Atomic Records is closing its doors in February.
This sucks: I’ve bought music at Atomic since it opened (I remember that the building used to house a record store called “Ludwig Van Ear” back in the ’70s…), and I’d assumed, or hoped, that it was doing fine specializing in independent label stuff while the majors crashed and burned.
The worst part, though, isn’t one less place to buy CDs (and yes, I do still buy CDs); it’s realizing how central Atomic was to Milwaukee’s music community. Members of I don’t know how many bands have worked there, probably met there; the store sponsored concerts and in-store appearances, and (my personal connection) was more or less headquarters for Milk magazine in the ’90s when I wrote for them. The folks who worked there were always willing to order anything you wanted, or help you find some item that had fallen between the cracks (sometimes literally: once I dropped a used CD jewelbox between two shelves accidentally…).
I suppose in the grand scheme of the economy flying headlong into the ground, one record store, as most people still all-too-quaintly refer to them, isn’t that important. And the particular set of economic factors that have led to Atomic’s demise probably were well in motion regardless of the current crisis. But, as I said: it sucks.
Good prices on remaining merchandise for the next two months, though.