New record store to open this weekend in Belmont neighborhood

James Downing-Groth is the founder of Blind Rage Records, a punk and hardcore record shop located in Dayton's Belmont neighborhood.
James Downing-Groth is the founder of Blind Rage Records, a punk and hardcore record shop located in Dayton's Belmont neighborhood.

Credit: James Downing-Groth

Credit: James Downing-Groth

Blind Rage Records to sell new and used records.

A children’s librarian, musician and music aficionado is set to open a new record store this weekend.

James Downing-Groth, a children’s librarian for Dayton Public Schools, will debut his latest project, Blind Rage Records, to the public on Saturday, Aug. 1, at noon.

The record store will carry both new and used records in the punk, hardcore, metal and indie rock genres and every genre in between. Customers will be able to find new vinyl from labels including Dischord, Revelation, Drastic Plastic, Rad Girlfriend, Night Animal, King of the Monsters and Havoc.

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The record store also shares a name with Downing-Groth’s record label, which has recorded albums for 15 different bands from around the world, including Internal, Locked Up, Wounded Paw and Gel.

“I was looking for office space to move the label to because it was just hard filling up our basement, and I kind of lucked into the spot that we found,” Downing-Groth said. “It was kind of perfect for opening a store, and I have been sitting on just boxes and boxes of records from selling at record fairs. So it just kind of fell into place.”

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Downing-Groth said he hopes to fill a void that exists in Dayton’s music scene — providing a way for fans of punk and hardcore music to rediscover nostalgic albums or discover new gems in his record store. Perhaps in ensuring that his record store will remain a nostalgic portal into the original days of record store browsing and discovery, Downing-Groth will not be selling the records sold at Blind Rage Records online to allow in-store and local customers a first shot at grabbing the record of their choice.

Blind Rage Records, a punk and hardcore record shop located in Dayton's Belmont neighborhood.
Blind Rage Records, a punk and hardcore record shop located in Dayton's Belmont neighborhood.

Credit: James Downing-Groth

Credit: James Downing-Groth

“I want [customers] to go in and be surprised,” Downing-Groth said. “Half the time, I go in looking for something and have ended up buying five other things instead of what I went there for originally. So, that is kind of the idea of it, which is why, at least for the time being, I’ve been telling people I’m not concerned with selling everything online.”

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Despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Downing-Groth says he has experienced almost no obstacles leading up to the opening of his record store. In fact, the record store owner says, in some ways, it has been easier than he had imagined to start a new business in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I think it’s actually made a lot of things easier, which sounds crazy,” Downing-Groth said. “A lot of stores I think right now are operating with abbreviated hours, so no one’s expecting you to be open a normal open to close every day of the week. My schedule doesn’t allow for that, anyway.”

Blind Rage Records, a punk and hardcore record shop located in Dayton's Belmont neighborhood.
Blind Rage Records, a punk and hardcore record shop located in Dayton's Belmont neighborhood.

Credit: James Downing-Groth

Credit: James Downing-Groth

Though the record store will be open from noon to 8 p.m. on its opening day on Aug. 1, Blind Rage Records, going forward, will be operating from Wednesday through Friday from 5-8 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. To help him maintain these hours, a few of his bandmates from his band Locked Up will help run the store as well.

Blind Rage Records is located at 734 Watervliet Ave. in Suite A, near True Love Tattoo and Press Coffee Bar Belmont.

For the foreseeable future, in order to follow local coronavirus mandates, masks must be worn by customers entering the store and, due to the size of the space, only three customers will be allowed in at one time to allow for proper social distancing.

How to go

What: Blind Rage Records

Where: 734 Watervliet Ave. Suite A, Dayton

Hours: Grand opening on Aug. 1 from noon to 8 p.m. Regular hours will be Wednesday through Friday from 5-8 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

More info: Learn more about Blind Rage Records by visiting their Facebook page, Instagram and website.

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