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A Social Club for Vinyl Lovers

A Social Club for Vinyl Lovers

Lolita Mojica

In front of Fingerprints Music on a crisp Sunday morning stands a chipper woman sporting a Deftones t-shirt, holding a sign that reads, “Record Store Meetup”. She is Crystal Martinez, the founder of this social club for vinyl lovers. 

“We meet once every other month,” Martinez said. “Today’s actually our one-year anniversary.”

Crystal Martinez of Record Store Meetup greets attendees and gives them the rundown of the day’s events at Sunday’s meetup. Photo by Lolita Mojica.

Martinez was inspired to start Record Store Meetup after having attended a book meet called Indie Bookstore Field Trips, hosted by Bel Canto Books (who are based in Long Beach). 

The idea is simple: like-minded individuals meet up to share the hobbies that they love while supporting small businesses. 

Upon checking in with Martinez, attendees are greeted with open arms and a smile.

Crystal Martinez excitedly awaits the arrival of attendees at Sunday’s record store meetup. Photo by Lolita Mojica.

“Wear this,” Martinez said while doling out Record Store Meetup stickers. “and know that when you see others wearing this (sticker) they’re nice people that you can talk to.”

The nature of crate-digging is often a solitary activity for most. Record Store Meetup offers the opportunity for people to break out of their shells a bit and mingle in a safe environment. 

Attendees gather for a group photo after shopping at Fingerprints Music on Sunday at Record Store Meetup. Photos courtesy of Record Store Meetup.

“It’s just different when you know everyone is of the same mind and you can talk to them about music, ” said Steven Castellanos, who was attending the meetup. “I hope to see more of these (meetups) in Long Beach because I can’t always make it out to LA.”

A typical meetup consists of everyone meeting up at around 11 a.m. to shop and mingle until about 1 p.m. 

“It’s cool to see such a large group come in and just shop music, you know,” said Patrick Shannon, who works at Fingerprints. 

Attendees gather for a group photo after shopping at Fingerprints Music on Sunday at Record Store Meetup. Photo courtesy of Record Store Meetup.

After everyone finished shopping, the group gathered in front of the store and excitedly showed one another their finds. 

While they usually have lunch afterward, last Sunday’s meetup ended with everyone taking a walk around the corner to visit Record Box, another local record store. 

There isn’t a date set for the next meetup but Martinez says it will be a collaboration with Heather Wilson, of Metro Sessions, a community of DJs who pop up around the LA area. 

Photo by Lolita Mojica

Martinez is grateful for the support she’s had with Record Store Meetup thus far and has her sights set on venturing out toward the OC. 

For the latest on upcoming meetups, be sure to follow @recordstoremeetup on Instagram.

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