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Solid State strives to foster a community of music and art lovers

Posted on 26 October 2017 by calvin

Record shop hosts Vinyl 101 workshops, in-store performances, public gallery nights and more

By TESHA M. CHRISTENSEN
For Phil Borreson, opening up a record shop in Longfellow with his wife, Hannah, was a way to turn a passion for music into a viable career. At the same time, he gets to share that passion with a community of like-minded people.

Solid State opened at 4022 E. 46th St. in the former Pink Closet Consignment building in December 2016. In the past, the 4,248-square-foot space had also housed a grocery store, hardware store, and vacuum shop.

Photo right: For Hannah and Phil Borreson opening up a record shop in the Longfellow neighborhood was a way to turn a passion for music into a viable career. Solid State is located at 4022 E. 46th St. (Photo courtesy of Heather Swanson @photonut74)

While Solid State also carries new and used cassette tapes, CDs, DVDs, Blu-Ray discs, and retro video games, the heart of the business is its vinyl record collection.

There’s an experience associated with vinyl records, pointed out Borreson, an additional layer that MP3s don’t provide.

“Downloading a song is incredibly impersonal when compared to the thoughtfulness that goes into getting a record. The act of going to a shop and finding that record and talking to the people at the shop about the record, getting to share that excitement, that experience, with other people, that’s what sets it apart,” stated Borreson.
It is also what sets their store apart.

The Borresons make an effort to be helpful and friendly with every customer who steps through the door. “We offer advice where we can, and we do our best to help people find the records they’re looking for, and maybe even show them some cool stuff they don’t yet know about,” remarked Borreson. “Some shops you walk into and you don’t talk to another person until you’re checking out, but we want to connect with the people in the community who take the time to come visit us.”

Do people under 40 listen to vinyl records?
When the iPod was released in the mid-2000s, the younger generation began clamoring for something that they could experience. “They not only wanted to listen to their music, but they also wanted to hold it and feel it in their hands. Thus the vinyl resurgence began over a decade ago,” pointed out Borreson, who falls within the under 40 age category himself.

Photo left: In recent years, vinyl has become more desirable simply because of its aesthetic appeal. “Having the ability to add a song to your phone or computer is convenient, but it’s also impersonal,” pointed out Solid State owner Phil Borreson. (Photo by Tesha M. Christensen)

In recent years, vinyl has become more desirable simply because of its aesthetic appeal. “Having the ability to add a song to your phone or computer is convenient, but it’s also impersonal,” pointed out Borreson.

“There’s nothing interesting about tapping a screen until you find the song you want. But there is a very special kind of excitement that a person feels when they go to a record shop, and they find a record they love and hold it in their hands, a physical copy that they can see and feel and hear without the use of a device. It’s refreshing. And people know that, or at least they’re beginning to recognize it.

“More and more as this ‘digital age’ pushes forward, people want a break from the technology that surrounds them almost constantly, and vinyl records can give people that break.”

Vinyl 101, live music and art
There’s a lot more to a turntable than an iPod or smartphone regarding the musical operation. Solid State offers Vinyl 101 workshops to give customers a basic rundown of how to use their turntable and some maintenance techniques to keep it in tip-top shape. During the workshop, they share some tips they’ve picked up over the years to keep music sounding great on the turntable.

The next Vinyl 101 will be on ladies night Wed., Nov. 8. Women also get 10% off all used vinyl from 5-7pm.

“Solid State is well equipped to be the destination store for life-long collectors, and also be a friendly place for people who want to start collecting and need a helping hand,” said Borreson.

The shop accepts submissions from musicians and artists seeking special perks such as prime product placement, social media plugs, etc. Musical acts can also earn the chance for in-store performances, while artists can score public gallery nights.

Photographs by Heather Swanson (Instagram tag @photonut74) are currently on display in the store. A reception is planned for Tues., Nov. 14.

Audio from past in-store performances is available and includes Falcon Arrow’s Feb. 17 show, Graham Bramblett‘s March 11 show, and Ellen Stekert’s Mar. 25 show. Check the website for upcoming musical events.

In addition to musical items, Solid State also stocks “exclusive” home accessories, Engels by Design handbags, jewelry, accessories, vintage band T-shirts, and musical equipment. Call 612-916-0990 to sell unwanted media.

Solid State is open Monday to Saturday from 11am to 7pm, and Sunday 11am to 6pm. View the online catalog at solidstatemn.com.

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