Saturday, April 17, 2010

Happy Record Store Day

Long before the outbreak of the global financial crisis, there was the global music crisis, with CD sales falling rapidly and panicking record companies suing their own customers and starting futile witch hunts against the "mp3 pirates".

The fact is that the ease of downloading (both legally and illegally), the inflated CD prices and the economic crunch combined with, perhaps, a decline in the quality of music on offer, drove many, big or small, record shops out of business.

In this climate, in 2007, the idea of Record Store Day was born in the U.S. in an effort to strengthen the small independent record shops - in America and internationally - so as to survive the adverse economic climate of the era.
Record Store Day is now celebrated on the third Saturday of every April (this year it's on April 17th of course), while the first celebration took place on April 19, 2008, with Metallica officially kicking it off at Rasputin Music in San Francisco.

According to the organizers: “This is the one day that all of the independently owned record stores come together with artists to celebrate the art of music. Special vinyl and CD releases and various promotional products are made exclusively for the day and hundreds of artists in the United States and in various countries across the globe make special appearances and performances. Festivities include performances, cook-outs, body painting, meet & greets with artists, parades, djs spinning records and on and on.”

Record Store Day got bigger every year, with more and more artists from the alternative and mainstream music scene showing their support with both statements and collectible releases.

Some of the dozens of special releases of this year’s Record Store Day are:

Sub Pop Records has scheduled several releases such as: Beach House - "Zebra", 12" vinyl with 4 songs, Dum Dum Girls / Male Bonding split 7", Soundgarden’s first single since 1987 "Hunted Down"/"Nothing to Say"

Wichita Records has a series of reissues on vinyl, including Bright Eyes' "Fevers & Mirrors", the self-titled debut LP from The Cribs, Bloc Party's debut "Silent Alarm" and Yeah Yeah Yeahs' self-titled first EP.

4AD is releasing "Fragments From a Work in Progress", a 12" compilation including groups like Blonde Redhead, Gang Gang Dance and The Big Pink.

 • The Fall release "Bury Pts 2+4 /Cowboy Gregori" as a 7" single in just 750 copies.

Blur release a new song (their first since "Good Song" in 2003) as a 7" single in 1000 copies only.

• From Crystal Castles we have "Doe Deer" on 12", a first taste from their forthcoming second album.

Modest Mouse reissue the amazing "The Moon and Antarctica" for the album’s 10th anniversary.

Pavement's new compilation "Quarantine the Past" will be released with a different track list from the original version.

Bon Iver and Peter Gabriel have a split single where they cover each other’s song as part of Gabriel's "Scratch My Back" project.

The Thermals and The Cribs have a split single with new songs in 2000 copies only.

Rough Trade in association with British turntable manufacturer Rega will sell exclusively at the Rough Trade Shops a special edition turntable with the Rough Trade logo, while they will also be releasing a range of special, very limited edition vinyl records including Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds' "Mercy Seat" on white vinyl.

The full list of Record Store Day releases is here.

Greek record stores that participate in this effort where you may find some of the above releases are Rock & Roll Circus, Sonic Boom Records & and Vinyl Kiosk in Athens, Mister CD in Chalkis, Play Our Music in Kilkis, High Fideliy in Nafplio and Sticky Fingers in Patras.

For the Record Store Day website click here. Watch Josh Homme from Queens of the Stone Age below, the official ambassador of Record Store Day 2010, talking about this day and Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth telling us all about the first album he ever bought.

"The 'cool' record store. It is where you can talk to people who are like you. They look like you, think like you and, most tellingly like the same music as you - the only comparable experience these days would probably be an art museum - an actual place where you can stand and simply be surrounded by your heroes." Wayne Coyne

"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

The above quotes are from here. Perhaps today it's a good day for a visit to your local record store. Who knows what goodies await for you there?

Josh Homme - Ambassador of Record Store Day 2010

Thurston Moore Talks First Record, Major labels, and Record Stores

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