E. Lansing celebrates Record Store Day


Collecting records has become a family tradition for MSU alumnus Dave Molner.

Ever since visiting his brother in San Francisco after he graduated high school, his hobby only has grown.

“(My brother) had me listen to some of his records, and when I came home, I took my mom’s old record player, and now it’s one of my favorite things,” Molner said.

On Saturday, many collectors, like Molner, paid a visit to Flat, Black & Circular, or FBC, East Lansing’s oldest record store, for Record Store Day. FBC offered giveaways, new releases and live entertainment in celebration of the holiday, celebrated by independent record stores nationwide.

Jon Howard, the manager for FBC, said the store began participating about six years ago.

“It was the major (record) labels and some independent labels trying to give a boost to small stores, with independent stores closing up and failing,” Howard said. “They wanted to help everybody out.”

Howard said Record Store Day reached its peak at FBC Saturday, with the highest local success rate since the holiday kicked off.

With vinyl sales reaching an all-time high since the last spike in the late ‘90s, Howard said it’s a good sign for store owners and faithful collectors.

“Lack of CD sales brought vinyl back up,” he said. “A couple companies started making turntables again. With the initial spike five or six years ago, I think those people started playing it for their friends, and their friends are now catching on, so it kind of snowballed from there.”

Joe Hertler, frontman of Joe Hertler & the Rainbow Seekers, performed as a solo act Saturday afternoon at FBC.

As an avid record collector who has spent hundreds of dollars at FBC, Hertler said buying vinyl brings back a more personal listening experience.

“Spending money on vinyl and taking the time and effort to listen to a record, put it on the platter, is something I think a lot more people should be able to experience,” Hertler said. “The commitment that buying and listening to vinyl brings is something that is important and something for me to grasp onto, personally.”

Howard said the task of buying vinyl shows more of an appreciation for the artist and their hard work.

“We always loved the artwork of it and feel of it and the social aspect of it,” he said. “When you really like a band, you’ll buy something that’s a product of the band that they put some work into. It’s kind of a tactile thing, and a collection thing for us. We like having a little library.”

Despite the rise of mediums, such as Pandora and Spotify, Hertler said he gets more out of the experience from listening to vinyl.

“I have a Spotify account, and it’s great because you have access to everything, but I find myself not appreciating the music as much on Spotify,” he said. “It takes away something in that listening experience.”

For Howard, there’s no greater feeling than seeing younger generations upholding his love for vinyl.

“It’s great because we always stuck with it,” he said. “We always said in the initial Napster, digital age, that vinyl was here to stay. It’s been something we’ve always championed.”

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