GENOA TWP. — Aidyn Messerschmidt says vinyl albums have a warmth other formats don’t share, and he’s looking forward to sharing his love for the musical format with others.
Messerschmidt, 21, recently opened the only full-time record store in Livingston County in the storefront where he previously ran a virtual reality arcade. Galaxy Records opened Jan. 7 with bins filled with vinyl records, a wall of Blu-rays and DVDs, and some CDs and video games at 4088 E. Grand River Ave. in the Country Corners mini-mall.
“I’m a big music fan and it never ceases to amaze me how it touches people,” Messerschmidt said. “People like to talk about music and it brings them together.”
Galaxy Records is open every day except Wednesdays. The county has one another record store, Old Homestead Record Store in Oceola Township, which is open a few hours a week, 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays.
“The record store will help people spare the drive to Ann Arbor or Lansing,” Messerschmidt said.
While digital music had started taking over and CDs were the norm when he was a child, his father Brian Messerschmidt, who helps him run the store, introduced him to the joys of vinyl records.
“I think they are warmer,” Aidyn Messerschmidt said, also saying he enjoys looking at album art and holding a physical copy in his hands.
Messerschmidt built up his vinyl stock by purchasing records from Trax N Wax, a store that had extra inventory in storage. And Galaxy Records is buying inventory from people looking to sell collections of records, DVDs and CDs and they’re offering trades. They also purchase new items from distributors.
The store opened with a large selection of pop, rock and country albums, and smaller sections for hip hop, R&B, metal, soundtracks and other genres. The selection includes classics, such as Pink Floyd and The Beach Boys, as well as contemporary artists, including Billie Eilish and Harry Styles.
Messerschmidt highlighted a few albums, including the 20th anniversary edition of Tupac Shakur’s “Until the End of Time.” The store also sports a cardboard standee of soul and R&B artist Allen Stone and sells his albums.
He said they are “feeling out” what types of media, in addition to records, will do well in the store.
“We want to upgrade to include cassettes and 45s,” he said.
Messerschmidt said he moved on from his previous virtual reality business because he didn’t think it was sustainable in the long run, in part because of ongoing equipment costs.
“I transitioned (to the record store) because virtual reality technology is always evolving, so as a business it limits it being able to last over time,” he said. “We always wanted to have the highest-quality gear. Since the equipment was pricey, we sold that and turned that into profit to buy inventory for the record store.”
One thing that hasn’t changed since changing from VR to vinyl is the store’s space-themed decor; they kept the Star Trek memorabilia. The 3D alien wall mount is still in the back of the store. It also features some memorabilia related to professional wrestling.
“Personally, I’m a heavy metal guy, but I’m opened-minded when it comes to music and I’m learning new bands and opening up my music pallete,” he said.
Contact Livingston Daily reporter Jennifer Eberbach at firstname.lastname@example.org.