Record store provides local artists’ music

Besides selling the work of artists like Ed Sheehan and The Beatles, Green Tangerine also sells the music of local musicians.

By Jamie O'Toole, Columnist

DeKALB — Green Tangerine Records, known for its sales of various music genres, is exposing customers to local underground artists by selling their music in the store.

Sara Mohr, a College of DuPage student and Green Tangerine  Records customer, said she appreciates the store’s variety of records from bands like Nirvana to local music. 

Mohr frequently visits the store, located at 838 W. Lincoln Highway, and when she discovers new music there, she feels original. 

“It’s important to recognize smaller artists and their music; it’s important to encourage people to keep creating,” Green Tangerine co-manager Terri Ainger said.  

About 9 years ago, the store started selling local music, Ainger said. 

The store’s decision to sell local music began at its original location in Cortland, about a 7-minute drive, from DeKalb. 

The building was not only home to the store but was also a venue, housing a stage for bands to perform. 

At the Cortland location, bands in surrounding areas would come perform and sometimes bring their self-produced CDs, vinyl records or cassette tapes. 

If an audience member liked what they heard, they could turn to the store’s employees for a copy of the band’s music. 

Since then, even though the store has changed locations and no longer houses a venue for local artists to perform, Green Tangerine Records has continued to support small artists in DeKalb. 

“Customers will come in and buy something because they want to promote local artists,” Ainger said. 

Because the bands’ music is made available in a shop and not exclusively online or in the artist’s hands, the record store has allowed small artists to gain exposure, Ainger said. 

The store does not take any proceeds from the artists whose music it sells, Ainger said. 

Whatever music a customer buys from a local artist, 100% of the money goes to the musicians.

Typically, music can be discovered and streamed on apps like Spotify, Apple Music and SoundCloud, so it’s refreshing to physically touch  albums and support an artist, Mohr said. “We’re able to support the artist through buying their CD instead of a few cents with every listen on Spotify.” 

As a music appreciator, seeing an array of genres sprayed out in front of Mohr, as well as undiscovered music, feels like an honor, she said. 

Hearing an artist most people have never heard allows her to have a more personal experience with the music, she said. 

“There will always be something totally different about holding someone’s art in your hands,” Mohr said.