APOP Records may be the perfect place for music fans who are sick of tuning in a radio station only to hear the same pop songs over and over.
An eclectic, international mix of vinyl, CDs, books and independent magazines called zines pack the shelves of the small store, which opened April 19 at 807 Locust St.
Co-owners Dustin Newman and Tiffany Minx, both 24, decided to start the business after being frustrated for many years by the lack of independent music sources in Columbia.
“Our goal is to carry a lot of stuff that nobody else (here) has,” Newman said. “Because people want this stuff and now they won’t have to drive to St. Louis or Kansas City to get it.”
The store’s extensive inventory includes everything from old Steely Dan and Cat Stevens to the Pet Shop Boys and Nina Nastasia, as well as music from independent labels in the United States, Japan and the Philippines, among others. As Newman put it, APOP specializes in sounds that “fall along the line of stuff you won’t find anywhere else.”
Minx agrees variety is the store’s key to success.
“(Our store) varies from one extreme to the other,” she said, “which is good because we aren’t catering to one kind of specific person.”
Newman and Minx said the decision to sell vinyl — many of the records came from their personal collections — was a combination of factors.
“Some of it came from not having an interest in things that are just new,” Minx said, “and it is nice to see things as they were originally.”
Minx’s passion for records also inspired her to share them.
“There is something indescribable about records,” she said. “It feels more worthwhile than plastic CDs.”
Although giving up part of her collection was hard, Minx was willing because she said “it feels really good to know that people are listening to stuff that you used to.”
Much like the records and CDs, the books and magazines sold at APOP represent a variety of styles and genres. Classics such as Macchiavelli’s “The Prince” and “The Art of War” and contemporary books like “The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock and Roll,” can all be found at the store.
Newman and Minx are still trying to find enough space for their collection of zines, most of which are imported. The publications’ subjects cover music and fashion; “Giant Robot,” is devoted to Asian and Asian-American culture.
Newman and Minx aren’t the only ones who appreciate APOP’s diversity. At the store’s grand opening, where four local bands played on the roof, customers browsed the racks, and most seemed to find at least one thing that interested them.
Jim Turner, 28, who was excited to find some “crazy vinyl from Lebanon,” believes that the store is “a good addition to the music scene in Columbia.” Turner lives in Jefferson City, and finds it “interesting that they have stuff you can’t find other places.”
Newman and Minx are just getting started.
“The great thing about having an independent business is that it doesn’t have to be perfect,” Minx said. “We can do whatever we want.”
APOP Records is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day.