The Emporium of Popular Culture is back. And this time the shop/gallery/performance space is up here in Providence. Proprietor Darren Hill is certainly an interesting character. The former musician was written up in yesterday’s Boston Globe in anticipation of the opening of the new POP Antiques & Vintage. Always a collector with an eye for design, Hill nonetheless spent years playing bass with Red Rockers, and later the Raindogs
. . . touring the country with Dylan, Warren Zevon, and Don Henley. Paul Westerberg, the frontman for alt-rock heroes the Replacements, recruited Hill for his first post-Replacements band, but when Hill’s son was born he made the transition from musician to manager so that he could spend more time at home. Today Hill manages Westerberg, psych-rocker Roky Erickson, and the Mighty Mighty Bosstones from his longtime base of East Greenwich, R.I., where he works and lives with his family.
Years of collecting finally morphed into the popular POP Emporium which ran from 2012 but had to close in 2014 due to demands on his time caused by the Replacements’ reunion tour. I think we’re all going to be glad that happened.
The opening party features music from singer-songwriters Man & Wife, art by Rhode Island painter Susan Dwyer, who will be showcasing the new space. The Globe describes it as,
. . . a seriously cool new location: a 10,000-square-foot industrial building in Providence. From the street it looks like any other brick warehouse — previous tenants include Wal-kar Engraving and the Black Key sex club — and it remains unmarked except for a sign over the back entrance. Hill bought the building from a friend two years ago and renovated the place top to bottom, sandblasting the soaring ceilings, refinishing original factory floors, and dividing the place in half.
Opening reception, 6pm to 9pm, Thursday, June 23, POP, 219 W. Park Street, (directions)