“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.”
Remember records? Round and black with little grooves, anywhere from 7 to 12 inches in diameter…?
From 2001 until 2005 I did marketing and oversaw production for Severn Records, an indie Blues & Jazz record label based in Maryland. This was exactly the time when the iPod came out on market and completely changed the music industry as we knew it. CD sales plummeted and record stores and labels scrambled to stay afloat (great time to start a marketing position in that field, Laura!), and many of them were not able to maintain the previous business model – smaller labels and record stores were forced to find a niche to fill in order to stay afloat, and unfortunately it didn’t always take. The market seems to have consistently moved away from the physicality and the “art of collecting” and continues to trend toward anything and everything digital. Many of the indie record stores that have been able to survive have brought back those vinyl records from an earlier era (pre-8 track, pre-cassette tape, pre-compact disc). So for those of us, young and old, that enjoy the art of collecting, we can now gather together annually on the third Saturday every April at our favorite indie record store to add to our collections and celebrate Record Store Day!
Launched in 2007 as a way to celebrate independent record stores and record store culture, it has since grown to become a huge event both for customers, who are treated to hundreds of releases from some of music’s top artists, and the stores that stock them. Exclusive vinyl (and yes, CD) releases along with all kinds of unique products and releases are created for the day each year.
Downtown Annapolis’ own KA-CHUNK RECORDS is a regular annual participant, so be sure to stop by the store (early) on 78 Maryland Avenue and check out their product.
Baltimore music fans, stop by The Sound Garden at 1616 Thames Street
10 releases to look out for on Saturday:
The Flaming Lips, clear 12-inch vinyl of “7 Skies H3,” their 24-hour song, a silver 7-inch vinyl containing The Flaming Lips’ cover of Devo’s “Gates of Steel” and a reprint of a vintage t-shirt designed by Wayne Coyne.
Jerry Garcia, “Garcia”: Reissue of Garcia’s debut solo album on white vinyl in foil-stamped packaging.
Cake, their exclusive vinyl box set.
R.E.M., “Unplugged: The Complete 1991 and 2001 Sessions”: The group’s two “MTV Unplugged” concerts packaged in a four-LP set.
The Notorious B.I.G., “Life After Death”: Following last year’s release of “Ready to Die,” the late Brooklyn rapper’s 1997 album is released as a three-LP set on clear vinyl.
Bruce Springsteen, “American Beauty”: Four tracks from the recording sessions of Springsteen’s latest album, “High Hopes.”
Mayer Hawthorne, “Jaded Incorporated”: Ann Arbor soul crooner offers a taste of his new project with 14KT, released on a triangle-shaped, glow-in-the-dark 10-inch.
Sam Cooke, “Ain’t That Good News”: 50th anniversary pressing of Cooke’s final studio album, which includes “A Change Is Gonna Come.”
Haim, “Forever”: 12” single featuring the Haim sisters’ hit, as well as a remix of the song by Giorgio Moroder.
Otis Redding, “Pain in My Heart”: 50th anniversary re-release of Redding’s 1964 debut album in original mono sound.
“Independent record stores are where kids like me learned about the music that made them the musicians they are today. Independent record stores are about the love of records not the love of money!”
“I was introduced to lots of great music through my local record store. It was a place where people knew music and they knew me, and could make great suggestions and discoveries. Whether it is in the physical world or on-line, the value of a great and knowledgeable record store has not gone away”
“There’s nothing as glamorous to me as a record store. When I recently played Amoeba in LA, I realised what fantastic memories such a collection of music brings back when you see it all in one place. This is why I’m more than happy to support Record Store Day and I hope that these kinds of stores will be there for us all for many years to come. Cheers!”
– Paul McCartney