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As part of the Newcomers Issue, City Pulse compiled several lists under the title “Where Can I Find…” These lists are meant as a brief guide for people unfamiliar with Lansing.
Once upon a diamond stylus, our ancestors frequented places called “music shops,” which came in two kinds. There were places you could audition and buy recorded music — on vinyl, for instance — and there were places where you could buy a musical instrument, have one repaired or pick up some new sheet music for your next Sunday parlor recital. In 2019, greater Lansing has thriving examples of both, and in greater numbers than you might expect.
Flat, Black & Circular
541 E. Grand River Ave., East Lansing
Open Tues.-Sat. 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Climb the stairs of this unassuming little mall across from Michigan State University, pass under the unnatural arch of solidly stacked 45 rpm records and you will enter a timeless zone of classic record store browsing. Tens of thousands of vinyl records and CDs span every genre from punk to classical to hip-hop. Top it off with DVDs and Blu-Rays, stereo equipment and a few (but not too many) assorted record store trappings in a local institution with more than 40 years of history.
The Record Lounge
REO Town Marketplace
1027 S. Washington Ave., Lansing
Open Tues.-Thurs. 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Sunday 12 p.m.-3 p.m.
Vinyl is king in this funky little emporium tucked into the REO Town Marketplace, with veteran music guru Heather Frarey to guide you on your journey to high fidelity. A selection of high-quality vintage amps, speakers and turntables, refurbished by an expert house electrician, leaves you no excuse to be contented with your Sirius XM subscription.
Marshall Music Co.
3240 E. Saginaw St., Lansing
Open Mon.-Thurs. 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
Friday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Sat. 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Marshall Music is a venerable Lansing, and Michigan, institution, with 70 years of history. They don’t sell CDs here anymore, but Marshall is still the area’s premier purveyor of pianos, keyboards, percussion, winds and strings, with a crack repair staff and spiffy showrooms. While ogling the fandooglers, you might even spot a star like MSU Jazz Studies director and bassist Rodney Whitaker, checking in to get an adjustment on his favorite axe.
1100 N. Washington Ave., Lansing
Open Tues.-Fri. 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Sat. 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Folk music is the yolk of the egg at Elderly Instruments, nationally celebrated retailer of guitars, ukuleles, mandolins, banjos and other stringed instruments, but there’s a lot more to see, pluck and bow here. From accordions, sitars, bouzoukis, thumb pianos and musical saws, these guys have it all. Thanks largely to a far-flung mail order business, visiting folk, rock, pop, country, jazz and classical musicians frequently head straight to Elderly the minute they hit town — even non-musicians come in to gape at the rare and collectible stuff.
Replay Entertainment Exchange
536 E. Grand River Ave., Lansing
Open Sun.-Thurs. 12 p.m.-6 p.m.
Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
The music connection here is a big selection of used CDs and vinyl, along with Blu-Rays, DVDs and games.