I just received some disturbing news from a friend of mine.
Atomic Records – formerly Ludwig Van Ear – is going under in February of 2009 (click on the Atomic link to read the owner’s message).
Atomic Records is located on Locust Avenue in Milwaukee, and they were, if not still are, one of the greatest music shops in this country. (And I write that having shopped in New York, San Francisco, L.A., Seattle, Austin, Boston and many other cities across this great land).
The owner had a fantastic eye and ear for imported and domestic releases from every alternative/indie band you could name. Pick the most obscure recording you could come up with, and they either had it, or knew how to get it.
Many is the day that I hopped on my bike and made the dangerous 45 minute ride from suburban Brookfield into the bowels of Milwaukee to the outskirts of the fashionable East Side, only to return with a handful of records for the awkward ride home. Then 16, I spent the summers (or skipping school) driving down in the Brougham (or Bill, Jack’s car) to find the latest bands we’d heard on WMSE.
Atomic Records is part of the reason I have no savings of any note to this day. Apparently, between the economy and the lack of CD sales, they simply couldn’t keep it alive any longer.
Here’s to you, Atomic Records. It was a great run, and you will be missed.