Outpatient Records provides a welcoming space to discover new music

Upcoming concerts and record store pop-ups in Chico offer connection through music.


Thumb through stacks of records at Outpatient Records’ pop-ups and connect with fellow music lovers. Photo by cottonbro studio via Pexels.

“I find music to be an essential aspect of good mental health,” said Matthew Garcia, a licensed clinical social worker who moonlights as an event curator and vinyl record vendor.

Garcia runs Outpatient Records, hosting pop-up record shops and monthly live music events. 

Beginning April 16, the next few months will feature concerts Garcia is excited about, as well as Outpatient Records’ first-ever Record Store Day pop-up on April 22. All the events are an opportunity to provide the community with what Garcia described as “a place for people to feel welcomed, safe and learn about something new, could be a record, could be seeing a live music act.” 

Garcia has been organizing events with a focus on connecting through music in the Chico area since 2014. The name “Outpatient Records” is a nod to his work at outpatient mental health clinics, where he works with his brother who is also a mental health professional. The two dreamed of opening a record store together where they could also provide mental healthcare. 

“That practice has yet to come to fruition, but the name has stuck,” Garcia said. 

Despite not having a permanent brick-and-mortar location, through pop-up events Outpatient Records has served to fulfill Garcia’s motto: “Catering to weirdos but embracing to all since 2014.”

Initially, Garcia started a monthly record sale pop-up in Downtown Chico. Today, Outpatient Records’ bi-monthly pop-up shop is frequently held at Naked Lounge

 “Mostly it supplements my own buying habits,” said Garcia. “Every dollar made from selling records goes back to buying more records for my own collection or to sell to the public.” 

This year the official Record Store Day, an event started in 2008 as a way to encourage support of independent record stores, coincided with Outpatient Records’ pop-up on April 22. To celebrate, Garcia invited vendors from across Northern California to join in selling thousands of records from the comfort of Naked Lounge. 

The Record Store Day pop-up will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and is a free event open to all ages. 

“Come nerd out with us, and don’t forget to buy records,” Garcia said. 

Around 2018, Outpatient Records expanded to include live music promotion and organizing concerts. 

Garcia said he curates the shows based on the music he enjoys, across a range of genres and styles. 

“Typically indie rock, but I love jazz, soul, world music and appreciate art with a message of hope,” Garcia said.

Beyond a hopeful message, the focus of the events is inclusivity and connection through music. Garcia describes organizing the shows as a “labor of love, no profit is ever made . . .  ever!”

Through these live music events, local and international artists have been featured on intimate stages across Chico. Previous shows included musicians from as far as Africa and Australia. 

On April 16 Outpatient Records will be welcoming another band of international performers. Etran De L’Air, a rock band from Niger, will be stopping at Argus Bar + Patio on their first-ever U.S. tour. 

The next monthly show on May 4 will be performed by Josiah Johnson of The Head and the Heart. Johnson is Garcia’s current favorite artist and has previously played a sold out show at Argus Bar + Patio. In May, Johnson will be returning to Argus’ patio.

“I’m familiar with his music from The Head and the Heart, but his last album ‘Every Feeling On a Loop’ via Anti- Records is so powerful, and the message of recovery and hope just floors me,” Garcia said. 

Singer-songwriter Sean Hayes will be the June 2023 artist, playing the Argus patio on June 15

Tickets for all three concerts are available on Eventbrite. Outpatient Records’ live music events are limited to those age 21 and older.

Further coverage of the record store pop-up will be published after the event.

Heather Taylor can be reached at [email protected].