A little more than 150 miles separate Duluth from Electric Fetus’s location in Minneapolis. With favorable driving conditions, this is around two hours and change of drive time.
But this is Minnesota and just making it up the hill from the shores of Lake Superior in Duluth could take you a good two hours on a snowy winter day.
Thankfully for those in Duluth wanting to get a taste of the Minneapolis record store staple, a local location of Electric Fetus can be found at 12 East Superior Street.
Electric Fetus first opened in Minneapolis in 1968 before moving to it’s current Twin Cities location at 2000 South 4th Avenue in 1972. According to its website, “the original Electric Fetus was as much of a cultural experience as a retail establishment.”
“Cultural experience” may be a bit of an understatement.
A 2008 retrospective by Minnesota Public Radio celebrating the 40th anniversary of Electric Fetus detailed a “nude sale” in 1971 which promised a free LP to those those who showed up in the buff. The Electric Fetus website proudly reminds visitors that the businesses name was declared the worst among all US operations by comedy publication National Lampoon.
It’s no surprise those outside of Minneapolis would want to get in on the fun.
Electric Fetus’s St. Cloud location opened in 1987 in the home of another former record store, the Wax Museum. Expansion continued north in 1987 when another Electric Fetus launched in Duluth.
The St. Cloud site may have ceased operations in 2014, but Duluth’s Electric Fetus continues to welcome music lovers.
The Duluth store has an ample supply of both new and used vinyl and CDs. It also serves as a seller of hats, clothing, jewelry, handbags and a ton of other gift possibilities.
What Electric Fetus does better than many record stores is highlight music from its home state. Artists from Minnesota are noted with green cards that feature an outline of the state.
It’s a subtle touch that not only shows the store’s respect for Minnesota music, but also the wide range of genres touched by the state’s artists.
Among the green cards is Duluth’s own Trampled By Turtles, a blue grass-meets-folk rock band that has never been shy about sharing love for their hometown. This includes aptly titled 2008 album, “Duluth.”
And in case you were wondering, Electric Fetus has copies if you want to purchase “Duluth” while standing in Duluth. (C’mon, don’t let me be the only person who does this.)
There likely won’t be a Nude Sale anytime soon (and really, its a little cold for that anyway), but the Duluth location of Electric Fetus is worth a visit.
Not to mention, the city is beautiful when it is not buried under several feet of snow.
Check out a virtual tour of Electric Fetus in Duluth, Minnesota here.