Radio-Active Records Gives Back

If there's one thing you can count on from the good folks at Radio-Active Records, it's their unwavering ability to provide a sense of community. Every time you walk in the friendly record store/hipster enclave, it feels more like a community center than just a place to buy CDs and vinyl. That's not easy to accomplish when so many mom-and-pop record stores are going under, but Radio-Active focuses on reciprocity and supporting its customers just as much as its customers support them

This weekend, the shop is extending that love and putting on a benefit show for a good cause. The National Art Exhibitions by the Mentally Ill (NAEMI) is in need of more program dollars to keep the organization going, and Radio-Active is hooking it up. If you're not familiar with NAEMI, the Miami-based org does advocacy work for artists who suffer from mental illness. It lines up shows and exhibitions and helps create a bridge between the artists and the art world. Consider it a proponent of outsider art (think Daniel Johnston or Wesley Willis), finding a way to tap into the creative spirit of individuals whom society looks at as different.

Local musician Steven Toth, AKA "Mr. Entertainment," has wanted to set up a benefit to help NAEMI out, and doing it at Radio-Active just made sense.

At this weekend's event, a bunch of bands and singers are getting together to put on a solid evening of music. All the artists on the bill will perform songs from artists who suffered from mental illness, like Johnston, Roky Erickson, and Brian Wilson, in a show of solidarity. And, of course, there's going to be art for sale. Bands like Tongues of the Heartworm and Livid Kittens will offer their own brand of frenetic accompaniment to all this. According to store owner Sean Kayes, all the work that's sold goes to artists directly, and they'll also be accepting donations. So come out and support your local savants, and enjoy and celebrate creativity. And if you want to get a little crazy and have a good time, that's encouraged.

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Jonathan Cunningham