Vinyl shop Blind Rage Records marks two years with punk blowout this weekend

Gwen Downing-Groth, who opened Blind Rage Records on Watervliet Avenue on August 1, 2020, hosts a second anniversary show headlined by hardcore punk pioneers the Crosses, Zero Boys and Toxic Reasons, Friday through Sunday, July 29 through 31.

Credit: Don Thrasher

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Gwen Downing-Groth, who opened Blind Rage Records on Watervliet Avenue on August 1, 2020, hosts a second anniversary show headlined by hardcore punk pioneers the Crosses, Zero Boys and Toxic Reasons, Friday through Sunday, July 29 through 31.

Credit: Don Thrasher

Opening a new business during a global pandemic is a tricky proposition but it’s working out for Gwen Downing-Groth’s Blind Rage Records.

The vinyl shop, which opened on Watervliet Avenue on August 1, 2020, hosts three nights of live, in-store performances this weekend to celebrate two years of operation.

The punk rock blowout is headlined each night by a pioneering hardcore punk act. Friday’s bill is the Crosses with Parasitic Twins, Houseghost and Downing-Groth’s new band, Drats. Saturday is Zero Boys with Powerviolets and Bomb Bunny. Sunday is Toxic Reasons with Luxury Pushers and Violent Way. Music begins at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 6 p.m. Sunday.

Downing-Groth recently discussed the store and the anniversary show.

Success story: “There was an article when we opened, and I said something snarky about why I was opening a store in the middle of the pandemic, but it worked out. We’re still here and it keeps getting bigger. I have two employees now and they probably work more hours than I do at this point. I’ve put about every dollar we make back into it to keep it getting bigger, which helps. We have a lot of super-supportive customers. People keep selling us really good used records so that keeps people coming in.”

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Growing pains: “It’s slowly growing. I just added 700 records that are from one local collection. I don’t want to move again but we keep running out of space. It’s getting to where I either need to decide if I want more room for shows or more room for records. I might have a little more passion for live music. We’ve looked around for spaces that would be bigger and could be used as a venue, but I haven’t found anything yet.”

Diverse bill: “We have three generations with classic hardcore bands, really young bands like Violent Way from Buffalo and Bomb Bunny and Drats from here, and others like Luxury Pushers and Parasitic Twins that have been around a while. I wanted a mix of younger bands to get them the exposure of playing with these bigger bands. I also wanted to expose people that are into younger bands to (see) this world.”

Blind Rage Records is currently open noon to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. On August 15, the hours change to 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Contact this contributing writer at 937-287-6139 or e-mail at donthrasher100@gmail.com.

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HOW TO GO

What: Blind Rage Records second anniversary show headlined by hardcore punk pioneers the Crosses, Zero Boys and Toxic Reasons

Where: Blind Rage Records, 740 Watervliet Ave., Dayton

When: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 6 p.m. Sunday, July 29 through 31

Cost: $15 Friday, $25 per day Saturday and Sunday

More info: facebook.com/blindragerecords

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