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11th Street Records Still Alive and Rockin’

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The vinyl revival wants you to know that the Internet might have killed TV and radio stars, but it has not killed record stores.

“We need some tunes, man,” says a relaxed Ron Corso on a Monday night before walking behind a counter at the store he owns, 11th Street Records.

He slips a black LP out of its jacket, meticulously wipes it, and places the needle on it before the quiet space is filled by the 60s muffled drums and guitar rock sound of “T-Rex.”

Music is important to a lot of people but it also has to “hit the spot,” Corso, “none-of-your-f—–g business” years old says. There’s something special about flipping through the racks, discovering new music, and then getting home and popping an LP onto a record player.

He calls it “Zen” and it’s catching on.

Entering 11th Street Records, 1023 Fremont St., the fresh stain smell of the wooden racks filled with hundreds of records reaches your nose before your eyes register the checkered floor and the records and posters plastered on the walls.

Seen at the store: The Growlers’ “Hunger Heart” ($21), Evanescence’s “Fallen” and The Stooges’ “Raw Power” (both $60).

11th Street Records’ soft opening took place in April and the store has already received an “overwhelming” response from vinyl aficionados.

“Las Vegas was hungry for a good record store,” Corso said.

“We needed a record store like this,” says Cromm Fallon, who spins music around the Las Vegas valley and California as DJ Cromm Astaire. He especially enjoys the extensive variety of records and their affordable prices.

The store can best be compared to Burger Records, a notable store in Fullerton, Calif., known for its influence on the second coming of the garage rock genre, Fallon said.

Fallon’s bought a “s–tload” of albums during his visits: from 1972’s Stevie Wonder’s Talking Book (50 cents) to 1978’s Gary Numan and the Tubeway Army ($10)

The “warm” and “raw” sound produced by the record needle when the LPs spin around it is preferable than the one that comes from digitalized tracks, Fallon said. His worn-out records have “character” and a “hiss” he enjoys, too.

He’s not the only one who feels this way.

Vinyl sales are on the rise—with an increase each of the past four years and 2014 being the biggest year in 23 years, according to sonicbids.com.

That’s what makes owning a record store a feasible business, says Corso, who wore salt-and-peppered Morrissey hair, jeans and tennies. His unbuttoned long-sleeve stripped shirt just covered the greens and reds of his arm’s tattoos.

It was also a natural business approach for him, who started his record collection as a youngster. “I would buy record based on their covers, you know?”

This way, he discovered bands like The Smiths and REM. He also found bands whose album covers terrified him, such as Mercyful Fate and other 80s black metal bands. Art usually comprised of face paint, Lucifer and pentagrams. But still, “that was awesome.”

And he is hopeful that others find music the same way.

About four or five years the vinyl revival coincided with Corso’s, who says he was at a loss on what to do next with his life.

His wife suggested that he should open a record store since he was buying lots of vinyl.

Corso said there are no complaints about running his store.

His favorite part? “I get to spend all my time at a record store,” he said laughing.

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