Today, we are also fighting a war of our own the recession. The current unemployment rate in Georgia is 10.3%, which is higher than the national rate of 9.1%. Everyday the reality of foreclosure hits with homeowners displaced and businesses closing. When Criminal Records announced plans to shut their doors, the outcry from fans could be heard from all over Atlanta. Since September, The King of Pops, Variety Playhouse, WonderRoot and Pamela Caltabiano have coordinated projects to SAVE CRIMINAL RECORDS ATLANTA.
The list of advocates continues, as Amber Lu, a PinUp model and longtime friend of Criminal Records, becomes the producer of the Criminal Cuties PinUp Pageant on Saturday November 5 at 7:30 p.m. (doors at 6 p.m.). As a benefit for Criminal Records, Amber Lu’s own war on the recession touches on several retro loves we share with her - PinUps and the neighborhood music and comics store – so we had to make her Kool Kat of the Week.
ATLRETRO: Why a benefit for Criminal Records?
Amber Lu: When I found out Criminal Records was on the brink of closing its doors, I decided I wanted to throw a benefit of some sort to help them stay open. I have a lot of close friends that work at Criminal, and it has become a home away from home for me. I am a PinUp model myself, so I thought it’d be fun to integrate the idea of Classic PinUps with what is becoming the retro aspect of the modern record store. Plus, a pinup pageant is a great way to draw people in to the store for the rest of the fundraising events going on that night, i.e., our silent auction, bake sale, photobooth and DJ!!
What qualities are you looking for in Miss Criminal Records 2011?
A real PinUp should have the qualities I like to refer to as “The 3 P’s of PinUp”:
These qualities, along with a love for music and everything awesome, are what will help Miss Criminal Records 2011 earn her crown!!
How is Criminal Records an asset to the Little Five Points community?
Criminal Records is the reason I venture into Little Five Points most days… There is ALWAYS something going on there! Bands playing live in-store shows to promote their records… vegan bake sales… Record Store Day… Free Comic Book Day… book signings… Asshole Santa every Christmas?! Too many good things to count! I’ll never forget the day I [first] walked up to Criminal Records, when they were in their old location, and I saw the Indigo Girls playing on the curb there! Where else could you see that?! I was new to Atlanta at the time, and had no idea that shows like that were a regular occurrence at Criminal. I also had the opportunity to meet Michael Cera and, my personal favorite, Jason Schwartzman, due to the fan-girl antics of the amazing Lillian Hughes, who set up a Fan Meet-n-Greet for the movie: SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD! Criminal is always on the look out for fun exciting events for comic book and music fans alike. It is a very neighborhood-oriented store and focuses on supporting local artists, as well as the communities’ well being. Only a few small reasons we need to preserve indie record stores, [and] Criminal Records in particular!!
Vinyl has made a huge comeback in the past few years. Many people prefer its sound to the digitally remastered CDs out there. In fact, most bands nowadays put their music out on vinyl before they’d think about putting a CD out to sell. It is sad to me that CDs have somehow become a thing of the past – “retro” if you will; iTunes obviously changed the music industry immensely, and in my opinion, for the worse. Although I do enjoy being able to have my music available on my phone and at the touch of a button, I can’t help but be sad for newer generations of music fans who may never experience the excitement of going to a record store, discovering a new band, taking their CD home, enjoying reading through the album cover, and appreciating the artwork while they experience the music out loud!