Radio Kaos, a haven for music fans

By William Carroll

The Mirror Reporter

In small-town Wisconsin, a record store can be a rare site. But here, in Stevens Point, we have access to what many people don’t.

Radio Kaos, our local record store, is one of our cultural landmarks. The store provides high schoolers and college students alike a chance to help themselves grow as people while also building a soundtrack to their lives. Randy Wagner, the owner, said that a record store “is important for all ages” and that he “wouldn’t want to live in a town without a record store.”  He said record stores are “how young people find a peer group, find their way in the world. People with like minds.”

It’s clear to see that he’s experienced in what he does, being at it for over 25 years. He understands the angst of younger people, saying that “feelings people don’t like to talk about are in music, and it helps.” He also added that a record store is a different environment, with visuals to intrigue and make you want to explore (such as posters and album covers) and that stores put high school students in the same atmosphere as college students, which can create friendships, and helps them hear new opinions.

The atmosphere of Radio Kaos is certainly an atmosphere foreign in this day and age, separated from the bright, in your face nature of big-box retailers. It’s clear that Wagner cares about his job and his store, being willing to order records that aren’t currently in the store, giving customers suggestions to music they might want to check out. Wagner’s friendliness is an important part, helping people refine tastes and further explore the art. This difference of atmosphere is what really makes Kaos more than just a store for many of its customers, but more like a haven.