The goal of the Record Store Spotlight is to shine a light on SofaBurn's favorite brick and mortar record stores. In this installment we spoke with James Downing-Groth of Blind Rage Records in Dayton, OH.
1. How long have you been in business?
Blind Rage Records began as a hardcore punk label in 2018 but pretty quickly branched out into other styles of music including indie rock, hip hop and a couple more avant-garde acts. The storefront opened in August of 2020.
2. Why did you decide to open a record store?
The label grew too much too fast and needed to move out of our house. The search for an office space turned into a store front instead and everything just kind of fell into place.
"We go out of our way to keep the bins and rare walls stocked with as much cool stuff as we can and try to keep it interesting. "
3. Do you focus on any particular genres of music or any specific formats?
There is definitely a bias towards punk/hardcore but we put a lot of love into stocking the more obscure indie rock, metal & hip hop titles that you might not find in other stores.
4. What are some of your best sellers?
2021 best seller was probably a tie between the debut LP from Gulch (Santa Cruz HC) and pop icon Olivia Rodrigo funny enough. Our first year I couldn't get enough copies of the Coriky LP from Dischord. All time best seller in the shop is probably Minor Threat's Out of Step, which is a personal all time favorite.
5. What are the biggest challenges you think the store will have to navigate in the next ten years?
Probably just keeping people engaged and wanting to come in to dig! We don't have a very heavy online presence and do not sell on Discogs or eBay so we very much rely on people wanting to come in. We go out of our way to keep the bins and rare walls stocked with as much cool stuff as we can and try to keep it interesting.
6. Anything else you want customers to know? (do you feature live in-store performances? Have a cozy listening room, etc?).
We do reserve a space in the shop for liver performances! We're still getting back into booking music and it's been great so far. We've hosted a few bands off the label here like Gel, Body Farm & Oh Condor as well as a few touring acts like Sanguisugabogg & Kira McSpice to name a few. We'd love to host most shows, especially of the louder variety! Touring bands should reach out via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow them on Instagram here