Aisles of records lined the store and red brick walls bordered linoleum floors, where boxes of rolled up posters lay scattered. Crates of vinyl records and a small, yellow-framed drawing of Spider Man added charm to the path leading to the 78s on shelves in the corner. Records.
Such was the look of Records on Broadway when it hosted a venue April 21 for local DJs to spin their favorite vinyl, in honor of Record Store Day.
James Lamaspas of Records on Broadway said, after local artist/jazz turntablist Michael Young contacted him, arrangements for the event fell into place. Young rounded up nine other DJs to play 40-minute sets to showcase their music styles.
Typically, exclusive merchandise is available at shops participating in Record Store Day, but Lamaspas had a different idea.
“We don’t have a distributor, so that makes us more vocal to let people know we’re here,” says Lamaspas. “We support local artists [by hosting these types of events] to keep an awareness of vinyl and do what we can to maintain a give and take for the appreciation of the independent and local music scene.”
Some walked leisurely about the store, bobbing their heads and drumming their fingers against their jeans as Young started his live music set by playing independent, new releases.
“I like to play music that, when you hear it, you know it’s a great song but never heard it before,” announced Young.
He says he tries to recreate the sensation that he gets from “digging.”
Karen Chu (Chew Sexxy) was the only female DJ present. She played chillwave and experimental pop.
“It’s music that you wouldn’t typically hear,” Chu said, “so I wanted to introduce it to people.”
DJ Mike D from Tribe of Levi came with a wide range of sound, including the Beastie Boys, Kool Moe Dee, Public Enemy, Earth Wind and Fire and Led Zepplin. His smooth transitions made it hard to believe it was his first public performance.
College radio DJ Archibald Cabebe (Aerow Shapiro) added more flavor to the day. He played “danceable mixes” of Nine Inch Nails, Depeche Mode, New Order and The Faint. He held up the album covers for the records he played and his black fanny pack rested comfortably around his waist.
Local artist Jim Willig brought with him tracks from Alaric, The Holy Kiss and Sisters of Mercy.
“Events like this keep artists together. Record Store Day should be about a similar network of like-minded people,” Willig said.
Crook One moved quickly as he switched out the records in his set. He described his sound as all-encompassing, funk, hip-hop and electro, with newer and older disco, soul and rock.
“Remember that there are stores for music,” Crook One says. “Supporting stores gets people off their couch…and let’s people know that [the music scene] is tangible.”
Turntablist Marino Flores III (aJaX) played a set that included a mix of music from film soundtracks, heavy metal, turntablism music and break-and-scratch records.
“People that are still buying records need to keep doing it,” Flores said. “In 50 years, records might not exist anymore, but if we keep record stores alive, records won’t go away.”
Luke Scratch Walker, who had already played a set in Citrus Heights that day, brought with him the sounds of true school hip-hop, and tracks like “Damn” by The Allaholiks and “Auditorium” by Mos Def.
Christine Salas, a regular at Records on Broadway, says she likes the diversity the store has. Everything from the Africa Bambaataa posters to the “laid back cashiers” to the cat that runs around the store which “creates a chill place where I hope to teach my son about music.”
For more information about Records on Broadway, call: 916-446-3973