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Members Behind South Central’s Generación Suicida Open Their Own Indie Record Store, ‘Under the Radar’

A new independent punk record store has found its home in L.A.’s South Bay community of Lawndale. ‘Kiwi’ Martinez and Tony Abarca of the South Central L.A.-based punk rock outfit Generación Suicida are opening the doors of their very own small business, Under the Radar, an independent record shop that will also act as a space to exhibit local art. They will be hosting their grand opening on Saturday, June 11th from Noon until 6 PM.

“Punk, and music in general, have been such a huge part of our lives that it feels like a natural next step to open a record store,” Abarca tells L.A. TACO. Their shop, which has primarily operated online, will now be located at 16129 Hawthorne Boulevard. 

The shop will specialize in punk rock and all of its subgenres, selling vinyl and merchandise. In an interview with L.A. TACO, Abarca shares that he is particularly excited about having music by The Chisel, Fatamorgana, Christian Blunda, and classic acts such as Eskorbuto, Poison Idea, and of course, The Ramones. “When we were kids, record stores (like Headline Records) were a pivotal part of our upbringing. It’s where we discovered bands like SIN DIOS, ESKORBUTO, BUZZCOCKS, BLITZ,” Abarca says.  

Inside Under the Radar Records.' Photo via Tony Abarca.
Inside Under the Radar Records.' Photo via Tony Abarca.

The store will also feature closely curated selections of metal, hip hop, indie, jazz, and soul titles to fill the shelves. As part of the grand opening, Under the Radar will feature the photography of Henry Lugo, Generación Suicida’s long-time documentarian and homie. Abarca also hopes their new shop will serve as a hub for records and monthly events. A variety of overstock items from the shop and goods from other vendors. The shop also plans to host meet and greets and listening parties for touring bands. “Record stores are cultural hubs where you can discover new music that can change the way you think and where you can meet people who may become an integral part of your life.”

Abarca and Martinez have also started their own independent record label and hope that the store will allow them to contribute to and build up the independent “hood” punk rock community of Los Ángeles that birthed the prolific band. L.A.’s urban backyard scene has been one of the most prolific DIY punk scenes in the country. It has been active from the late 70s to today and has been the subject of films shot by outsider film producers like Wassup Rockers and Los Punx, but only a handful of bands ever made it inside a recording studio to document their sound. Abarca and Martinez hope to change that and offer local talented bands an independent space to record music.   

Javier Cabral contributed to this report. 

Under The Radar Records is located at 16129 Hawthorne Blvd, 90260. Open Tuesday-Thursday 11AM-5PM, Friday-Sunday, 12PM- 6PM. Closest Metro line and stop: Bus Line 40 - "Hawthorne/162nd."

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