Published on January 18th, 2018 | by Brittain Thompson0
Vinyl Returns to the Square: The End of All Music’s Big Move
The End of All Music, Oxford’s local record store, has been nestled into their cozy spot on North Lamar for the past six years. In this location they’ve grown, hosted in-store shows, and been the cause of lengthy lines every Record Store Day since opening. After just over half a decade, the record store will be moving locations and setting up shop on the Square above Nella.
“I signed the lease on the spot a month ago. It all happened real quick,” said Swider. “I’d been looking for a place to move for about a year now and got wind of the place on the Square and went to look at it. Didn’t think I’d ever be able to afford it, but we can afford it so I went for it. This all happened in like 24 hours.”
As soon as ink was dry on the lease, Swider set the ball rolling on making the move happen.
“The same day I signed the lease I applied for sign permits,” said Swider. “It’s been kind of a whirlwind but that’s how I prefer it.”
While the new location is roughly the same size, the store’s capacity for records will increase by roughly 2,000 thanks to improved rack designs, pushing the store’s overall stock to approximately 17,000 records.
“We’re building new racks that are much more efficient,” said Swider. “The new racks look beautiful. Ricky and Eric from Limber Timber just up North Lamar built all of the new racks and are building a new front counter. Ryan Pierce built a few as well that we’ll move over to the new shop.”
The extra space will go to strengthening their back catalogue as well as shelving some used records that have been in storage.
“Our back catalogue of legacy acts will be deeper than it ever has,” said Swider. “We’ll have every Doors album, every Stones album. We have that now, to an extent, but now it will go even deeper. I’ve been holding back about 500 records to help break in the new store that I think people are really going to lose their minds about. There’s a sealed first pressing of Big Star’s first record.”
In addition to more records, Swider hopes being on the Square will help expose them to an even wider audience.
“I think that will open us up to more used records,” said Swider. “The more eyes on the business, the more lead we’ll have.”
The record shop will also extend its business hours to 9 pm Wednesday through Saturday.
“I’ve always wanted to be open late but it’s really not conducive to our current location,” said Swider. “Having a spot like the record store on the Square that’s open late will give them an outlet that they don’t currently have. If you’re waiting on a table to free up or you want to have a couple beers you can walk over to the record store now. That’s a dream come true for me because I love going to the record stores at night.”
The week leading up to the grand opening will be spent placing racks and shaping the store.
“I’ve had about six years to think about what a new store would look like so it’s really nice having a clean slate to start with.”
The space allowed him to better group genres, such as having rock all in one area, and design the store exactly how he sees fit.
“It’s a huge debate because I mean where do you put Michael Jackson? Is he in rock, hip hop, soul? I think all record stores deal with that, though,” said Swider. “At the new store we’re going to have a rock pop section, which is something we’ve never had, that’s going to have more contemporary stuff that high school kids are listening to like Cage The Elephant, Portugal. The Man, Twenty-One Pilots, all that still will be in its own section. We’ll also be expanding the hip hop section.”
Given how close the new location is to the town’s music venues, Swider hopes to increase the amount of in-store shows they can do each month.
“It’ll be really easy for artists to walk over and play a show,” said Swider. “Most of the in-store shows will be after 5 pm or on Sundays. They’ll be acoustic because it’s too much to ask a band to haul equipment up a flight of stairs to play for 20 minutes.”
The first show at the new location will be Cody Rogers at the grand opening on January 19 starting at 5:30 pm. Rogers released a new album January 12 and The End of All Music will be the exclusive seller of the cassette version of the album.
With the move, the record store is finally how Swider envisioned it six years ago when they opened their doors on North Lamar.
“I always thought when we opened in 2012 that I didn’t want to do it unless we were a great record store—one of the best—and I think we achieved that,” said Swider. “With the store how it is in the new location people are going to be like, ‘Holy shit this is a record store.’ It’s going to be jaw dropping when you step in. I’m so excited. I’m giddy.”