Hogwild has seen an increase in college student customers as vinyls are becoming popular again, says store manager.
By Emily Garcia
For 35 years, Hogwild Records and Tapes has sold vinyls, cassettes, CDs, posters and T-shirts to people who like to rock out and bang their heads.
Before opening a retail store, owner Dave Risher rented a flea market stall at Northwest Center Flea Market where he sold vinyls, store manager Steven Alejandro said.
“Eventually, he had enough business to move into a retail store, and when this space opened up, he took it,” Alejandro said.
Alejandro studied radio, television and film at this college, and had a radio show on KSYM 90.1 called “Positive Vibrations,” which consisted of reggae tunes.
Alejandro worked at Hogwild Records from 1984 to 1987, then returned in 2003 and has been there ever since.
“I like working here because you get to listen and talk about music, movies and books with customers,” Alejandro said. “It is also nice to turn customers on to different genres of music.”
The store sells genres including metal, rock, country, punk, rap, ska, dance, blues and jazz.
The store suffered a decline of student customers through the years, but has seen an increase as students have shown more interest in vinyl, Alejandro said.
“I’d say about between 25 to 40 percent of customers are SAC students,” he said.
Cecelia Garcia is a sales associate at Hogwild Records and a former student at this college.
She studied psychology and music, and has been working at the store for 11 years.
The items in the store, which include buttons, stickers, tote bags, patches, mugs, hats, puzzles and box sets of vinyls, are items that can be found online, but the store offers an experience online shoppers will not get, Garcia said.
“Most people prefer the experience of walking into an actual record shop and looking around, looking at the vinyls and the covers, as opposed to looking online and having vinyls mailed,” Garcia said.
Prices of albums and merchandise begin at $1 and go up, Garcia said.
James “Hot Mustard” Velten, academic program coordinator and program director at KSYM, shops regularly at Hogwild Records for music for KSYM.
“It’s nice to actually browse through all the music,” Velten said. “It’s not like online where they throw the newest stuff at you because here you can browse well-known music as well as local music.”
One of the most unusual vinyls Velten has bought at the store is “Sesame Street Fever,” which included the song “Ernie and his Rubber Duckie” in disco.
Local artists such as Nina Diaz of the band Girl in a Coma are known to give away signed albums at the store.
Hogwild Records will participate in Record Store Day April 22.
Record Store Day is a day for the staff, the customers and the artists of record stores to unite and celebrate the role record stores play in the community, according to the Record Store Day website, recordstoreday.com.
“During that day, we offer limited releases you can only get at independent record stores,” Alejandro said.
Hogwild Records is at 1824 N. Main Ave. at Dewey Place.
The store is open 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday. Call Hogwild at 210-733-5354 for more information.