Download Circa Survive b-side to benefit Siren Records
Progressive/experimental rock act, Circa Survive, have released another B-side from their On Letting Go recording session titled “The Most Dangerous Commercials.” Like their previously released B-side “1,000 Witnesses,” the track will be available for download at a name-your-own price and will benefit something very important to the band – Doylestown, PA independent record store, Siren Records.
“Our favorite record store has been shut down and needs our help so they can move and open a new store,” Circa Survive guitarist, Colin Frangicetto, stated on the band’s official website.
The store was issued a cease-and-desist order last week because of zoning issues but on the 20th, was evicted from their location after a misunderstanding. “It was the perfect storm,” explained store owner, Blair Elliot. “The economy was definitely part of it, but we’ve also been in a fight with the landlord about the live shows that we had already agreed upon before we moved in. As that battle was going, we were trying to renegotiate our terms, but in the process, they came in and locked us out. Technically the lease allows them to do, but it isn’t what normally would happen. We’ve gotten wrapped up in the politics of the town that we weren’t privy to and now it’s affecting us.”
Siren Records has become a staple in the town, a refuge for teens, and a place of discovery for residents, including the members of Circa Survive. “When [vocalist] Anthony and I were younger, we used to take trips into Doylestown to go to the store. It was the best – like Empire Records, we would stalk the employees because we just thought they were so cool. It was a place I could always go and feel like I was gaining something, whether I was walking out with a CD or not. That’s how we got to know Doylestown,” Frangicetto reminisced. “Siren Records has not only been a huge supporter of indie music for almost 20 years now, but served as a safe and positive environment for the youth of our community to go and learn about all types of art, films, music and literature.”
Circa Survive has had a strong relationship with the store for several years and the store would consistently feature the band’s releases in their “Store Picks” rack. “They’ve been coming into the store for years, since before they were in any band,” recalls Elliot. “In the past year, we’ve gotten to know them much better.” In 2007, Circa Survive performed acoustically at Siren Records for the release of On Letting Go. The band’s frontman, Anthony Green, also performed solo at one of the store’s events. “It was such an honor to play there with it being our hometown and more so because it was the place I discovered every important record – Radiohead’s OK Computer, the first Ink and Dagger album, and countless underground artists and magazines you couldn’t get other than by mail order. It’s a paradise for anyone obsessed with underground music like we are.”
In addition to the countless records, magazines, and artwork available for purchase, the store also hosted shows – music and art – and participated in events like First Friday. “It’s a town-wide night of musical performances or art shows or a combination of the two in local businesses,” explained Elliot. “It eventually, sort of surrounded Siren Records because we already had the musical performances.” The town of Doylestown is now in talks of eliminating First Friday. “We do something that appeals to young people – not exclusively, but the majority. That seems to frighten a certain sector of the population. That’s the same problem they’re having with First Friday.”
Siren had scheduled a showcase of Frangicetto’s artwork for First Friday on August 1st, but now that the store has been closed, the show has been moved to the Main Baptist Church on Main Street in Doylestown. In addition to Frangicetto’s art, the showcase will now also feature artwork from Green and his wife, photography by Nicole Neuman, as well as music from Hunter Smith, Person L (feat. Kenny of The Starting Line) and Good Old War. All proceeds from the event will go towards helping Siren re-open.
“If you want to be a culturally diverse town, then live music, art, and places for people to expand their horizons are needed. Siren Records helped bring shows to a town that wouldn’t otherwise get to see live music,” Frangicetto explained. “In general, independent business should be championed in small towns.”
“This store doesn’t necessarily make a huge profit,” Elliot added. “A store like this, in this town, represents a cultural institution that needs to be preserved. That can be extended beyond music, to book and art stores across the country. They’re disappearing without any sort of battle to try and preserve them. All of us are just afraid to see them go away.”
“The Most Dangerous Commercials” can be purchased from http://donate.circasurvive.com.