Record Store Day
WORDS: Yasmin Begum (Sprout Editorial Group)
It's an idea that came from a man called Chris Brown and founded in 2007 by Eric Levin, Michael Kurtz and Brian Pohner to name a few.
Celebrating the unique culture of indie record shops all over the globe, special vinyl, CD releases and various promotional products are made exclusively for the day, with hundreds of artists in the UK, America and other places having special in-store gigs.
Many artists have spoken out in favour of indie record stores. Filmaker and ex music-journo Cameron Crowe (who went on the road with Led Zepplin when he was 15) says: "The record store. Where true fandom begins. It's the soul of discovery, and the place where you can always return for that mighty buzz".
Brett Guerwitz of Bad Religion goes as far as saying that if it wasn't for record shops where he lived when he was young, that the LA hardcore scene 'wouldn't even exist'.
NOFX lead man Fat Mike thanks record stores as "If it wasn't for independent record stores, I would be a San Fernando valley real estate agent."
Nick Hornby, the author of High Fidelity states: "Record stores can't save your life. But they can give you a better one."
The list of artists that have spoken in favour goes on, including Andrew WK and Amander Palmer of the Dresden Dolls. If you log onto www.recordstoreday.com, you can view all of them, and they do build up an amazing argument for going out to your local record store and supporting it.
The local record store is the hub of the local music community. It's where you go to find out about gigs and new CDs, and pin up notices if you want a new room mate or to start a band. It's also where touring musicians sometimes play.
Above all, it's really good value for money over the larger stores such as Head (AKA Zavvi, AKA Virgin) and HMV that have been known to charge fans up to twice as much for the music of less well-known bands.
My Chemical Romance released a limited special edition of Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge on red vinyl including hand-written lyrics, stencils and special album artwork.
Death Cab For Cutie and Paramore released exclusive new t-shirts, and my personal favourite the Flaming Lips released an EP (including a Captain Beefheart cover), and all are only available from participating record shops
to celebrate the day.
Spillers Records released their own Record Store Day teeshirts, and Columbia signed Manchester-based band The Twisted Wheel played an instore gig (see video).