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Sound Garden on the move

Appealing to niche audiences is also something The Sound Garden tries to focus on.

"We have the third Little Feat album, who else has that?" Cicoria said.

Whether you have heard of the band Little Feat or not is irrelevant, the point is that fans of the band can find their albums at The Sound Garden. Cicoria said the store wants to build the reputation of having everything.

The Sound Garden is also backed by the Music Monitor Network (MMN), a marketing coalition that helps independent record stores unite and work with record labels. "We believe that record stores are a viable part of any community" Carrie Colliton, Marketing Director for the MMN, said. It was this philosophy that sparked the creation of Record Store Day, a national event that took place on April 19. MMN backed stores were given exclusive sales that were not available to the big box stores; The Sound Garden, for example, sold a limited edition vinyl print of a Jason Mraz album on Record Store Day. National recording artists Metallica even did an in-store signing and meet and greet session with fans in San Francisco to help the cause.

Even with some artists support and a national unification of record stores, many say that there is still some work to be done. Matt Mallaber, former manager of The Sound Garden in Geneseo, said the industry as a whole is in trouble. Mallaber cites the advent of downloading music and the struggling economy as the main reasons for the store's closing.

"As gas prices went up, there was less disposable income for people to spend on media," Mallaber said.

He also said Geneseo's rural location was a hindrance and the Syracuse location benefits from being in a more centralized urban area.

With the current economic conditions across the country and specifically Central and Western New York, changes to CD prices and packaging could be in order. Mark Bialczak music critic for the Syracuse Post-Standard, advocates a standard price of $10 for new CDs.

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