In rotation: 1/17/20

San Antonio, TX | Flip Side Record Parlor Owner Clarisa Peña Has Died, Creating Questions About Longtime Music Store’s Future: Clarisa Peña, the owner of Flip Side Record Parlor, died Monday, leaving questions about the fate of the 46-year-old South Side independent music and memorabilia store. The mother of two had been battling colon cancer, according to Facebook posts, and the disease had metastasized to her liver, lungs and brain. Peña’s daughter, Jessica Erevia, has not decided whether to keep the store in operation, News4 reports. Her mother didn’t leave a will. “Honestly, it’s something that I’m still praying about and, still, I wish I could talk to her about it,” Erevia told the news station. The Current was unable to reach Erevia for immediate comment Wednesday. “Thank you for being the best mom I could ever ask for,” Erevia wrote on her Facebook page. “There are so many things I wish I could talk to you about, things we still needed to do together, but I know your spirit will never leave me.”

Chicago, IL | Interstellar Space brings far-out old records to Lincoln Square: Michael Gaertner has been buying music for so long that he had to start selling it to make room for more—and yes, he’ll talk to you for an hour about those Pharoah Sanders LPs. A week before Christmas, Michael Gaertner opened his new shop, Interstellar Space Used and Rare Records, for the first time. But he didn’t make a production of it: he just strolled over to his sparsely decorated Lincoln Square storefront, on Montrose just west of Damen. “I didn’t tell anyone,” he says. “I just opened the door, and people in the neighborhood started walking in. It was like a Field of Dreams kind of thing.” A few days after Christmas, he got as close to making a formal announcement as he has so far: he posted a photo of the storefront on his Instagram account, which now bears the shop’s name. He’d previously used the handle “Vinyl Voyage” to share exquisitely clean photos of rare LPs and cassettes he found on record digs across the country, along with occasional photos of the shops he’s visited—Antone’s in Austin, Record City in Las Vegas, Planet Score Records in Saint Louis, Euclid Records in New Orleans. “Buying records is my passion,” Gaertner says. “I had to start selling records, ’cause I don’t want to stop buying records. Buying records is the fun part.”

Birmingham, AL | Say goodbye to Charlemagne; Birmingham’s oldest record store closed Wednesday: For more than 40 years, music has been flowing from Charlemagne records in Five Points. It’s been a staple since 1977, but now it’s time to say goodbye. The store is officially closing for good on Wednesday January 15th. Well wishers, supporters, and bargain hunters all flowing through the doors on Tuesday. “I am sad to see it go. It’s a local institution, I just want to support it and get some deals, everything is a dollar or 50 cents. I hate to loose this piece of the community,” says Burgin Mathews. He’s been shopping at Charlemagne for 15 years. “Charlemagne is as old as I am, It opened the year I was born, i started coming here when I moved Birmingham 15 years ago, and the first thing I did was find Charlemagne.” Says Mathews. The owner, Marian McKay, announced the store’s closing back in December. She is a musician herself, and her love of music comes through in the store’s décor and ambiance. She’s inviting everyone who loves the store to come say goodbye, and celebrate its story as the doors close for the last time. She will be performing at the store from 5:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. on January 15th, with the celebration continuing afterwards at Brennan’s Irish pub across the street.

Austin, TX | Daniel Johnston’s ‘Hi, How Are You’ mural endures as construction reshapes Austin: It started with a simple request. “They gave Daniel Johnston, a local musician, $90, a ladder, a paint brush, and said do what you want to do,” said Hi, How Are You Project co-founder Tom Gimbel. At the corner of 21st and Guadalupe, the singer-songwriter painted on the exterior wall of an indie record store Sound Exchange one of his cassette covers — a frog-like creature and the words: Hi How Are You? “It was a record that came out in 1983,” explained Gimbel. The image got international notoriety when Nirvana’s front man Kurt Cobain wore it to the 1992 VMA’s. “Cobain was known to like Daniel’s music,” said Gimbel. But the frog remains closes to Austinites. It’s where fans connected when Johnston died last year at the age of 58 of natural causes, according to his family. “It’s become this unofficial friendly ambassador for Austin…”

Phoenix, AZ | Zia Records Kicks Off Its 40th Anniversary With Rare Vinyl Releases: Zia Records commemorates 40 years in business in 2020, and it’s kicking things off by giving vinyl collectors something to celebrate. Throughout the year, the Valley’s destination for pop culture goodness will be releasing a series of exclusive vinyl editions of some great albums ranging from funk, progressive, deathcore, and even a local favorite. So make some room on your shelf for these releases.

Sarasota, FL | Sarasota Music Archive seeks donations for annual flea market: If those closet-clutterers are any way music-related, the archive is interested. Hey, spring cleaning is just around the corner. Get an early start by clearing some of the clutter out of your life while helping a community institution. When’s the last time you actually listened to those old Doodletown Pipers albums? How about that lute you thought you’d learn to play? And that eight-track player you’ve just never been able to let go of — it’s time. While these sorts of things are collecting dust in people’s closets, they are treasures to the Sarasota Music Archive, which is seeking tax-deductible donations of all things musical to sell at its fifth annual musical flea market fundraiser, to be held Feb. 15. The archive, housed on the second floor at Selby Library, is a repository of over 700,000 musical items, including 120,000 vinyl records, as well as examples of just about every recording technology there’s ever been, going back to antique wax cylinders.

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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