Atomic Records to Close in February, 2009

Image of Atomic Records courtesy of Google Images

It’s the end of an era for music lovers in Milwaukee and nationwide who have ever stopped into the record store on the corner of Oakland and Locust to look for the latest CD or record that most places wouldn’t even think to carry, see a live, in-store performance by nationals such as Nada Surf and Jay Reatard to locals such as Collections of Colonies of Bees and Testa Rosa, or to pick the musical brains of fellow aficionados and friends behind the counter (Rich, Vicki, Dathan, Kevin, Sahan, Charlie, Erik and Mark). Atomic Records, open for twenty-four years, has officially announced today that it will be closing its doors in February, 2009 — Milwaukee is losing an invaluable piece of musical culture.

Owner, Rich Menning, announced the news today on Atomic Records’ home page, *here* and in the weekly Atomic Records e-newsletter. Menning says, “It is with great sadness and more than a little difficulty that I have to announce that Atomic Records will be closing in February 2009. The reasons for shutting down are many — and I’d hate to bore you with the wonkish details of shifting demographics, downward market trends, changing consumer habits, etc. — but the decade-long (and running) decline of the music industry combined with the recent economic downturn have made it impossible to continue doing what we love to do.”

Support your local record stores. Atomic Records is located at 1813 E. Locust Street. More information and history on Atomic Records: an interview with Rich Menning from CMJ *here* and photos from 2008’s Record Store Day *here*.

2 Responses to “Atomic Records to Close in February, 2009”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    I remember the first thing I bought at Atomic. Jawbreaker’s “Dear You”. I took it home and played the first song, “Save Your Generation”, and it was one of the most awesome things I’d ever heard at that moment. The memory of the lyrics of that song and the realization of something like Atomic being game-over is pretty fucking ironic…and shitty.

  2. worried Says:

    This really is quite a tragedy. I don’t think all the blame can be placed on our current economy and the decline of cd sales. Vinyl Sales are higher then have been in a long while. I think this has to do more with the owner’s lack of professionalism and experience with a changing market. This isn’t the 90’s where they can breeze by selling 50 copies of Smells like teen spirit a day.

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