By Pat Gunther
Known for frequent performances by local acts, a variety of vintage records, and a collection of audio equipment from every era of vinyl, it’s no secret Atomic Pop Shop values music with a story.
A few more stories will be told on Feb. 8, when Atomic Pop Shop premieres the Jason Blackmore documentary, Records Collecting Dust. The film tells the story of legendary vinyl record collections and origins of rock icons Jello Biafra, Chuck Dukowski, Keith Morris, John Reis and more than 30 more underground-music affiliates. For $5, fans will get to view the film and hear performances from the likes of Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine, The Locust and Big Business in one of Baton Rouge’s favorite music venues.
“It is important to support the art and artists as well as the local business every opportunity we get,” said Atomic Pop Shop owner Kerry Beary. “This is a perfect mix of the two.”
The film’s producer, Brian Jenkins, had reached out to Beary earlier in the year, presenting a unique opportunity for Baton Rouge that the record connoisseur just couldn’t resist.
“We don’t turn down an opportunity to support and show film, music, art and culture,” Beary said.
The film, which contains a plethora of insightful interviews and takes from punk and alt rock legends, has shunned the huge cities for smaller, more intimate venues. The effort hopes to expand the horizons of music fans in places that don’t get as much love as the major American metropolises.
“Many indie films do a year of theater premieres on the film festival circuit and primarily play in major markets across the country,” Brian Jenkins said in a November interview with Chris Coplan of Consequence of Sound. “When I was brought on to this project, Jason and I agreed that we wouldn’t alienate our audience and that we would do our best to make this film accessible to everyone. We’ve got premieres from Los Angeles to Grand Folks, ND scheduled. It’s a film about punk rock records and we wanted to carry that ethic and approach through the filming, editing and distribution of Records Collecting Dust.”
It is precisely that ethic, then, that makes Beary’s intimate and colorful record store the perfect place to watch this flick in the state’s capitol.
“People coming out for the movie premiere can expect to have a great experience in see something new, to learn something new and share it with others,” Beary said.
However, even if you’ve never put a needle to wax before, Records Collecting Dust provides interesting insight into the cyclical nature of the music industry.
Beary herself can relate to this film, as some of her favorite records from Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, and The Rolling Stones rear their head at different junctures in Jenkins and Blackmore’s indie art-house project. No matter what you take away from the evening filled with dulcet music history, Records Collecting Dust will take you on a journey through some of music’s most important years. As a record storeowner, Beary’s desires for patrons are simple; she hopes people leave with a feeling of fulfillment and satisfaction, and of course, maybe some new records too.
The film will premiere at Atomic Pop Shop on Feb. 6 at 8 p.m.