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'Romance and nostalgia': Love for vinyl leads to record store 'Acme Records' in Milwaukee

Cassandra's Hidden Gems
Ken Chrisien
Posted at 6:01 PM, Jul 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-26 06:30:12-04

MILWAUKEE — Ken Chrisien started buying records at the age of 15 out of a love for music.

“It coincided with the birth of CDs, so everybody was dumping their records. I could buy boxes of records for like $10," said Ken.

As his collection of records grew, he realized that buying in bulk also gave him music that he wasn’t interested in. This led Ken to sell at record shows.

“I didn’t really know what I was doing, but I knew that selling them for $3 each when I’d paid $10 for a box, I was making money. I probably lost more than I made in the early days," said Ken.

For Ken, eBay was a great resource as he spent many nights searching for records and learning their value. Now 22 years later, Ken is still selling records, but with a keen sense of knowing the value of what’s trending. He opened Acme Records in 2012, building out the space himself to create a wonderful atmosphere for vinyl lovers.

There seems to be a return to vinyl these days. In fact, records are still being pressed and repressed. According to Ken, there’s romance and nostalgia in the art of selecting an album, placing it on the turntable, and putting the needle arm down. Not to mention the beginning crackle of the sound coming from the vinyl record.

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Acme Records is located at 2341 S Kinnickinnic Ave in Milwaukee. Click here to learn more.

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