Timmons recently picked up a Saturday on-air slot on WFPK, noon to 3:30 p.m. He says it is fun being Anthony’s peer, even if they only see each other in passing at the station. Anthony says he’d never have opened a store if ear X-tacy were still open. The store’s 2011 closing was as much a surprise to the employees as it was to the public. They knew business wasn’t going well; ear X-tacy had already downsized to a new location, but Anthony says everyone was hoping the store would make it. He found out about the closing when he received a call on the last day telling him not to come to work.
Although he does sell CDs and DVDs, Anthony says the revival of vinyl is the backbone of his record store. The majority of his business comes from mail orders of new and used vinyl from around the country and a few countries in Europe. To promote his business locally, Anthony has placed listening stations in businesses around the city: Highland Coffee, 1140 Bardstown Road; Revelry Boutique Gallery, 980 Barret Ave.; Dage’s Paint Company, 1140 E. Oak St., and Heine Brothers’ Coffee, 822 Eastern Pkwy. Matt Anthony’s Record Store’s biggest sellers are releases by Houndmouth, Gary Clark Jr., Off, and My Morning Jacket.
“When ear X-tacy was gone, I didn’t know where to get music,” Anthony claims. “I hate buying stuff on iTunes. If you buy an album on iTunes, it’s $15. Why not just have the record if you’re going to spend that much? I know you have to leave the house, but I like having to leave the house. I think there are other people who feel the same way.”
Anthony’s father retired from the military and his parents moved to Louisville two years ago, around the time he starting doing “Jazz Pulse” – which airs Sundays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. His mother, Sheila, watches the store when he’s on the radio and on Wednesday nights when he’s getting ready for “The Derby City Soul Club” at Meat with fellow deejay Kim Sorise. Anthony and Sorise go way back. He was a guest deejay when she did the “Dirty Soul Party” at the defunct Red Lounge on Frankfort Avenue, and she is a frequent guest on his radio shows. After Meat contacted each individually about doing a night, they decided to join forces.
“Matt is a tremendous talent and Louisville is better for having him in it and what he offers,” says Sorise, who is also the deejay for the Derby City Rollergirls. “I’m just happy that I get to spend a couple of hours a week spinning records with him. It’s fun.”
Anthony says the respect is mutual because he and Sorise are cut from the same cloth. They only play vinyl at the Derby City Soul Club, and they both have total respect for the music and the musicians who created it. But he says the allegiance between musicians and deejays is a tradition on the wane in the digital age.
“Since I’ve owned a record shop, I have an investment in vinyl and people actually buying the music that they are playing,” Anthony explains. “There used to be an agreement among deejays that we would make money off artists’ records, but we would buy the records and play them. Now deejays have crossed the line that shouldn’t be crossed. It’s like: ‘I’m going to get this equipment and download all of this stuff for free.’ To me, you just broke the cardinal rule. Buy your records, man. Play your MP3 if you want, but buy them.”