Longtime Rochester alternative music shop closing after 29 years

Jul 18, 2017

Credit Beth Adams/WXXI

Alternative music fans are browsing the collection at Lakeshore Record Exchange on Park Avenue for the last time.

The longtime Rochester alternative music store is closing next month after decades in business. Owner Andrew Chinnici says the European and American records and CDs he sells aren't that hard to find anymore because most people buy their music online.

"In a way, you could say that it's good because more people listen to more music now than they ever have before." he said. "It's just the way in which they get it is different.  And that's the thing that sort of means that a place like this doesn't really have a reason for being."

Derek Block was one of several customers looking through the racks of records Tuesday morning. He heard about the closure a few days ago and said it makes him sad because he has a sentimental attachment to the store.

"I'm a very tangible music person, especially with vinyl,” Block said. “I like having this big thing that I can hold and look at the album cover and actually feel the vinyl and feel the grooves. It's just more meaningful to me that way, so I'm still gonna buy vinyl."

A liquidation sale starts Monday, July 24. Chinnici said he owns the building where the shop is located at 370 Park Avenue, so he can remain open until all or most of his inventory is sold.

Lakeshore Record Exchange is hosting a farewell event on Wednesday, September 20, with a concert by the Australian electronic artists The Severed Heads followed by a video presentation and conversation with the band's founding member, Tom Ellard, at the Memorial Art Gallery.

Chinnici says he'll continue his streaming radio station http://alternativemusic.com/ and a monthly film series screening music documentaries and performance films at the Memorial Art Gallery.

Lakeshore Record Exchange was founded in Charlotte in 1980 by Ron and Jackie Stein. Ron Stein said in an email that it was the first shop in Rochester to specialize in heavy metal, eventually expanding to new wave and progressive rock.  When the Steins left the Rochester area in 1988, Chinnici purchased the business and he moved the store to its current Park Avenue location in 2000.