11th Street Records brings vinyl store and recording studio to downtown


Typically, the locations where music is recorded, printed (such as in a record label), and sold are separate from each other. But there is a tradition that goes back further than rock ‘n’ roll itself, where the process of creating music to selling music takes place largely in the same space. The old Sun Record Company building had Memphis Recording Service on site. Motown’s Hitsville USA started with Studio A on Detroit’s West Grand Boulevard. Richard Branson expanded his Virgin Records and Tapes store in Oxford, England, to include the now iconic label. And Jack White opened a record store, label headquarters, and performance space for his Third Man Records in 2009.

And now Las Vegas will have its own all-in-one music store: 11th Street Records, a partnership between musician / label owner Ronald Corso and Downtown Project. The multi-faceted retail space is targeting an opening in late October at 1023 Fremont St., adjacent to both the refurbished Bunkhouse, which will soon open, and the new music room The Wheelhouse, all of which are on a plot. owned by DTP.

The opportunity presents itself at a unique focal point for Corso, who has also recorded local artists like A Crowd of Small Adventures (of which he was previously a member), Holding Onto Sound and Mother McKenzie for his National Southwestern Electronic Recording imprint, and Downtown Project, the $ 350 million urban development initiative launched by Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh.

Corso, passionate about both traditional LP and the ‘golden age’ of the music industry in the 1950s and 1960s, long dreamed of opening a vinyl store, and Downtown Project created a recording studio and a local label near the top of its agenda. Ashton Allen, head of DTP’s music team, approached and formed a relationship with Corso, and over time they agreed to integrate all three elements into one space, with an overarching goal of engaging and to cultivate the local music community.

“That’s where it goes, and the people who love music and records are often musicians themselves, so stepping into the scene seemed like the smart thing to do,” says Corso. “There are many precedents for record stores with studios that cultivate and contribute to the creative community in their cities. I studied the “scenes”. Previously, all the music came from the big media centers. When I was in high school, that started to change. Manchester, Minneapolis, Athens, Seattle, all those nasty places had cool scenes. They all had some things in common, besides talented people. It just seemed to me that with the Bunkhouse, put this thing in Fremont and 11th [Street] had the potential to have that kind of impact.

Plans for 11th Street Records include:

• The point of sale, which will include a division halfway between new vinyl and used vinyl acquired nationally, with related items and accessories. CD inventory will mainly be limited to local versions.

• National Southwestern Recording Studio, an “analogue rock’n’roll hybrid recording studio, available for rental. His goal is both to record music for the NSW label, as well as to provide artists and contract producers and engineers with a place to deposit music. “There are a lot of guys in town like me, who check in garages, storage units and rooms on laptops, and are just limited by their rooms and equipment,” Corso explains. “The studio is intended to solve some of the problems of the home studio and the commercial studio and to be a bridge between the two. These types of guys will have access to this studio. This will challenge some of the standard assumptions of the studio industry, but the goal is to produce a lot more music in this city. NSW Recordings, as such, will call 11th Street Records home. (Corso has removed “electronics” from its company name.)

• A ticket office for the Bunkhouse owned by DTP (which will share an alley with the record store).

• Its own online store, with e-commerce platforms on Amazon and eBay. However, despite the need for these avenues of sale, Corso emphasizes that there is a financial, cultural and social emphasis on the brick and mortar store. “Our product is the experience, the social aspect that people missed, flipping the shelves. “

• Some studio performances – and possibly accompanying interviews – will be captured for a forward-looking episodic online show inspired by UK institutions Live from Abbey Road and pioneering live mini-concert streaming from KEXP. Also on the program: in-store sets, appearances and meetings with artists performing at the Bunkhouse and other venues.

This reduction in facilities, if implemented (successfully), would create the kind of musical destination that local artists make on pilgrimages to major cities and lament the lack of a return home. This suggests that Downtown Project, which has convinced its partner Corso to “think bigger” than just cashing in on the commercial vinyl revival, is willing to put its money where its mouth is when it comes to promoting creation. of passionate scenes and empowerment of small businesses. owners like its audiophile partner. If 11th Street Records sounds incredibly ambitious for Downtown and Las Vegas, it is meant to be.

“I want to go as far as possible,” says Corso. “I think I’m kind of a poster for the way the Downtown Project is supposed to work.”

Ashton Allen, Music Director of the Downtown Project, says, “The hope and goal of DTP’s partnership with National Southwestern Recording Studio and 11th St. Records is to provide a central hub for the music community of downtown Las Vegas. Large records will be created here. . Great records will be discovered and purchased here. I imagine special appearances, performances and signings from bands that play Bunkhouse Saloon, Life Is Beautiful and beyond. It’s quite a game changer and truly a “must have” item for the downtown music scene. Add Ronald’s abilities, his philosophy and his love for downtown Las Vegas and you end up with a truly exciting partnership.


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