"If your parents haven't heard of it, we probably carry it."
Such a phrase might concern some parents who worry about what music their teens are listening to, but it is the motto for two local record stores.Both Reptile Records, 125 W. Center, Provo, and Crandall Audio, 1195 E. 800 North, Orem, carry alternative or "post-modern" rock and pop music, some of which is not exceedingly likely to blaze its way up the top-40 charts. But the stores have done well enough to survive in Utah County's competitive music scene for 18 months and 31/2 years, respectively.
However, don't think that means either sells music that's calculated to offend or likely wind up on Florida's most-banned music list - not solely, at any rate.
"We sell music that's more underground - that people aren't so likely to hear being played into the ground," said Scott Crandall, who owns both stores. For example, some of both store's hottest recent releases have been from artists such as Jane's Addiction, the Soup Dragons and the Stone Roses, as well as the even-more-obscure Lard, Mudhoney and Green River.
Crandall started selling albums, tapes and compact discs out of his home in 1987 and bought Reptile this fall. He jokes that he now holds his own minimonopoly on the alternative-music scene, although the stores are opening up into some more mainstream areas too.
"Some people who like bands like Dead Can Dance will come into the store also wanting a Beethoven compact disk. If we don't also have that, they may go somewhere else, so we've started catering somewhat to a diverse crowd."
That doesn't mean that you're likely to have heard everything the stores offer, though, and there are still some things they won't carry.
"We won't carry country," said Sue Sampson, who with husband, Gary, and son Cole, still operates Reptile Records until about Christmas, though they sold the store to Crandall in August.
She said the stores carry music "you probably can't find anywhere else, and there's a lot of interest in that kind of music in this area."
Both stores carry primarily tapes and CDs, and have or are in the process of phasing out their LPs, though they also carry videotapes, posters, stickers and T-shirts of prominent, and even some not-so-prominent, alternative-music artists. Reptile also has a cash-trade policy for used CDs and tapes.
Crandall said he bought Reptile to continue catering to the alternative rock crowd, as well as increase space, having moved some of his CD inventories to the Provo store.
Also, with the possibility of Orem's proposed Cascade Technology Park and Golf Course becoming a reality, Crandall Audio could wind up under a bulldozer in the near future, so it's better to have one store than no store at all, he said.
The Sampsons and Crandall had similar reasons for getting into the music business - love of non-mainstream music.
"We thought this was an ideal way to make a living," Sampson said. "There's no boss; you have all this freedom and fun. We couldn't think of a better way to work."
Unfortunately, reality - such as baby expenses, cost of living and college tuition - caught up with the Sampson family, which is why they sold the store, she said.
"We eventually would like to get back into the business someday. It's been a really good experience, and it's what we want to do."