“I think it’s high time the mentors, big brothers, big sisters, parents, guardians, and neighborhood ne’er do wells, start taking younger people that look up to them to a real record store and show them what an important part of life music really is. I trust no one who hasn’t time for music. What a shame to leave a child, or worse, a generation orphaned from one of life’s great beauties. And to the record stores, artists, labels, DJ’s, and journalists; we’re all in this together. Show respect for the tangible music that you’ve dedicated your careers and lives to, and help it from becoming nothing more than disposable digital data.”
- Jack White
What are you doing on April 21st? Whatever you had planned, cancel it- or relocate it to your nearest independent record store. Why? Because the third Saturday of April is World Record Store Day- a day set aside to celebrate the majesty of independent record stores. Record Store Day was officially founded in 2007 and is now celebrated globally with hundreds of recording and other artists participating in the day by making special appearances, performances, meet and greets with their fans, the holding of art exhibits, and the issuing of special vinyl and CD releases along with other promotional products to mark the occasion.
In Brisbane, the following record stores are holding special events to mark the occasion:
Tym's Guitars (Fortitude Valley) is hosting a massive day of all-ages live music: Dumbsaint (Sydney), Margins (Melbourne), and from Brisbane: Turnpike, No Anchor and Violent Soho. Plus a Heavy Blanket Listening Party.
Rocking Horse Records, (Brisbane CBD) is lining up a big day of showcase gigs from soulful alt-country/rock Rattlehand and Brisbane's young indie band Jungle Giants.
Record Exchange (Brisbane CBD) has a day of stuff on sale including 'fill your bag' for $20, full size tour posters from $2 and up, buy three DVD movies and get two more free, and the same deal for buy three CDs (and get two more free). There are more than 20,000 titles on new 180g vinyl, more than 250,000 vinyl records in store (yes, that's not a typo), 5,000 rock and band tees for $24.95 each, and if you spend $50 or more you'll get a free poster worth $12.95. All vinyl is second hand.
I honestly think the experience of music pales when you listen to a digital download- legal or not. There is a real magic that comes from holding the whole package in your hand, opening the booklet and reading every last word. The art work, the lyrics, the liner notes, the credits and thank you's... every single bit works together to create a multi layered understanding of the work. Additionally, looking at your CD and record collection is super fucking cool- All stacked up they create a beautiful visual, and when you have guests come around they can check out your music library. I love looking through my friends CD's and records- from the dodgy to the devine they help me build a understanding of their life story. You can tell alot about a person by their music collection- and a lot about a person by how they choose to digest said music. In fact, one of the times I have ever felt most honored was when a friend lent me his entire collection of CD's to babysit while he went overseas- it was the late 90's and my CD collection was <50 discs- his was >900- I spent hours listening to CDs by Autechre, the Jesus and Mary Chain, Machines Of Loving Grace and My Life The Thrill Kill Kult- CD's I discovered I loved but would never have been financial enough to take a risk on. And the record stores- if I had a way to claw back all the time I've wasted just kicking around and hanging out I would totally get all of it back- all of it, except the hours I spent in Skinny's (RIP), Rocking Horse, The Record Exchange and the other record stores I've hung out in around the world. Words cannot express the longing I had for the huge block mount Birthday Party print hanging on the walls of Rocking Horse Records, nor how awesome it felt to know the gang behind the counter of Skinnys- especially when it meant I got all the excess sheets of band merch stickers (so many Yeah Yeah Yeahs stickers, I walked around the city with a dismembered Karen O foot stuck to my forehead like a crazy person and got myself a free coffee from a likeminded waitress at The Shingle Inn). When I was in Osaka I found some amazing Nirvana vinyl in Amoeba Records- and ended up chatting with the clerk about grunge music and cool music venues in Osaka and Tokyo for ages afterwards. I was in New York the day Violent Soho's album was released- I bought my copy and made sure to tell the clerk that if he wanted to hear some great music he should cut Lady Gaga and slam on We Dont Belong Here, playing up my Aussie accent so he knew not to mess with me cause I wrestled crocodiles for fun. And so on April 21 you will find Lee, Hunter and I at Tym's Guitars, loving all over Violent Soho and coming home with some new vinyl or CD's. If you see me, come up and say hi- I'd love to swap music suggestions with you!
“Do yourself a tremendous favour and go to a record store today. The relatively mild exertion of getting off your fat, computer-shackled ass and venturing out to find the object of your desire, the thrill of moving through actual space and time, through row upon row of records, and the tactile ecstasy of fondling the quested treasure—all this will augment and enrich the mental associations the music invokes in you for the rest of your life.” - Grinderman “The indie record stores are the backbone of the recorded music culture. It's where we go to network, browse around, and find new songs to love. The stores whose owners and staff live for music have spread the word about exciting new things faster and with more essence than either radio or the press. Any artist that doesn't support the wonderful ma and pa record stores across America is contributing to our own extinction.” - Joan Jett “My local independent record shop (Honest Jons) is a library, where you can go to listen to music, learn about it, exchange ideas about it and be inspired by it. I think independent record shops will outlive the music industry as we know it because long term their value to people is far greater, because even in our era of file-sharing and blogs, you cant replace the actual look on someone’s face when they are playing something they really rate and think you should listen to it too. It’s special.” - Damon Albarn (Blur, The Gorillaz, etc.) "My early record shopping experiences were my musical backdrop. It's not just the ability to touch, see and smell an album and the artwork...it's the fact that you are in a Real Place with Real People...and not just any people: other music-obsessed freaks like you. I discovered so many bands by just hanging out, talking to shopkeepers, getting recommendations from some random dude who was flipping through the Nick Cave bootleg box as fervently as I was. Every time I am in a different city on tour, I make a point to hit the indie retail record stores to see what they're spinning and selling, because i just LOVE being there...my own personal and sometimes anonymous church. You can't get that feeling sitting behind your computer, ever." - Amanda Palmer (The Dresden Dolls)Live, Loud and Local, Sandi D