For the 45th anniversary of local record store Wuxtry Records, guest DJs Pip, Nate and Tim Schrieber accordingly spun 45 rpm singles at the Little Kings Shuffle Club to celebrate on Friday night.
Attendees enjoyed beer provided by The Southern Brewing Company as they celebrated Wuxtry with both friends and family. Plates of home-cooked and party food were happily picked through and sat on a foldable table housed on the side of the club, as Wuxtry staff supplied food for early eventgoers.
Wuxtry opened its doors in 1976 and has had several different storefront locations, but its heart has always been in Athens. The music groups R.E.M. and the B-52s, which helped put Athens on the live music map were intertwined with Wuxtry early on as some members were staffed at the shop.
The connection to Wuxtry runs deep for some — attendee Paul Butchart said he traded in Top 40 albums for $1 punk albums during his college years because no one would buy them and he regarded it as a good deal.
For others, record collecting is a hobby which Wuxtry fuels. Paul Rosing, a student at the University of Georgia, said he loves vinyl because it’s tangible memorabilia one can hold onto for life.
As eventgoers went outside and gathered around picnic tables in the outdoor patio area to converse and enjoy each other’s company, the final 45 rpm singles were spun. Before local band the Asymptomatics came on, a chilly bite in the air settled and the excitement among the crowd grew.
Raffle winners were announced and this further increased the enthusiasm. A buzzing energy filled the air while the band warmed up and the thick anticipation of the crowd finally released with the first note’s downbeat.
Playing songs from various time periods, the Asymptomatics started with classic rock songs, then during a brief intermission, humorously played a classical piano piece, before ending their set with hit songs such as “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking” by the Rolling Stones, “What’d I Say” by Ray Charles and “Reptilia” by the Strokes.
At the end of their set, they were overwhelmed with chants for an encore from the audience. The band complied and closed with a cover of “Layla” by Derek and the Dominos, which was met with cheers and praise from attendees.
People of all ages came together to celebrate their passion for music — showing that part of Wuxtry’s success in keeping a strong foothold in Athens has been by blending old traditions with new trends.
“We are appreciative of everyone that has supported our store over the years,” Nate Mitchell, store manager of Wuxtry Records, said. “Sometimes you have to invest a little more into your connection to music for it to be far more rewarding.”