Earlier this month, we reported that Atlanta-based Criminal Records, which is owned by Record Store Day co-founder Eric Levin, looked like it would close. But the store isn’t going down without a fight.
“Save Criminal Records” t-shirts and stickers are up for sale at the store to raise money, but Orange Amplifiers has stepped up to organize a benefit show for the struggling store in Atlanta’s Little Five Points. The show will feature Magnapop, Kelly Hogan and Mike Geier. More artists will be named later.
The event will take place on Oct. 15 at The Variety Playhouse, which is on the same street as Criminal Records. All proceeds from the show will be split between Criminal Records and Sweet Relief, an organization that provides financial assistance to struggling musicians.
“Criminal Records plays an important role in Atlanta’s culture,” said Alex Auxier, who does marketing and artist relations for Orange. “I once saw Modest Mouse on the sidewalk at their old location. You can’t buy memories like that, and Eric and his store made it possible. No one else does what they do in Atlanta. For them to close would be a tragedy. Every city needs a record store like Criminal Records.”
Magnapop will appear as the band’s original lineup, which has not performed together since 1996. Their first album was produced by Michael Stipe and was released in 1991 — the same year Criminal Records opened. The group will be playing that first album, known as the “pumpkin or Halloween record” in its entirety.
“It was big deal to sell our record in Criminal Records since we all shopped there,” Magnapop bassist Shannon Mulvaney said. “It meant a lot to all of us to see our band name in light boxes and posters up in the Criminal window. So we thought if we’re going to (do) this thing, let’s play the first record in its entirety.”
You can visit the “Save Criminal Records” Facebook page here and Orange’s website here.