A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, some brilliant genius decided to open a store where all of the recorded music worth listening to could be found – and a cultural institution was born. Independent record stores have taken quite a beating over the past twenty years, with the advent of internet piracy and apathetic music fans taking huge cuts out of their bottom line. But over the past seven years, we’ve seen a huge resurgence in vinyl music sales and the music industry as a whole, and Record Store Day has been an integral part of that process.
Now entering its seventh year, the annual event will be held on Saturday, April 19th at your local independent record store featuring exclusive releases from the industry’s biggest names for one day only. Thousands of stores worldwide will participate, with artist performances, meet-and-greets and enough limited-edition vinyl to choke a horse. But for the skeptics who don’t see the importance of a unified day to celebrate music on a global scale, Dr. Disc Records owner Liam O’Donnell wants you to think locally.
“Record Store Day is incredible because of the sheer number of limited releases that you can pick up at your local record store, but even more than that, it’s a great reminder to people that indie record stores aren’t a myth – we exist,” said O’Donnell with a laugh. “The day that physical music is no longer sold in stores will be a terribly sad day for me – but I grew up in a different generation, with records and tapes and no cell phones, so I guess I look at it differently.”
Record Store Day at Dr. Disc will feature live music from local art-rockers Learning as well as DJ Pat Petro on the decks to keep you entertained while browsing through the thousands of new releases the store will have on hand for the big day. Make sure you get there early though. O’Donnell warns that there will be a line early on for the exclusive offers. “There are lines, but don’t panic – I’ve never seen it escalate into a Black Friday type of situation. There will be people to help you out, and you can geek out all day to great music without getting trampled in the process. It’s our busiest day of the year and it’s a great time.”
Be a part of the solution to keeping the independent music industry alive, and head on down to an independent record store like Dr. Disc or Ah Some Records to pick up some once-in-a-lifetime collectors’ items and new releases. Need some more coaxing? Trust what some of your favourite artists have to say about the big day, and check out some of our most anticipated releases for the seventh annual Record Store Day below.
“Indie record stores were the only music teachers I ever had. The world would be a dark and lonely place without them.”
– Neko Case
“The independent record store isn’t just some place where geeky vinyl dudes get their rocks off. It is the focal point of your local music scene. It is the focal point of all music scenes. It is the birthplace of thousands of musical junkies. If the future of music is free of indie record stores, we might as well hand over the White House keys to a bunch of pedophile Nazis and give up on culture altogether. Long live musical addictions and long live the independent record store. Ride the snake.”
– George Pettit (Alexisonfire)
“The content itself released on Record Store Day is great – out-takes, rarities, B-sides, demos, things you can’t find anywhere else. But you also have this option to focus on the packaging and make something a real music artifact – something that people are going to want to have forever that will make it impossible for them to miss picking up when they have the chance. Who knows what digital music archives will look like in twenty years. If there’s something I love and want to own in twenty years, you better believe that I’m buying it on vinyl because I know I’ll have a record player. I want that artifact, that piece of history physically in my hands. The day is important ideally and conceptually for all of us, not just musicians.”
– Tad Kubler (The Hold Steady)
Hamilton’s favourite sons, the Juno-nominated Arkells, pack a punch with their take on Motown classics that no Canadian rock fan’s collection would be fully complete without. You’ll need to act quickly though – there are only 300 copies of this bad boy circulating across the country.
Jake Bugg fever is sweeping across the pond from the UK, where the young singer-songwriter is making a name for himself as a reincarnation of Bob Dylan’s heart and spirit. The four-song EP features live acoustic tracks recorded at a sold-out show in Seattle, and serves as a great introduction to this young superstar.
Three bassists and thirteen years later, pioneering alt-rockers The Pixies are finally back and ready to unleash their first new full-length since 1991. Still not convinced? Be the first of your friends to buy it on its release date, and who knows – you might end up rubbing in their faces all year.
As part of Record Store Day’s Side-By-Side series, you can now find The Cure’s seminal 1987 hit “Just Like Heaven” on the same disc as noise-rockers Dinosaur Jr’s rendition. It’s a convenient miracle, I tell you. Have your friends over and let the debate begin.
Twenty years ago, Kurt Cobain’s death rocked the music world – and it’s safe to say we’re still not fully recovered. It also caused this 7″ to be shelved – originally slated for release in 1994, the b-side “I Hate Myself And Want To Die” was a classic case of poor timing. Lucky for us, the moratorium is over.
This limited-edition box set features all five singles from this prolific album, along with rarities, b-sides and acoustic takes. It’s a must-have for any real Soundgarden fan – but if your familiarity with the band starts and stops with “Spoonman” and “Black Hole Sun”, save your money for the new Nickelback record.