Homer’s Music, staple in Lincoln music retail, closes

By Nic Brown The music experience is changing rapidly. It has been changing rapidly. The most common casualty of the changing business model for musicians has most recently become one of the exact industries feared: the record store. Homer’s, a record store that already saw the end of it’s downtown location in 2007, is now

By Nic Brown

The music experience is changing rapidly. It has been changing rapidly. The most common casualty of the changing business model for musicians has most recently become one of the exact industries feared: the record store. Homer’s, a record store that already saw the end of it’s downtown location in 2007, is now eliminated from Lincoln completely. The last remaining in-city location at 61st & O closed it’s doors on Saturday, September 5th—a day premature from it’s scheduled date of closing the following Sunday. The store briefly re-opened on September 9th for the release of anticipated re-mastered material from The Beatles.
“It’s been on the downfall for a long time,” says Julian Hall, a former employee at Homer’s downtown location from 2000 to 2007. Hall noted the unique clientele and makeup of Homer’s catalogue and customers. “You’ve got your niche markets like Spindle [Records], that may get a little of the new stuff in, but for the most part you’d have to actually order it, etc. Whereas Homer’s is an actual music store that will get the newest–even if you don’t like it–Britney Spears or whatever, but also gets the more [independent] stuff that may be a little bit harder to find, which [a store such as] Best Buy either isn’t going to have, or won’t really bother trying to find for you because that’s not really where they make their money.”
Much is made of the shifting place and/or face of social communication for the music consumer with the loss of the record store. Shawn Stokes, Lincoln High Art teacher, was a former employee of both Dirt Cheap and Twister’s, record stores in Lincoln pre-dating the invasion of Homer’s, until 1994.
“The biggest thing about it to me is just the communal experience,” Stokes reflects. “That whole thing of somebody going, ‘Hey, you need to listen to this!’ I’ll be curious to see what the experience is like.” Not to be indigenous to the advantages of new-school music consumption, Stokes noted: “Accessing music digitally has given us the plus side of ‘more people/more acts’, etc.—and to a degree, I suppose, democratized the system. But just the physical aspect, flipping thru albums, the clicking of CD cases against each other…that’s an experience in and of itself.”

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