Feature: Record Store Day
By Calum Robson on April 20, 2012 in Music
We’re really quite buzzed about Saturday and it’s with good reason too. It’s Record Store Day, which means there’s going to be some strange collaborations and even stranger resulting remixes poised alongside some equally charming limited edition outings. Mastodon to cover Feist’s ‘A Commotion’ and a new Flaming Lips track you say? Feist to cover Mastodon’s ‘Black Tongue’? And there’s a new St Vincent single too? Sounds exquisite.
But let’s not forget what it’s really about – the independent retailers that work the other 364 days trying to make a living in the age of masquerading tech-pirates and uncontrollable file sharing.
Businesses across the North East are welcoming the day for its fourth year running with some exciting plans.
Following its success last year, independent record store RPM have arranged five live bands and are offering a free 7” to every customer that walks through the door. If that wasn’t enough, they have promised a raffle and DJ sets from members of Oscillations and Frankie And The Heartstrings.
“It’s a really nice atmosphere,” says RPM Music Manager Ritchie Lattimore. “Come down, meet some people and chat about records. Chat about bands, see some for free and get an experience of coming into a shop again, and hopefully get more out of it than sitting at home and clicking ‘buy now’ on Amazon.”
Hot Rats in Sunderland are set to have their first bash at the manic day too. They’ve said that people are welcome to bring a guitar down and have some cupcakes but also assure us that a famed yet mysterious local act will be playing an awesome live set on the day.
Other record stores across the region have got their own activities for the day too. Reflex Records have a number of bands playing throughout the afternoon including Scotland’s Snow Goose, and are offering free raffle tickets with every purchase at the counter. We’re told there are some nice prizes to be had from personal collections and autographed pieces. Owner of the store Alan Jordan wants to see a good turnout but is also hoping that, in the bigger picture, the day has an impact.
“It’s a fun day to come down and be with like-minded people,” he says. “It’s really a celebration of record shops and how diverse they are. We want to be here in years to come and in order for that to happen, people are going to have to buy things that are in shops.”
While Newcastle’s Beatdown Records are taking a rather relaxed but positive approach to the occasion, they’re still on standby with a number of releases coming in over the course of the week. Middlesbrough’s Ack! Ack! Ack! will release 50 limited edition compilation tapes at a bargain £3 each, featuring an eclectic mash of international and local artists such as Stooges bassist Mike Watt and The Nightingales. Also further afield, Stockton’s Sound It Out Records will feature live performances from North Yorkshire’s 3 Foot Ninja, The Approved and Serious Sam Barrett.
If you’re out hunting specifically for a few records to spin late into the night, then look no further than The Flaming Lips’ ‘The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends’ LP. A 13-track affair, in which nine are new, it features collaborations with Bon Iver, Nick Cave, Lighting Bolt, Ke$ha and psychedelic rockers Tame Impala. Leonard Cohen’s ‘Live In Fredericton’ EP might also be worth a blast for the die-hard fan – it was only released for a limited free download period back in January, but will be available on vinyl too. The Electronic Anthology Project has a widely anticipated release with ‘Electronic Anthology Project of Dinosaur Jnr’, which sees Built To Spill bassist Brett Nelson rehashing some Dinosaur Jnr tracks. While we’re on topic, any recommendations from RPM?
“We’re trying to really push the local stuff as well,” Lattimer says. “The Futureheads’ single, Field Music, Lanterns On The Lake and we’re putting a few local releases as part of our Record Store Day stock – The Warm Digits CD and the O’Messy Life EP as well.”
What’s even more impressive is that Record Store Day is coinciding nicely with High Bridge Quarter Festival. So if you’re in Newcastle and fancying a bit scran after a shop-crawl, you can treat yourself with some German bratwurst, a hot onion bhaji or a plate of fodder from that massive paella pan that always shows up at these festive occasions. Nice!
- Jack White Messes About In A Factory For Record Store Day