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Friday, November 5, 2010

Buy Some Weird Records and Help All-Ages Oakland Venue 21 Grand

Posted By on Fri, Nov 5, 2010 at 3:05 PM

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21 Grand, the downtown Oakland nonprofit all-ages venue and art space, is struggling to survive. In August, city officials decided that the space was violating the city's cabaret license laws, forcing 21 Grand to cancel much of its fall schedule of shows.

The cancellations leave primary manager Darren Jenkins on the hook for the space's rent -- with little-to-no income to help cover the cost.

So this Saturday, a group of local DJs, labels, and musicians are holding a record swap at 21 Grand. The focus will be on the weirder kinds of music that the venue programs -- experimental, old-school soul, ska, punk, and local stuff.

"It's almost like a very curated kind of temporary record store," says longtime 21 Grand curator (and Club Sandwich collective member) George Chen.

Chen says about 15 different vendors have signed up to sell records tomorrow -- the maximum capacity allowed. The record-sellers include DJ Paul Costuros (read our Q&A with him) of Saturday Night Soul Party and Ska War, former Pitchfork and Paste critic (and musician) Dominique Leone, a distribution group dedicated to Haiti earthquake relief, and many other locals with relatively out-there tastes.

"I don't think there's going to be a bunch of Beatles and Rolling Stones records," Chen says.

The $2 entry fee (larger donations are welcome), goes to help pay for the venue, as do the fees the vendors pay for a table. The swap runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, November 6.

Read more about the unfortunate plight of 21 Grand and all-ages culture spaces in general here and here.

Follow us on Twitter @SFAllShookDown and @iPORT

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Ian S. Port

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