Record Store Day 2012
My favorite holiday, Record Store Day, falls on Saturday, April 21just one month from today. Independent record stores across the nation will celebrate with contests, giveaways, all kinds of limited-edition releases, in-store performances by exciting bands, and lots of other fun stuff. Check the Record Store Day website for details and participating stores near you.
This year’s Ambassador, Iggy Pop, has this to say:
A person should have a personality. You won't get one dicking around on a computer. It helps to go somewhere where there are other persons. Persons who are interested in something you are. That's how a record store or any shop that's got some life to it should work. It's not about selling shit. I got my name, my musical education and my personality all from working at a record store during my tender years. Small indie shops have always been a mix of theater and laboratory. In the 50's and 60's the teen kids used to gather after school at these places to listen free to the latest singles and see if they liked the beat. You could buy the disc you liked for 79 cents and if you were lucky meet a chick. Clerks in these places became managers (like Brian Epstein), label heads (Jack Holzman), and Faces on album covers (like me).
Personally I feel best in a store that, while staying small and socially relaxed, still keeps a complete variety of music types and non-musical recordings on offer. I'm aware though that a lot of great places are genre-specific, like dance hall shops in Jamaica or Compas here in Little Haiti. In Europe and on the West coast the same goes on for Punk and Goth. All of this is cool and has a much bigger future than most people realize today. When the record and record store businesses began to die at the turn of the new century, they deserved it because they got too big too boring and too plastic.
As Record Store Day Ambassador for 2012 I feel like a representative from some exotic jungle full of life and death and sex and anger, called upon to wear a leopard skin and translate joy to the world of the dead.
Here in New York City, we’re blessed with many wonderful record storesOther Music, A-1, Academy Records, Earwax, Deadly Dragon Sound, and Turntable Lab are a few that come immediately to mindbut I’m always curious about stores in other parts of the nation. Every record store tells a story, holds a unique and beautiful culture, and is filled with history, memories, and treasures.
Over at Which Way, LA?, a KCRW blog, we learn about a few of Los Angeles’ greatest record shops: Permanent Records, Vacation Records, and the especially cool-looking Wombleton Records. The video below, produced by Saul Gonzalez and Michael Garber, provides some excellent insights into why we love vinyl.
Next time I visit LA, I’ll be sure to visit at least one of these fine shops. On Record Store Day, I’ll most likely celebrate at Iris Records, in Downtown Jersey City, just a short walk from my apartment.
Where will you be on Record Store Day?