The Johnson Drive shops are mostly populated with donut stores, fast food stops and gas stations, but the new addition seems a little out of this century. Brothers Music is a small record store run by the Maggart brothers– Cole and Kyle. Aside from the simple name, Brothers Music has a wide variety of music ranging from new wave punk to classic jazz, though all the music falls into a distinctly vintage library.
The store mainly sells vinyls with a small selection of cassette tapes and other music merchandise like shirts and stickers. Being able to find old vinyls of musicians I love was great. But to be completely honest, most of the records were from groups I’d never heard about. However, that’s what I expected when I first heard about this record store.
Much like Mills Record Store in Westport, Brothers Music is selling a product that is outdated. But the brothers are fully aware of that and have designed the store with a vintage modern sort of feel, with posters strung up on the walls and record stands spread out across the store. Brothers Music is directed at a specific audience of hardcore music lovers who aren’t willing to settle for Spotify and iTunes but instead want the classic sound of the pin gliding on a spinning record. For most casual music listeners today this is a problem, because actually owning a record players is something of an oddity.
Fortunately Brothers Music is more than just a record store, as it also will be providing music lessons taught by the brothers. They have been teaching lessons in Lee Summit for the past 10 years and only recently moved here. Though the lessons haven’t started yet, they will in a month.
The thing I appreciated most about Brothers Music is that it isn’t as simple to use as Apple music or Spotify. Whereas those services make finding the music you’re looking for easier, there’s less room for exploration. As I was flipping through the records in the stand, some beat up, others almost new, I took the time to focus on the artwork on the cover. some had overly flamboyant metal covers or a distinctly afro themed soul albums; they all had their own style. So I picked out a few albums I hadn’t seen before and hoped for the best. And when I finally started up my record player and sat down to listen, I was pleasantly surprised. Sure, it took some time out of my day and maybe bumping it in the car on the way to class or listening to it through my headphones in seminar would have been less of a time kill, but I found myself really enjoying it.
Brothers Music was a nice break of pace. I could not only appreciate the song but also the composition on the album-something my Spotify playlists were sorely lacking. Brothers Music is not for everybody. First of all, you are going to need a record player. But if you’re willing to give this place a chance, you may find yourself enjoying music you would have never thought about listening to before.