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Soul Sounds Records educates LI music scene

Delaney Hafener of Shirley, Kevin Preller of Shirley

Delaney Hafener of Shirley, Kevin Preller of Shirley and Chris Baltrus of Huntington browse through vinyl albums at Soul Sounds Records in Sayville. Photo Credit: Jeremy Bales

Suzanne Filan knew she made the right decision to open Soul Sounds Records in Sayville the day a 20-year-old customer came to her for help.

The customer had some albums she wanted to play, but when Filan pointed her to the turntable that sits on the store's stage, she turned to Filan and said, "I don't know how to use this."

After Filan showed her how to use the turntable, the customer was thrilled, before wondering, "How do you pause and rewind?"

"We want to educate people," said Filan, a former comptroller. "This place is about much more than selling records."

Past in the present

For Filan, the record store is a way to help rebuild the Long Island music scene and inspire a new generation of area musicians. "Yes, I know it's 2014," she said, laughing at the idea of opening a record store when the music industry is struggling and even the record stores that survived the toughest times are going out of business. "I think it's changing. It's renewing my faith in the world. It's not a business model that will work for everyone. But for us, it's working."

Featuring live music

Filan plans to celebrate Saturday's Record Store Day -- the music fan's holiday, when artists release special material on vinyl to drive visitors to businesses like Soul Sounds -- with 12 hours of live music, including a set from Taking Back Sunday's original lead singer, Antonio Longo.

Soul Sounds co-owner Johnny Truant said they want the store to help people build a respect for music. "We want them to know that being involved in the things that you care about is important," he said.

Though the store first opened in the former Thurber Appliance space only on Valentine's Day, it is already changing customers' relationships with music.

Brian White of Medford was working behind the counter, answering customer questions and ringing up purchases. He was the store's first customer in February and loved what he saw. "Basically, I came in, and I never left," he said, laughing.

It's a situation they have seen often in their first two months. On a recent weekend night, when the store was packed with people watching a local band playing for free in the corner, a couple came into the store to find out what was going on and decided to stay. "That's exactly the point of the store," Truant said. "That's exactly what we wanted this place to do."

Filan added, "We get so many people coming in saying, 'We needed a place like this.' They just wanted to say thank you.... I couldn't be happier."

WHAT Soul Sounds Records

WHEN | WHERE noon-11 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays and noon-8 p.m. Sundays, 291 W. Main St., Sayville

INFO 631-750-5228,

Here's what Long Island's other record stores are doing for Record Store Day

Looney Tunes

PLANS Serving breakfast and offering live music from Moon Taxi, James Maddock, and The Last Internationale, as fans shop for vinyl exclusives.

WHEN | WHERE 8 a.m., 31 Brookvale Ave., West Babylon

INFO 631-587-7722,

Record Reserve

PLANS Setting up a tent outside in the train station parking lot to give more people a chance to score some of the day's exclusive albums.

WHEN | WHERE 11 a.m., 12 Main St., Kings Park

INFO 631-721-6250,

Mr. Cheapo

PLANS Offering full slate of Record Store Day releases between both stores.

WHEN | WHERE 10:30 a.m.; 2020 Jericho Tpke., Commack; and 134 Jericho Tpke., Mineola

INFO 631-543-8686 and 516-742-7670;

Infinity Records

PLANS Giving away T-shirts, posters and album art, and donating 10 percent of sales from the day to Little Shelter Animal Rescue and Adoption Center in Huntington.

WHEN | WHERE 11 a.m., 510 Park Blvd., Massapequa Park

INFO 516-221-0634,

High Fidelity

PLANS Offering a 20 percent discount off everything in the store except for the day's exclusives.

WHEN | WHERE 10:30 a.m., 59 Merrick Rd., Amityville

INFO 631-264-0524,

CD Island

PLANS Offering some vinyl exclusives

WHEN | WHERE 10 a.m., 228 Merrick Rd., Rockville Centre

INFO 516-678-9445,

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