WHERE: 420 E. 4th St. Long Beach, California
WHY: “Músic, Art, Literature y Culture”
Photos and Text by Isaac Bonyuet
Between those spots covered with modernism there’s some corners created by nostalgia and the rejection of virtual reality, and here we can talk about independent record stores. One of them is Fingerprints on Long Beach, CA. This store, founded in July 1992, is located on the art district, with a peculiar address for all those people who smokes alternative herbs (420 E- 4th St).
The neighborhood has its own story. Sublime is from Long Beach and the 80’s punk scene from LA y Orange County was lead by the city. The building located in front of the store was used by SST Records, that indie record label of Black Flag, The Descendents, Hüsker Dü, Meat Puppets, Sonic Youth, Soundgarden, Screaming Trees, etc). There’s a legacy to maintain.
The store tagline is: “Music, Art, Literature and Culture” and the key of its interior design is are the details: at one side we can see a wall full of pamphlets with musical info, a staff that knows about music –their employer demand it- and on the other corner you have record shelves with an iPod to listen to them –to me this is a big “Fuck You” to Steve Jobs and his digital sales-. Besides Fingerprints is always searching for a connection with that generation who don’t enjoy record stores.
And being indie from the heart, their website only tell you where it is and when does it open. They don’t have an online catalog or a news blog and much less a Twitter account. However, this connection is created by the free concerts the store gives from time to time.
I had the opportunity to go to the store to check out a show from Matt Nathanson on June 21st. I watched how people, who came from many places, liked to do a line to watch their favorite artist, without a far and high stage separating them from him and after having an autograph session. On a wall they show all the musicians whom has visited the them, people like Foo Fighters, My Morning Jacket, Band of Skulls, Janelle Monáe, The Hold Steady, Cold War Kids, Tegan and Sara, etc.
They also organize Listening Parties where you can hear an entire album the day of its release. Like the old Venezuelan vinyls from Rodven –an extinct Venezuelan record label- used to say: “The Record is Culture”; I would add the record stores too.