Hobo Johnson held a live show and meet-and-greet at the Arden Way Dimple Records for his new album, ‘The Fall of Hobo Johnson.’ Meanwhile, the 45-year-old chain will close all of its locations at the end of September.
Two crowds packed the Arden Way Dimple Records Sunday afternoon: Hobo Johnson fans and the store’s loyal customers. Guess who was louder?
Around 200 to 300 people filled the aisles awaiting their favorite Sacramento everyman, the 24-year-old folk-rapper whose new record, The Fall of Hobo Johnson, was released Friday, Sept. 13. The customers, meanwhile, flipped through the shelves, taking advantage of an 80%-90% mark-down at the local retailer’s flagship store that is closing this month.
The day was a win-win. Johnson (real name Frank Lopes) could break the silence with fans about his new album through a stripped-down show and meet-and-greet. On launch day, the album peaked at No. 13 on iTunes.
Lopes, who signed to Warner Bros. Records last year after his music video “Peach Scone” went viral, said he felt proud of The Fall’s dozen new songs, a mix of older poems and recent stories created in the whirlwind of his rising, global stardom.
“I feel weirdly confident that it’s a cool piece of music,” he told SN&R “backstage”—a 35,000 square-foot warehouse stacked with pallets of CDs and DVDs.
Meanwhile, Dilyn Radakovitz, Dimple’s co-founder, worked the register in the warehouse’s temporary storefront. Dimple plans to close all of its locations by the end of September, Radakovitz told SN&R.
“We closed our Broadway [Book store] location in two days,” she said, of the quick time line. The family-owned chain announced the closure after 45 years in June, citing retirement, the rising minimum wage and the shrinking demand for physical media. In October, Radakovitz’s son, Andrew Radakovitz, plans to open a nostalgia-based hobby shop called The Cave at Dimple’s Bidwell Street location in Folsom.
The Arden location has held several shows since the announcement. On Sept. 6, local rappers Boney-Jay, Sparks Across Darkness, Kennedy Wrose and others held a farewell concert. The nostalgic shows also help spur business.
“The inventory’s blowing my f---ing mind,” Lopes said. “It’s sick to be able to help move some of this s---.”
At around 3 p.m., Lopes hit the stage to screaming fans. The band kicked off with an older banger, “Romeo and Juliet,” and half the aisles were blocked by bobbing heads and lit cellphones. The lyrically driven music resulted in a 45-minute singalong that jumped between past material and some new singles, including “I Want A Dog,” “Happiness” and “Uglykid.” Lopes irreverently began the song “Subaru Crosstrek XV” slam-poetry style, eliciting supportive snaps.
The meet-and-greet started at 4 p.m., as fans waited to meet Johnson, whom they celebrated for being down-to-earth, not a pop star.
“It’s kind of like a guy talking about regular stuff that all of us think about,” said Chris West, a new fan. “It’s not flashy, it’s not showy. It’s just, ‘Hey, I want a dog.’ Yeah, me too, I want a dog. (Laughs.)"
Two hours later, there was still a steady line encroaching onto Spudnuts Donuts next door.
Radakovitz said working the register allowed her to hear stories from parents who visited Dimple as children, and now bring their kids.
“We’re thankful that there’s no animosity,” said Radakovitz. “It’s, ‘Oh, we’re going to miss you.’”