Fourth Street Music opened its doors in May 2006 after Robert McCarthy, Stoneground owner and current Fourth Street owner, stopped by Orion’s Music. At the time, many of the local businesses in Sugar House were scrambling to relocate. Orion’s owner Andy Fletcher was looking to move and needed to get rid of his shop and his inventory. Mccarthy walked out as the new owner. Mccarthy then called up Chase Loter, and asked him if he would like to run the shop. Loter spent the next couple of months at Orion’s learning the business before the big move to Fourth Street.
Photo: Chris Swainston
On April 1, Fourth Street Music will undergo another change in ownership. Paying three employees just wasn’t financially possible anymore, and Mccarthy wanted to close the shop down. However. Chase Loter and Craig Te’o (an employee since September of 2006) didn’t want to see the shop they had come to love close its doors. “We couldn’t see the record store shut down,” Te’o said. “When any independent locally run store is shut down it does a disservice to the community.” So they decided to take the risk and purchase the shop––lowering overhead by cutting hours and becoming the store’s only employees.
Before Fourth Street and Orion’s, Loter had never worked at a record store. “I’ve been in record stores long enough my whole life but never had the job. You always have to know somebody,” Loter said. Te’o had a little experience doing some backroom work at Randy’s Records. “It’s always been the job I’ve wanted,” Te’o said. Te’o is a SLC native and Fourth Street is all about supporting local artists. There is a small room in the back devoted to local releases, and the counter up front is full of various locally made glassware and jewelry.
The change in ownership will also come with a change in inventory. Vinyl sales are increasing. The old albums come with low prices and the new albums come with free mp3 downloads. “People are buying a lot more vinyl,” Loter said. The two suspect that vinyl could possibly replace CDs as the preferred tangible, physical medium. “CDs are a dying breed and will probably disappear in the next four years,” Loter said. The guys hope to push out the CDs and get the vinyl to CD ratio in the shop to about 70/30.
There is no better month than April for buying a record store, as the second annual Record Store Day falls on April 18. Although giants like Tower and Virgin have fallen, all across the country people are celebrating their local shops. Bob Dylan, Modest Mouse, Leonard Cohen and Lykke Li are all part of a massive and impressive list of artists signed on for exclusive Record Store Day 7”s.
Record Store Day Events in Utah:
221 E Broadway
Slowtrain Music will host an all-day party featuring music from local bands like Tolchock Trio, Band of Annuals, The Devil Whale, The Rubes, Eagle Twin and many more from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. The shop will also start its official “Get Un-Chained” campaign on April 18. For the next year bring any shitty chain record-store gift card to the shop and receive a Slowtrain gift card for an equal amount.
Graywhale CD Exchange
Locations Throughout Wasatch Front
The Salt Lake, Ogden, Taylorsville and Provo locations of Graywhale CD Exchange will each be hosting various local artists during the day. Check out the search for the next great metal band in Ogden, Brandi Carlile at the Salt Lake Store, a local hip hop showcase in Taylorsville and various North Platte Record artists at the Provo store.
Fourth Street Music
249 E 400 S
April 18 will double as the shop’s official grand re-opening. DJ Chase One 2, DJ Rawsheed and Finale will be spinning records all day. Nathan Spencer and The Naked Eyes will be playing live sets in-store.
The Heavy Metal Shop
63 Exchange Place
Call for details.
342 S. State St.
Call for details.
157 E. 900 S.
10% all cash purchases storewide.
$1 record sale event. Live demo by Utah Beatmasters making fresh tracks live.
173 N. 100 W.
Cedar City, UT
Groovacious will be offering 20 percent off all merchandise all day long. The Cedar City shop will also be spinning vinyl records all day long.