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June 2, 2010

New ear

B-Sides: Music & Other Ephemera

John Timmons, the owner and founder of ear X-tacy Records, is planning a series of in-store performances in August, when the store celebrates its 25th anniversary.

Naturally, he’s not saying who.

“I can’t drop any names, but we put out some feelers; we really couldn’t approach too many people without giving away what’s going on,” Timmons said in a phoner last week.

What’s going on is ear X-tacy’s relocation to 2226 Bardstown Road in Douglass Loop Station, one mile south of its current location at 1534 Bardstown Road, where it’s operated since 1994. Though it was formally announced May 25, word had leaked on various blogs that Timmons would move the store there.

In front of a Kinko’s/FedEx office, the new 4,500-square-foot space will be ear X-tacy’s fourth location since opening in 1985. “Somebody pointed out to me that Kinko’s was in the same building,” he joked. “I’m following Kinko’s again down the street.”

There will be no reduction in staff, who have known about the move for three weeks, Timmons said. Public opinion is another matter.

“I know that anytime I’ve moved, some people don’t like it. The challenge now is going to get people to accept that we’re not in the space we’ve been in for 15 years.”

In March, Timmons issued a public plea for business at his current building, a two-floor, 10,000-square-foot space, warning he might have to close the store. “The alternative was to close if we didn’t move and make it work.”

A three-year lease with Walter Wagner real estate agent Jim Goodwin will cost Timmons one-third of what he pays now. The new building will have a 90-car parking lot and fulfills his wish of staying in the Highlands, a decision he’s stood firm on.

The move will take place in July, and ear X-tacy will be closed for several days while it moves inventory. “The focus of the store is not the paint color on the outside or the building that it’s in,” Timmons said. “It’s the staff and the whole atmosphere — if we move it down there, that’s half the battle.”

Music ’Cast

Shadwick Wilde (myspace.com/shadwickwilde) joins us to talk about his new solo album, Unforgivable Things. Listen at Bluegrass Catastrophe, bluecat.leoweekly.com.