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Atomic Records will close forever in February.

Atomic Records will close its doors in February

First, the good news: There is a wonderful holiday sale at Atomic Records.

Now, the horrible news: It'll be the last one.

Ever.

Atomic Records, which has been an East Side institution for nearly a quarter century, is closing. Owner Rich Menning announced the news on the store's Web site.

Menning's message:

"It is with great sadness and more than a little difficulty that I have to announce that Atomic Records will be closing in February 2009.

"The reasons for shutting down are many -- and I'd hate to bore you with wonkish details of shifting demographics, downward market trends, changing consumer habits, etc. -- but the decade-long (and running) decline of the music industry combined with the recent economic downturn have made it impossible to continue doing what we love to do.

"Thank You !"

The note goes on to talk about the 20 percent off everything for the month of December sale. Menning said that he'd rather sell the merchandise than return it.

For more information, check the Web site.


Talkbacks

alwaysONwheels | Dec. 5, 2008 at 12:38 p.m. (report)

What a wretched day in Milwaukee history. This seriously sucks. There are a number of locally owned businesses that make Milwaukee what it is. Atomic definitely made its mark here, as did a few other record shops that are no longer alive. For those of us who do not own an ipod and refuse to succomb to the technological advances of music availibility, we are going to be left peering into the old vacant spaces where the shops once lay feeling as empty as the buildings themselves. There was nothing more rewarding than scavanging thru bins and racks of albums for hours in search of some of the greatest music ever produced. That feeling of finding "gold" is priceless. Then actually listening to the whole album all the way through and being able to understand each song and artist on a personal level was like a journey in itself. A time capsule. Downloading songs and compiling playlists is convenient and whatever, but I think the essence of it all is lost somewhere in cyberspace. I am so sad. soooo sad... RIP Atomic.

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deceasedlavy | Dec. 5, 2008 at 11:22 a.m. (report)

this is the worst possible news for milwaukee. i'm in denial, and if there's any way to stop this, i need to know what it is. i'm buying a powerball today in hopes that i can keep atomic alive. the fact that somebody could think it's more fun to shop online than to go to a record store blows my mind, but i'm happy to be a relic like atomic. except not right now.

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Dowtowner | Dec. 5, 2008 at 9:34 a.m. (report)

This is a loss, but like Atomic says on its site "changing consumer habits" and other factors are at play here. I loved their weekly e-mail newsletters and Atomic was/is a force for local music and unique retail. But, just looking at my habits .... I've probably bought 3-5 actual, hard CDs in the past 8-9 years ... everything else is downloaded. I don't even like to browse stores anymore (used to love hanging out at Exclusive and Best Buy) .... but now, it's easier and more fun to browse online at version sites/stores. And, while I drive by Atomic at least 3-4 times per week, haven't been in there in the last 8 years or so. The owners are music people, they will find their way and continue to make their mark on the Milwaukee music scene. All things happen as they should.

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Gomez | Dec. 5, 2008 at 9:23 a.m. (report)

I bought my very first Misfits tape there in 1986 (I still own it). I don't frequent the East Side very often anymore but as with a lot my youth, this will close another chapter. Or to wax poetic; Die, Die My Darling.

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littletinyfish | Dec. 5, 2008 at 9:02 a.m. (report)

@megster @brunocarlson I was wondering the exact same thing. It'd be easier to keep the place open if you didn't have to pay the employees and I can imagine there are A LOT of people who would love to fulfill their dream of being a record store snob. Where do I sign up for the Atomic Co-Op?

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