So, you say you are sick of buying your music from the box stores? They don’t carry the type of extreme underground sounds you like? You’d love a great place to go catch punk, hardcore, extreme metal and other underground bands? Would you like to get some shirts and stickers printed up to promote your band? How about a place to sell your independent CD release? Well, what if I told you you could find all those things in one Rockford business?
The business in question is B. T. A. Records. Located near the corner of Broadway and 11th Street, B. T. A. has been in business since December 2nd. What you won’t find at B. T. A. is massive racks of CD’s by Amy Winehouse or Daughtry. Instead you’ll find a small, but quality selection of CD’s, LP’s (remember vinyl?) and tapes from more extreme groups that get overlooked by the box stores. If you like punk, hardcore, extreme metal and any other underground musical form, there is sure to be something there for you. If that was all B. T. A. Records had to offer, it would cool, but the place is a lot more.
They host a number of shows with musical styles that not only include those mentioned above but cross over into hip hop and other genres. The place has a nice sized area for intimate gigs. If you stop in you can check out the “wall of fame” that displays the names of all the groups who have performed there – and the wall is getting full. As owner (and member of the band JCVD) Matt Affholder says, he wanted to create a “cool show space.” He has succeeded. From the artwork on the wall provided by friends of the store, to the wall of fame, it’s obvious this is a fun place to go see a band.
B. T. A. also sells merchandise other than music (DVD’s, buttons, stickers, and other accessories). If you’d like to get your own shirts, stickers or other items printed, they can help you there as they also have a small screen printing business under the same roof. This place is really a one-stop shop for all your underground music needs. Stop by and see B.T.A. on myspace (www.myspace.com/browntownarmy). Better yet, stop in at the store. They are open from 11 AM to 7 PM Tuesday through Saturday. Their myspace lists show dates, too. B. T. A. might not be for everyone, but those people have the box stores. For those of you who like your entertainment more raw and edgy, then it’s all about you.