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Stacks of wax to the max: PreAtomic Records brings sonic treats to Corvallis

Stacks of wax to the max: PreAtomic Records brings sonic treats to Corvallis


PreAtomic Records in downtown Corvallis, which opened in mid-November, has a wide range of wax treats for music aficionados, including rock, country, funk, soul, blues, jazz, new wave, punk, hip-hop and more.

“I try to keep a little bit of everything in here, because you never know who will come in,” said owner Josh Lucas, 24.

Collectors, including those from Albany, Lebanon and further afield, will find it easy to lose track of time flipping through the stacks.

Lucas’ own evolving tastes are reflected in the eclectic mix of music in his store. Ten years ago, Lucas would have described himself as a fan of alternative rock. “Now, I keep my options open,” he said. “I just love discovering new music.”

He tries to keep that process of discovery inexpensive for customers on a budget at PreAtomic Records. While the store has spendy and rare LPs available, there's also a bin with quality records on sale for $1. “Those are great because it’s an easy way for college students to get into it,” Lucas said.

Besides records, Lucas buys and sells cassettes, reel-to-reel tapes, and a few CDs out of his store, and with wax, there is more than vintage finds. “I’ve got a ton of great new arrivals here right now,” Lucas said.

His favorite part of his job is scouring the landscape for music, whether that’s at secondhand stores or tracking down a collector’s stash of records.

About a week ago, he dug 1,000 to 1,500 records out of a hoarder’s collection in Portland, he said. “It was a lot of good rock stuff, some Elvis reissues in there,” Lucas said. He added that his job can sometimes resemble the “American Pickers” television show.

The name of the record shop doesn’t have any particular meaning, except that it was a random profile handle assigned to Lucas for a video game account when he was a child. He thought it sounded cool, and used it when he started collecting and selling records at the Corvallis Farmers' Market.

PreAtomic Records, located in Madison Plaza, 425 S.W. Madison Ave., is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. For more information, call 209-417-7712 or go to the store’s Facebook page or Instagram account.

Kyle Odegard can be contacted at 541-812-6077 or


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