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Gavin's Underground

Red Light Books

by Gavin Sheehan
- Posted // 2008-03-07 -

Just one year ago Red Light Books started off as one of the new stores to open up along the Broadway Strip.  Replacing a dead storefront area of downtown that once used to be half of a antique dish store.  Ever wonder where your grandma used to get her plates that would have that decorative blue trim?  That's where.  When the store went bankrupt and left, Red Light moved on in.

One year later business is good, in-store shows are frequent, and the future for the place looks brighter than ever in that lovely shade of red.  Did I mention the yellow carpet is gone?  Pretty good for a bookstore that sells mostly alternative literature in a conservative environment.  By opening up to the underground culture as opposed to trying to fit the standard, Red Light has turned itself into a local cultural hub that shows no signs of stopping.  And that's just after one year.  I went in and snapped some photos and asked some quick questions for store co-owner Tia Martinez about the store one year later.

Tia Martinez


http://www.myspace.com/redlightbooks

Gavin:
How does it feel hitting the one year mark?

Tia:
I am amazed at all the support from the underground community in SLC. I am blessed, this is hopefully one of many more years to come.

Gavin:
For those who don't know the full story, tell us how Red Light Books came about.

Tia:
Me being stubborn and Jared unconditional support and love for me.

Gavin: Fair enough. What kind of literature do you normally sell?

Tia:
Shit! Just kidding. Graffiti books, gay comics and limited edition books. We also sell a lot of underground music punk, metal, noise and folk.

Gavin: Was it difficult opening this kind of book store in this type of conservative environment.

Tia:
I guess. When I opened the store I thought that everyone was very much like me, a nerdy junk collector. So, I guess just the realized that not everyone is like that and to think about how weird I might be.

Gavin: How has the city treated you?

Tia:
The cops are awesome!

Gavin:
Have you gotten any flack from people who wouldn't normally visit your store?

Tia:
Sometimes, not really, at least not to my face. Maybe because they know that all punch them.

Gavin:
What are some of the changes the store has gone through since the opening one year ago.

Tia: No Carpet! Yeah!!! No carpet!

Gavin:
What's been the reaction to being involved with Gallery Stroll?

Tia:
Dead Babies was awesome!!

Gavin:
What's your opinion on the local art scene?

Tia:
It sucks! I think that's very hard to break in to SLC art scene. Stores or galleries think that if you show the same local artist it's better biz, but I think that having new artist is more applying.

Gavin:
How have the concerts gone for you?

Tia:
Good, good, good, bad, good, good, bad, bad, good, and good.

Gavin:
What's your opinion on the local music scene right now?

Tia:
I think that we have the best noise scene, I also love the punk D.I.Y. scene too!

Gavin:
Are there any plans to expand beyond what you're doing now?

Tia:
Holy crap, no! I can barely keep myself and family sane, but by the time I am doing really good I'll start something new that's how I work.

Gavin: Any music or books you'd like to recommend?

Tia:
Red Light Sound, which is our label, anything off that. Books... anything in 3D.

Gavin:
Any thoughts on the next year ahead?

Tia:
Just trying to expand our stock.

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