Sadly, most talk of record stores these days usually is about their demise as shops big and small are shuttered in the wake of Internet sales and downloading.
Fortunately that’s not the case when talking about Goner Records.
Despite the name, the store and the community around it are alive and well. In just a few short years, the Memphis, Tenn, record store, which is co-owned by Eric Friedl (of the band the Dutchmasters and of the legendary Oblivians) and Zac Ives (of the band the Final Solutions) just celebrated its third birthday.
In that short time, the punk haven has spawned a label (also called Goner Records), its own festival in Memphis (the appropriately-titled Gonerfest) and a message board on its Web site that has become central to finding out what’s going on in thegarage-punk universe.
Their second straight SXSW showcase, kind of a miniversion of Gonerfest, kicks off March 15 at Beerland. Here’s a breakdown:
* Boston Chinks (above) — Memphis band whose Goner Records EP may be titled Coltrane, but has nothing to do with jazz –they’re punkers with hooks that kill. Claim to have gotten their name from straight from a graffitied wall in Boston: “Boston Chinks Go Home.”
* King Louie One-Man Band — Louie puts a crazy Cajun twist on the one-man band, adding Louisiana and country influences to go with the standard blues stompers.
* Yuma Territoral Prison Guards — Not sure what this band sounds like, but I’m sure the members will do their best to break out at SXSW.
* Digital Leather — Another band out of Arizona, adding synth sounds and an early new wave spin to the garage-punk proceedings.
* Carbonas — Atlanta’s answer to the Buzzcocks, 30 years later. Raging, melodic punk from a band that keeps improving with every release.
* Jay Reatard — For a decade, Reatard has been causing a stir with a variety of bands, mainly the punk goofballs the Reatards and the Lost Sounds, who were once described as the evil twin of Wire. That all added up to a surprisingly amazing solo debut last year, Blood Visions, which sounded like something John Peel would have dug in 1978.
— By Joe Belock