Music junkies are audiophiles at heart, which is why vinyl’s popularity has seen an upsurge. Listening to your favorite tunes the way they were meant to be heard certainly makes for a more intimate experience than, say, on your computer. Take a few hours (or days) and indulge your inner music nerd completely. From modern vinyl releases to obscure singles and retro memorabilia, the contents of local record stores will enchant any music enthusiast.
Corner Record Shop
1710 W. Main St., Kalamazoo
kzoocornerrecordshop.com, (269) 381-0218
129 S. Division Ave., Grand Rapids
vertigomusiconline.com, (616) 742-5106
It is no secret that Founders’ tap room has been extravagantly remodeled, but the beer often outshines the talent that frequents the stage. The brewery is earning a name for itself not only as a music venue, but a post-concert hangout, with David Byrne stopping by last summer. As far as local and regional talent, Founders often gets the pick of the litter, with Cymbals Eat Guitars, The Crane Wives and The Fuzzrites performing.
235 Grandville Ave. SW, Grand Rapids
foundersbrewing.com, (616) 776-1195
At some venues, crowds drown out the music and mosh pits leave battle scars. At Seven Steps Up, civilized and focused listening is mandatory. One of a select few “listening rooms” throughout the nation, the venue features touring singer songwriters in the acoustic Pin Drop Concert series. With seating in a historic building limited to 110, a fully equipped bar and satisfied artists, what more could a music purist want for the holidays?
Pin Drop Concerts at Seven Steps Up
116 S. Jackson St., Spring Lake
pindropconcerts.com, (616) 678-3618
Just like an old time rock and roll club, the atmosphere at Stella’s Lounge is dark and edgy. Retro arcade games and earsplitting music complete every ‘80s fanatic’s dreamscape. Unlike the notoriously unhealthy diets of rockers, however, the menu offers a wealth of vegan and vegetarian options alongside the burger GQ named the best in America. But super strong drinks will guarantee a less-than- predictable night that may involve some form of karaoke, with or without the traditional equipment.
53 Commerce Ave., Grand Rapids
stellasgr.com, (616) SHAG-444
Classic songs may last for decades, but covers are a completely different art form. On New Year’s Eve, two Kalamazoo bands will converge at the State Theatre to play the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and Abbey Road from front to back. Red Sea Pedestrians will bring an updated, worldly flair to the classics and Corn Fed Girls will give them a stripped down, Americana treatment. You may even walk away with a new favorite Beatles cover.
Kalamazoo State Theatre
404 S. Burdick, Kalamazoo
kazoostate.com, (269) 345-6500