The owner of Resurrection Records talks about the challenges of closing a storefront amidst a pandemic

It was only a couple weeks ago that Resurrection Records, the small vinyl shop on Northwest Boulevard, was packed all weekend, both with local customers and out-of-towners who were here for Tool's nearly sold-out Arena show.

Now the city's musical landscape looks totally different. Music venues have closed and concerts have been canceled, and it's possible that brick-and-mortar music stores could be next. Resurrection owner Mike House had planned on business continuing as usual, but now he's wondering if he should close the doors completely. (On Monday, when Gov. Jay Inslee announced a stay-at-home order, that debate became moot.)

"I'm kind of reconsidering what I should do," he says. "I've been really careful about sanitizing every surface after someone leaves. I sanitize the whole counter and the pens I touch and the phone people use to sign for their credit card transactions."

But sorting through records is a distinctly tactile experience, and touching a lot of surfaces is something that we've all been encouraged to avoid lately. House says he's been reaching out to other record store owners — in Spokane and in his native California — about their plans. Some are limiting hours, as well as the number of people allowed into the store at a time. One of his vinyl distributors has closed temporarily, which means he can't stock certain titles for the time being.

Business has slowed a bit, House says, but a lot of his regular customers are still making their weekly stops into the store.

"Now it's OK, but when people start running out of money — that's when it's gonna be weird," he says.

He can pivot to online-only sales if he has to: It's something he's been doing for almost 11 years under the Resurrection label.

"I'll deliver stuff to people for a small charge, depending where they live," House says. "I'm happy to meet up with people and sell them records."

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About The Author

Nathan Weinbender

Nathan Weinbender is the Inlander's Music & Film editor. He is also a film critic for Spokane Public Radio, where he has co-hosted the weekly film review show Movies 101 since 2011.