Though the news first broke six months ago, the store is still standing in middle of Little Five Points. The electricity is still on, and new and used records and CDs are still being sold, as well as magazines and candy. So what gives? Was Levin just crying wolf? Or did he come up with the money to pay off his debts? The short answer to both questions is no — at least not entirely.
When word of the store’s money troubles spread, a series of benefit concerts, fundraisers, and donations came pouring in from all over the city — from the Masquerade to the Cottage the mandate rang out to “Save Criminal Records,” and it seems to have worked, at least for the time being, but the store’s future, according to Levin, is not carved in stone. “We paid off a lot of the debt that we owed through a combination of fundraising, charity, like the Mastodon T-shirts, the concerts, and sales did go up slightly,” Levin says. “The outpouring from the community was overwhelming, and it really did give us fuel to keep fighting. Part of me says we survived that whole mess in just six months, but it doesn’t seem like we can continue surviving here without all of the help that we received.”
Levin goes on to say that the store is in “OK shape” for the time being. The plan is to continue operating without digging himself into the same financial mess all over again, so it’s a very strong possibility that Criminal Records will move to a smaller location sometime in the near future.
Record Store Day takes place Sat., April 21, and the store has already booked a performance by Patterson Hood of Drive-By Truckers at 3 p.m. The rest of the day’s schedule is still coming together. Two weeks after that the store is hosting Free Comic Book Day (Sat., May 5). “We’ll take stock after that and see where we go from there,” Levin adds. While his answers may come off a bit cagey, the situation is certainly a delicate, new experience for the local record shop that's been a L5P staple for 20 years. “A miracle of some sort could happen, but we haven’t really said anything else about it yet because we truly don’t know what’s going to happen.”
In the meantime, the “Save Criminal Records” logo has been tweaked a bit to serve as a SXSW showcase this year, which has been dubbed “Criminal Records Saves.” It’s a joint showcase with Atlanta booking agency 4th Ward Heroes at Gypsy Lounge in Austin. The lineup that mostly features bands that contributed to the Save Criminal Records push, including Carnivores, Dog Bite, Vonnegutt, Mood Rings, Nomen Novum, Back Pockets, Red Sea, Ocha la Rocha, Jarren Benton, and Distal.
ooooohhhh, I'm so excited!! I can't wait to see them together!
come on man you know you got a bromance. you probably still rock that OutKast…
Yes, 14 is the correct answer. I'll pass your info along to the group's manager,…
That was January of 2007, and they are 21 now, so I'm guessing 14?