The long running Bay Area radio station KFJC is bringing its celebrated record swap back to Empire Seven Studios for its second year of a reimagined tradition.
Since its founding in 1959, KFJC has played an integral part in the underground but vibrant Bay Area music scene. Broadcasting from the Foothill College Campus at 89.7 FM, the station has a lengthy tradition of championing boundary-pushing acts, as well as serving as a tastemaking curator for the region.
In addition to helping propel many bands to stardom, KFJC has held an annual record swap on campus for nearly two decades. Last year, in a major shift, the swap was moved to Empire Seven Studios in Japantown, San Jose. This year, it returns to Empire Seven, with the aim of becoming a permanent fixture there.
“It has been a staple in the bay area for many years, and bringing it back is always a good thing, says Leticia Domingo, a current on-air KFJC DJ and former publicist for the station.
This won’t be a flea market affair. Empire Seven Studios, with art on the walls and DJs spinning all day, works to make the swap less of a bartering market and more of a musical learning experience.
“When I first joined the station in 2001-2002, one of the first events I ever went to was a record swap,” says Domingo, better known by her on-air name Ms. Tiza. “It was mostly record labels, and it was a paid event, with early bird specials.”
Seeing the formula as outdated and unfair to newer collectors, Domingo and the station reinvented the record swap—freeing it from the confines of the Foothill Campus and, more important, making it a free event. The idea was to encourage everyone, from the serious veteran collector to the merely curious, to intermingle and learn.
It’s a welcome change. While the swap has been a staple of the Bay Area music scene for decades, the insider vibe meant the event mainly drew an insider crowd. Domingo has stripped away most of that snobbery in order to let the love of music rule. “Now the great thing is you have collectors selling and collectors digging together,” she says.
KFJC Record Swap
Apr 2, 10am-5pm, Free
Empire Seven Studios, San Jose