Ear Wax Records

254 W Gilman St, Madison

Needle drops – record begins playing

JULIUS: That was the opening to “About a Girl” from Nirvana’s MTV live album on vinyl. Besides being a personal favorite, it happens to be the first vinyl record I ever bought from an independent record store when I was 18. Being new to record collecting, I talked with Rob Cleveland the owner of Ear Wax Records, an independent record store in Madison to learn more.

ROB: “I have always been a collector; comic books, toys and all kinds of junk throughout my childhood. I have always had that kind of bug and a lot of them [vinyl] become valuable, so you can look at it as an investment as well. ”

JULIUS: At its base record collecting is just that…collecting, but there is something more with vinyl a need to engage the material…

ROB: “It is such a casual act to throw a CD in the player, these [records] go for 70-75 minutes, so you even forget about it, but the vinyl makes you… forces you to pay attention more.”

JULIUS: Not only is listening to records require more attention. It has a way to draw you into an involved community, and that maybe vinyl’s biggest impact.

ROB: “It is whole culture the bands come in and buy records together, listen to them together, and then go to the shows together. Then they meet different people through that and it slowly becomes a growing culture, especially so in the smaller sub-genres. Some girls rollerblade, some guys play basketball, and others are into music.”

JULIUS: For me vinyl records have opened a community of like-minded music fans, from striking up conversations or just spending time reading notes on vinyl record covers. My short time with vinyl has become what I hope to be a lifelong hobby.  If you have any interest in starting your own collection head to Ear Wax Records on April 16th to participate in the 9th year of Record Store Day.


Inside of Ear Wax Records Photo Credit: Rob Cleveland




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