Lovers of alternative music and independent business today mourn the loss of longtime Louisville landmark ear X-tacy, a popular record, music, and entertainment store. For many years, the store has been a staple of the Bardstown Road experience, which, in turn, has been a staple experience for many Louisville teenagers. President John D. Timmons announced the closing October 31 over Facebook, addressing a letter to the store’s clients and fans. He publicly thanked all of the store’s supporters and all of the bands that have played in his building.
Manual students from all magnets were saddened by the news, which put a damper on Halloween festivities. “I feel like, for us, people with various music interests, ear X-tacy was paradise. It had everything: every artist and every song, unlike iTunes. People who like bands or music that aren’t exactly mainstream are kind of in a rough spot. Sure, there other places to get music, but it won’t be the same.” says Alekya Veldhi (11).
ear X-tacy has been struggling with financial woes for several years. Last February, they were forced to downsize to a smaller location further down Bardstown Road. ear X-tacy sent a message out to the community, asking for help in the form of video messages and Facebook posts. The answering call of support was not enough to keep the company going, however, as online music downloads and instant video streaming seem to have become overwhelming competition for the company. “ear X-tacy seemed like a timeless thing. Now it’s gone in the way of VHS tapes and cassette players — what’s next?” asks Jody Dahmer (11). The death of this iconic Louisville store, which follows only a few months after the closing of Borders book stores both locally and across the nation, seems to make the digital age of information even more tangible.
Despite his sadness at the closing of his life’s work, Timmons remains appreciative and hopeful. He urges his supporters to continue his love of music and of Louisville. After 26 years, he leaves the Louisville music scene with the closing words of his letter: “Love, peace, music and ear X-tacy to you all.”
Eliza Coleman is a 16 year old Junior at duPont Manual High School, studying in the HSU magnet. She is a staff writer for ManualRedeye.com.