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Fat Beats & Rhino Records Continue Retail Legacy with Pop-up Shops and Performances

image from Fat Beats, the record label and music distributor, used to have multiple record stores with in-store events were widely distributed om YouTube. Rhino Records once jad two shops in Los Angeles. Now both are holding pop-up shops with live shows in a manner that extends their retail legacy. And as much as many of us like to believe we're building deep communities on the web, the immediacy of such events can produce a level of goodwill difficult to maintain online.

Fat Beats closed its last two stores last year, a powerful sign that even indie cred could not ensure the survival of the record store. Though the wholesale distribution operation and Fat Beats Records continue, the shift to being a warehouse had to feel like an isolating move.

image from But Fat Beats was smart enough to counter such isolation by launching a monthly series of pop-up shops at their Brooklyn warehouse including the in-store shows for which they were well known. The most recent pop-up shop took place May 21st and included a solid lineup of indie acts from Has-Lo to Blitz The Ambassador to Kooley High.

Rhino Records had two stores in LA's Westwood neighborhood which are also now closed. Now Rhino is in the midst of their second pop-up shop event running from May 27 to June 12. Performers include Thelonius Monster, a Posh Boy Records night and Kristian Hoffman’s Paisley Pop Cavalcade.

The first Rhino pop-up shop was motivated by Rhino co-founder Richard Foos, who liquidated his personal record collection before a big move, with Senior VP of A&R, Gary Stewart, initiating the current event. Stewart stated, "last year’s pop-up store really brought me back to the experience of the L.A. music scene and the sense of community that it fosters."

Both Rhino and Fat Beats are using a concept that was initially developed as a marketing maneuver in order to continue the community that indie record stores have long claimed. Both efforts are strong reminders that even streaming video and Twitter conversations cannot replace the power of live, direct contact.

Hypebot contributor Clyde Smith is a freelance writer and blogger. Flux Research is his business writing hub and All World Dance is his primary web project.