"There's four or five different places to buy records in Raleigh, but there's nowhere to hang out and talk about records and look at fliers for the shows that are coming up—just a place to be," Daniel Lupton says. "I want to do that."
"I don't have a date set, but I'm hoping to get it open before Nov. 1," he says. "I've managed to build all the shelves and do all the painting, so now it's just a matter of moving records in and pricing everything."
Lupton says the shop will initially open with limited hours during the fall, as he works as a teacher at UNC-Chapel Hill. He hopes to expand operations once his schedule opens up in the spring.
As the proprietor of the label Sorry State Records and its corresponding online shop, Lupton has already earned his position as a punk-rock vinyl dealer with an adventurous ear. But with a physical headquarters in Raleigh (instead of Lupton's Carrboro house, out of which Sorry State currently operates), the shop should further cement Raleigh as the perennial center of Triangle punk.
Part of Lupton's impetus to set up shop stems from a partnership he forged with In The Groove Records last year. Lupton would stock a curated selection of new punk records at the Glenwood Avenue store, and local punk fans would buy them from Greg Rollins, In The Groove's owner.
"Part of the reason I feel like it's tenable to start a record store is because of selling stuff at In The Groove and knowing that there's an appetite for it," Lupton says. "[Rollins] thinks it's smart for me to expand and keep moving forward. So at some point I'll take my records out of his store and move them into mine. Hopefully it'll be a symbiotic relationship."
Even as Lupton retains his punk-centric vision, the shop offers an opportunity for Sorry State to broaden its embrace, a prospect about which Lupton is particularly excited. "Some people say that it's a really eclectic label, and that makes me happy," he says. "But then some people really associate it with the whole early-'80s hardcore revival thing, and that bums me out. Anything I can do to shake that and broaden people's expectations, I think is a good thing."
To wit, he's already started buying up collections to fill the inventory with an eclectic (if rock-centric) offering. Only about half, he estimates, is punk.
As Sorry State broadens its purview beyond the hardcore, punk, post-punk and metal found in its distribution channels, Lupton imagines his shop will fill a niche for fringe-rock fans in the Capital City. "People don't really drive between cities in the Triangle unless they absolutely have to," he says, his own frequent commute notwithstanding. "So I definitely wouldn't be opening the store in the same town as All Day or Bull City. If there wasn't a third city that I felt was underserved, I probably just wouldn't be doing it."
For those across-town shoppers who don't want to make the trek, Lupton says opening the new shop will also coincide with an update to the Sorry State online store.