping later on. Too much pressure against one another isn’t good either, but treating them “like a book” helps keep the records from deteriorating later on.
Some audiophiles invest themselves heavily into the cleaning of their records, using vacuums and different cleaning methods, but Chad keeps it simple.
“I do it the old-fashioned way,” he said.
Beyond selling records, CDs, record player equipment and T-shirts, Amplified RPM also offers space for local music groups to play in a small space at the front of the shop.
“That’s what we’re hoping (for),” Debi said, as she wants local artists to play at the shop sometime in the evenings, after nearby businesses have closed up for the night.
Amplified RPM offers records “as old as Muddy Waters and Duke Ellington,” according to Hannah, to as new as Panic! at the Disco and Childish Gambino.
The store is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays, and is located at 128 N. Main St.