Record stores are either places where the bins are packed so tightly that a pinky finger can't slip between albums, with a know-it-all behind the counter who can't be bothered because you're probably into shit music anyway, or those that welcome you with a hearty selection and a shop owner who reminds you that music is one of the best ways to connect. Ceremony Records in Anaheim is among the latter.
“I want to avoid the cliché record store,” explains owner Jon Cherry. “They seem closed off, crowded, almost invite only.” The shop, now in its second year, was originally a clothing store owned by another entrepreneur, and Cherry worked the counter in exchange for using it as a studio space for his flask business, Whimsy & Ink. Eventually, Cherry took over full time and swapped clothes for records.
He's made his record store inviting and open. The space is minimalist, sharply styled and feels as if it's the embodiment of an MFA thesis. While Cherry does carry some vintage vinyl, the majority of his stock is new—another variance from the typical shop. He also carries a collection of rare posters from artist Travis Bone, small-batch music tees, and some new record players and accessories.
But Cherry believes there's space for all kinds of vinyl shops. “They serve different purposes,” Cherry explains. “I like carrying new albums because it forces you to listen all the way through, instead of just downloading the single. That's how you find the music you really love. It has to be a slow burn.”