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Acclaimed independent record store Aquarius Records featured in new documentary

Advertised as “a tourist attraction for crackpots” Aquarius Records operated in the Bay Area for nearly 50 years. Now he is getting his own documentary. It’s from Aquarius Records will make its big screen debut on June 3 at SF Doc Fest. The film’s trailer begins with an adamant declaration of faith by Matt Greeningcreator of The simpsons:

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“Here’s why I love Aquarius Records, and record stores in general: I love the artifact. It’s not enough to have it on your computer [as a] poor quality sound file. It’s just not enough.”

From there, an interesting story – like what we’ve seen in documentaries focusing on cult radio stations, record stores and similar destination locations that attract youth and young adult migration – unfolds. These destinations were so essential to the social development of the previous generation, but unfortunately they are almost gone today, and this trailer is a look back.

Plus, the comments from employees and owners — replete with claims of bringing punk to the Bay Area, for example here — are case studies in fandom and the community, and they don’t become more pleasing to the mind than when you see endless images of The Ramones, the damnedand literally hundreds of other icons gracing every store aisle at one time or another.

The film was a labor of love for its director, Kenneth Thomaswho also produced and edited the documentary. Thomas has this to say about the film, via its YouTube entry:

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It’s from Aquarius Records is a feature-length documentary about SF-based independent record store, Aquarius Records. After closing its doors in 2016 after 47 years, this small, apartment-sized store championed local, underground, independent and empowering music for the masses – most memorable with their infamous bi-weekly new release slates. This doc contains interviews with aQ owners dating back to 1970, other record store owners around the world, musicians, label heads, music journalists and INTENSE music collectors. Respondents include Matt Greening (The simpsons), wayne coyne (Inflamed lips), Bruce Ackley, Jean Darnielle (mountain goats), Ty Segalland Liz Harris (Consolidator).

Tickets and more information on the SF Doc Fest 2022 can be found here. Screening for It’s from Aquarius Records will also be held virtually, with both the film and a Q&A afterwards, which can be viewed live or on-demand for a time via Eventlive.

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