Story by Gisselle Hernandez, Assistant Features Editor
The punk rockers of Murray clambered out of their musically-enveloped homes to witness the band R. Ring, along with other local bands, perform at Terrapin Station, a local music store, on March 17.
According to the Recording Industry Association of America, vinyls have been making a comeback in recent years and record store sales have been increasing since the 1980s for that reason. Terrapin Station pairs the increased revenue with frequent rock shows at night, showcasing local and regional bands, like R. Ring.
Fronted by Kelley Deal from The Breeders and Mike Montgomery from Ampline, R. Ring is described by Montgomery as “chaotic and abrasive, but sometimes peaceful and gentle.”
The band’s genre may be all over the map, but their third performance at Terrapin Station attracted a wide audience, from teenagers and college students to older fans who brought their young children with them. Since Deal and her band The Breeders toured with Nirvana in the 90s, longtime fans of hers came out on Thursday to see her play, Montgomery said. Him being the younger of the duo brought out the younger audience, he said.
The music store, decked with vinyls on shelves and newspaper clippings on the walls, was rearranged to accommodate those who had come to support the bands on Thursday.
Local band Quailbones kicked off the concert at 8 p.m., followed by Hi-Fi Ninja. R. Ring was next, featuring a drummer from Schwervon, as Deal took to vocals and Montgomery the guitar.
R. Ring’s performance had the audience either cheering, head banging, singing along or doing all three. As opposed to the other bands, Deal and Montgomery bantered playfully and joked with the audience, something that happens at every show, Montgomery said.
“With Ampline, it’s really more everyone trying to play precisely, and if someone messes up, you really notice it,” he said. “With R. Ring, it’s more loose; we sort of celebrate the randomness of our attention span.”
The venue catered to this relaxed yet erratic atmosphere, allowing people over 21 to bring their own alcohol, on the condition of being on their best behavior, said Bobby Copeland, owner of Terrapin Station. Despite an employee having to kick out two people for disruptive behavior, Copeland said this was a rare occurrence. Terrapin Station being one of the few places that allows smoking, and it helps people appreciate having a cigarette while listening to a band play, Copeland said.
The shows, which happen three to four times a month, allow bands from all over the country to play and showcase their talent to locals. Copeland said it is the bands that usually contact them to ask to play in Murray. The store usually has a waiting list, and before the night shows began five years ago, Copeland had local artists playing acoustics during store hours.
The bands make money through donations when performing at Terrapin Station, and sometimes they are successful. At the Thursday show alone, R. Ring made $160 from donations.
“[The shows] are mainly an attempt for people to get to listen to local bands and to primarily get our name out in the community,” Copeland said.
Originally from Marshall County, Copeland lived in different places in the United States and saw records were attainable almost anywhere. Noticing that back home there wasn’t a place where vinyls were readily available, he decided to open Terrapin Station in 1985. Since then, bands like R. Ring frequently entertain the audiophiles of Murray by playing at the store.
Terrapin Station, located on South 12th Street, offers a variety of LPs, CDs, tobacco accessories and, as described on their Facebook page, a place for anyone to come in and chat while having a cigarette.
The store will host another show this Friday and has an upcoming event celebrating Record Store Day on Saturday, April 16.