Standing outside his N. Charles Street storefront, Jason Willett says he is satisfied with the relocation of the True Vine Record Shop.
“I’m happier to be here, I think it’s a really good change.”
Following the public dispute over Golden West’s plans to combine spaces with the old True Vine location on Hickory Avenue, Willett has found a new home in Station North, and he said he’s already exploring collaborations with two of his new neighbors, The Parkway Theatre and Montego Bar & Grille.
As for the store, it will still have the same eclectic selection that’s garnered praise from national music publications–if slightly smaller. But after consigners have cycled through their stock and Willett has purchased a couple collections, there’s still plenty to sort through.
“You can still dig,” he said. “It’s not like there aren’t enough records that you can’t get lost for a long time. You still can.”
This weekend presents an opportunity to swing by for those who haven’t been to True Vine’s new location, or simply anyone who is a fan of the outsider music the store carries. The shop and DIY spot Holy Underground are hosting two free days of music, booked primarily by the indie label Crass Lips Records, as part of what’s being called True Vine Fest.
Though primarily based in Miami, label heads Cam Alvarez and DJ Deyo wrote in an email they are moving to Baltimore for the summer and will do some more booking and work on a YouTube series for their noise punk band, Period BOMB, which is one of the headliners at this weekend’s festival.
They said via email that the city stood out among all the places they stopped on our.
“There’s a strong feeling of artists grasping for the last drop of American Bohemia and the ability to live happy, functional lives that may require different assets than your typical functional American would,” they wrote.
And True Vine in particular was accommodating.
“They made it so there was no way we could leave with anything but good feelings,” they wrote. “I don’t think many show promoters or corporate music venues realize how crucial the inspiration that comes from an experience like that could be for artists.”
Willett recalled when they stopped at True Vine several years ago, and he ended up talking with Alvarez late into the night. When the band came back through town, he booked a show for them at EMP Collective.
“She’s pushing herself all the time to make things happen–tours, tape releases and promoting other bands–and she’s not even doing it for profit,” he said of Alvarez. “It reminded me of myself, just pushing things you believe in.”
Check out the full lineup at the bottom of this post; please note it does not include Matmos, as the Facebook event page indicates, because it’s technically an improvisational set by Matmos member M.C. Schmidt, Willett and other musicians.
As you’ll see, many of them are from out of town. Alvarez and Deyo said it’s places like True Vine that allow smaller bands like these to keep going.
“We appreciate so much the record stores who keep the DIY touring band culture alive by buying their tapes, no matter what the band selling them might look or smell like at the moment. It really fuels the spirit of freedom to do things your own and fight the system.”
Saturday, April 20 at True Vine
4:20 p.m. The Lemon Flowers (VT)
5 p.m. Plake 64 & the Hexagrams
5:20 p.m. Seven Dee (Pittsburgh)
5:40 2uArm (NYC)
6 p.m. Alex C (Brooklyn)
6:20 p.m. Carrot & Stick (Louisville)
6:40 p.m.Mezzanine Swimmers (NY)
Saturday, April 20 at The Holy Underground
7 p.m. James BonTempo & Truth Tables
7:30 p.m. Period BOMB (Miami)
8 p.m. Recital (Richmond)
9 p.m. BLEEDERS (New Philly)
Sunday, April 21 at True Vine
4:21 p.m. Mugward
5 p.m. Ex- Woke
5:20 p.m. Miracle Swill (Philly)
5:40 p.m. Dead Guy (Brooklyn)
6:20 p.m. Zach Darrup (Philly)
7 p.m. Zane Kanevsy (Philly)
7:30 p.m. M.C. Schmidt
Sunday, April 21 at The Holy Underground
9:30 p.m. ZAAT (Greensboro)
9 p.m. Glass Body (Miami)
10 p.m. COQ (Richmond)
10:30 p.m. DJ Jason Willett