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Local Business Spotlight: Waiting Room Records

Written by on November 14, 2022

Photo provided by Waiting Room Records

NORMAL, Ill. – The corner of North Street and Broadway Avenue features a quaint vinyl shop with a wide variety of music genres, vintage, grunge aesthetic, and a friendly cat named Murph who greets you at the door.

Waiting Room Records has been a part of Uptown Normal since 2004 selling CDs and DVDs, and as the name implies, records. In an age where streaming music is commonplace for the general public, tangible copies of music generally aren’t the first choice to listen to music with.

However that doesn’t mean there isn’t a population of people who prefer their listening experience to reflect simpler times.
One of these people is Jared Alcorn, the owner of Waiting Room Records, who had plenty to say about the choice of vinyl over streaming. Alcorn discussed the difference it makes and how it serves the community.

“I think using tangible sources of music brings people back to a more active type of listening,” said Alcorn. “With streaming and everything you can just go run errands or hit the gym but with something like vinyl you have to sit and be present in the active listening experience. I think it’s a great way of listening to music.”

At the time of Waiting Room Records grand opening in 2004, streaming music was nowhere near what it is today, making CDs a big hit. As technology advanced and streaming became the most convenient option, the demand for CDs diminished. While the demand for CDs diminished, an audience for vinyl slowly started to rise alongside the popularization of vintage trends.

“It’s nice to see some people who gave up CDs as time went on come back and pick up records instead and refueling that original love they had, or younger crowds immersing themselves in something new,” said Alcorn.

Social media has shown us that there is a bit of a crossover between people who choose vinyl over streaming, and the type of music they like to enjoy. This makes certain vinyl copies more marketable. However, in order to properly serve the community, you must take everyone’s preferences into account as to not alienate less typical listeners.

“I try to keep a wide variety of music and genres so that there’s something here for everyone,” said Alcorn. “To appeal to the community as a whole.”