Stephanie Covart Meyerring, second generation owner of Electric Fetus, graciously agreed to give us some insight into this long running Minneapolis institution for this edition of the Record Store Spotlight!
1. How long have you been in business?
The Electric Fetus is an independent music and gift store in business since 1968. We are best known for our funky environment, vast array of music selection, used product, vinyl, hard to find titles, exclusive product, in-store performances/events, and our unique clothing and gift boutique.
2. Can you give me some background on the shop?
The Electric Fetus began in June of 1968 on the West Bank of the University of Minnesota with an initial inventory of pre-recorded music that by today’s standards would be considered less than a small personal collection. The Fetus was started by my Dad and a few of his friends who just enjoyed music. My Dad became sole owner after a few years of opening and now my husband and I are second-generation owners of our family business.
From day one of opening, The Fetus connected with the community. There weren’t many alternative places to shop back then. Large commercial entities were running the music scene and there wasn’t a niche for more independent music. The Fetus started in a young college community, which wanted a shopping alternative. The original store opened with a very small initial inventory of pre-recorded music and local artisan gifts. We just brought in what our customers wanted to buy. And by doing this, we learned a lot from them.
3. Do you focus on any particular genres of music or any specific formats?
We are known for our vast array of music in all formats, hard to find titles and collectibles. We are also more than music. You can buy anything from clothing, hats, purses and accessories, jewelry, baby/kid items, candles, bath and body products and housewares. We cater to all ages and pride ourselves in being a place where the whole family can come and enjoy themselves. We sell things that are fun!
4. What are some of your best sellers?
Some current top sellers:
Robert Plant & Alison Krauss “Raise the Roof”
Bo Burnham “Inside”
The Wombats “Fix Yourself, Not the World”
Radiohead “KID A MNESIA”
Sting “The Bridge”
Current top sellers in our gift boutique
Electric Fetus merchandise
Socks, Tea Towels and Oven Mitts
5. What are the biggest challenges you think the store will have to navigate in the next ten years?
There are always going to be challenges in business but you have to take things one day at a time and be willing and open to change. One challenge that has been ongoing for us is navigating the rise of downloading and streaming. And of course in recent years another challenge that we are navigating daily is how to operate safely during a pandemic.
There have been a lot of changes at The Electric Fetus over our 53 plus years we have been in business. The format in which people purchase music has always evolved. We have successfully changed over the years because we do listen to our customers and community. What won’t change is our commitment to turning our community on to cool music, unique gifts and providing excellent customer service.
6. Favorite three records of 2021/Any staff favorites?
This is a hard one. But if I had to pick 3 it would be albums my kids and I enjoyed together this year:
Joy Oladokum “In Defense of My Own Happiness”
Billie Eilish “Happier than Ever”
Music Buyer Jim’s top 3
Some 2021 favorites:
War on Drugs “I Don’t Live Here Anymore”
Failure “Wild Type Droid”
Silk Sonic “An Evening With Silk Sonic”
7. Anything else you want customers to know? (do you feature live in-store performances? Have a cozy listening room, etc?).
Like all music lovers, we’ve really mourned the loss of live music during the pandemic. The Fetus was known for our live in-store performances/events and we just recently hosted performances from The Wombats, Mason Jennings and The Cactus Blossoms. It was exciting to feel that energy again.
Some random fun facts:
The Electric Fetus has been named worst name for a record store in the 90’s!
Ringo Starr wore an Electric Fetus T-Shirt on the Red Carpet and to the Grammy Awards in 2010.
Prince was a customer and big supporter of The Fetus. He was even at The Fetus on RSD a few days before his tragic passing and his last tweet (@prnlegacy) was about the store. We have people visit us now from all over the world to show their support because they know that Prince was a fan.
2000 4th Ave. S
Minneapolis, MN 55404
Tues-Sat: 10:00am - 6:00pm
Sun: 11:00am - 6:00pm