There’s nothing quite like setting foot in an independent record store. Choice records sit perched above rows of vinyl organized by genre and alphabetized. The music blasts through the speakers, usually something you’ve never heard of (but you feel really good if you know it). The employees seem to know every song, album and artist of all time. They have such great passion for not just music, but records. More than showing you where you can find the record you want, they can recommend something you’d never find without their help. Sifting through the mix of used and new records the texture shifts between the crisp covers of new albums and the old album covers, with their crushed corners and scrapped sides. Slide the record out of it’s case and it shimmers, catching the light against the ridges.
High Fidelity author Nick Hornby said it best, “Yes, yes, I know. It’s easier to download music, and probably cheaper. But what’s playing on your favourite download store when you walk into it? Nothing, that’s what. Who are you going to meet in there? Nobody. Where are the notice boards offering flatshares and vacant slots in bands destined for superstardom? Who’s going to tell you to stop listening to that and start listening to this? Go ahead and save yourself a couple of quid. The saving will cost you a career, a set of cool friends, musical taste and, eventually, your soul. Record stores can’t save your life. But they can give you a better one.”
A good independent record store is the greatest find in the world. Record Store Day started to celebrate and honor the independent record stores across the country. This year it’s on April 17. This mix is going to be a little bit different than usual. Instead of tracks, here’s a list of some of the albums/EPs coming out for Record Store Day. Support your local record store by hitting Amoeba Music, Medium Rare Music, aQuarius Records, Creative Music Emporium, Streetlight Records and The Music Store in San Francisco, Rasputin Music and DVDs, down home music fourth street and Amoeba Music Berkeley in Berkeley and 1-2-3-4 Go! Records in Oakland. Visit www.recordstoreday.com for more information.
1) “Come Talk to Me” / “Flume” by Bon Ivar and Peter Gabriel (7” of the two artists covering each other)
2) “The Moon and Antarctica” by Modest Mouse (10th anniversary vinyl reissue on 180-gram vinyl)
3) “Chronic Town” by R.E.M. (limited edition blue vinyl, previously out of print)
4) “Wrecking Ball” (Live @ Giants Stadium) / “Ghost of Tom Joad” (Live featuring Tom Morello) by Bruce Springsteen (7” limited edition)
5) “Duty Now for the Future” by Devo (vinyl reissue)
6) “Heaven is Whenever” by the Hold Steady (hand screen printed vinyl, new album)
7) “69 Love Songs Box Set” by the Magnetic Fields (10” 3 double gate fold, digital card, released 3 days early)
8) “Misfits and Mistakes” / “Misfits and Mistakes (Meatwad version)” by Superchunk (7” picture disc)
9) “Water Sleepers” / “Linus & Lucy (Live)” by Built to Spill (7” single of new tracks)
10) “Mule Variations” by Tom Waits (11th anniversary, 12” reissue)