Record Store Day Recap

“Excuse me but what are you all in line for?” is a common question in NYC. The responses are varied, “audition”, “sample sale”, “job fair”…but this Saturday was the exultant cry of “Record Store Day!” (pause) “Oh.” (pause) “What’s that?” According to Wikipedia:
Record Store Day was officially founded in 2007[1] by Eric Levin, Michael Kurtz, Carrie Colliton, Amy Dorfman, Don Van Cleave and Brian Poehner and is now celebrated globally[1] 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.
I don’t know who any of those folks are but I can vouch for the goodies, having attended the last 4 or 5 years. Here’s a list of this years releases if you’re curious: http://www.recordstoreday.com/SpecialReleases
This list of aforementioned goodies is posted on the internet usually about a week or so prior to the actual day, building your base’s anticipation is, I’m sure we all recognize, a standard marketing ploy. Personally, I have a musical-lazer in my head which seemingly errantly chooses it’s targets until I sit down to reap the rewards of THE LISTEN and realize I have a direction, subconscious or whatever. There are some artists I’ll follow almost no matter what because I’m a fan. There are particular record labels which tend to produce the music I like too. There are distinct differences between collectors, consumers, aficionados, and hoarders. I consider myself a melange of these types as far as consumerism is concerned when it comes to what matters to me (music, art, food)…otherwise I’m pretty spartan. Okay so from this years list I was interested in the Elliott Smith 7″ (7inch has more space than a 45) with alternate versions of 4 songs from one of his great albums “Either/Or”, Black Keys/Stooges- No Fun 7″ split(split meaning one band has one side the other has the other) because in spite of all the Varvatos sell-out accusations I’m still an Iggy/Stooges fan, Husker Du’s -Amusement 2×7″ beautiful gatefold packaging, Big Star-Nothing Can Hurt Me 2×12″ I’m a fan, Built to Spill- Live, re-release, because that’s their one album I don’t have, Pink Floyd – See Emily Play 7″ excellent song. I recognize these bands and details may not mean much to all of you, but stick with me here, these are the details of the ‘collector’ mind.
So the day began with a plan. First I was going to hit Generation Records (210 Thompson St.) I saw part of a Cymbals Eat Guitars set there in 2010 then head East to Other Music (15 East 4th St.) then on to Kim’s (124 First Ave.) and then finish the day at J&R (23 Park Row across from City Hall Park). The reason for going to many stores is because nobody knows which store will get which special releases, adds to the fun, mystique and well, let’s face it, the industry folks want you to go to as many record stores as possible, spending money willy nilly like you’re a tycoon. Now in previous years there’s always been a plethora of free CD’s, compilations put out by record labels trying to get the populous interested in their artists, independent artists themselves etc. but for some reason this year (and maybe because I got a late start) not so much. So at Generation there was a 20 minute line but I scored the Elliott Smith 7″, a free Subpop compilation and the Built To Spill Live CD plus they were spinning cool punk discs. At Other Music there was a 40 minute line but I was sure there’d be great stuff once I got in there plus they kept the number of people in the store at one time low and comfortable. Picked up Kurt Viles new album, CD, at a slight discount, 2 Guided By Voices 7″s, Bombino CD (Nigerian guitarist produced by Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys), Joe Bussard (a connoisseur collector/player himself) on 10″ (plays at 78rpm), Shihtaro Sakamoto 7″, Adventures From Afropea-Telling Stories to The Sea 12″ (African Portuguese). I asked on of the helpful staff about the Black Keys/Stooges, no dice. Then about the Husker Du, no dice. Online while checking out record dude brought me the Husker, niiiice. Cruised over to Kim’s and nothing tickled my fancy. Asked about compilations from labels and he said not so much this year. Headed down to J&R not only to cap the day off but my mother, an avid opera buff inquired about a Domenico Modugno (Italian pop, he wrote Volare) album, an unusual request!! Some collector/hunters love those. Got there, no dice. I did find a Chet Atkins 7″ and a Songs for Slim 7″ because Chris Mars of The Replacements did the cover art….
WHAT IS INTERESTING ABOUT ANY OF THIS MINUTIAE? What drives us to pursue anything? Is it Love? Obsession? Intrigue? Diversion? Passion? Yeah it is. The punchline….I currently don’t own a record player. Have a great week all, thanks for reading!! -p
p.s. Trading/sharing records is a great way to keep the clutter down and (if you’re responsible and return ’em) the social skills up!!

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