April, the month the sun comes back to our daily life, here in the North Hemisphere (sorry for those of you on the other Hemisphere). And anywhere you are, however, April, the month of the Record Store Day.
Then again, like the day of peace, earth, children, jazz, ninjas, or anything that is precious in life, those days happen because something is, or was, not okay and it was necessary a rescue mission. So it was (is) the case of record stores.
If you are less than fifteen years old and not into music, then you might not even think about record stores, neither reading this, so move away please! But if you are over fifteen and your soul feeds with music then you know how awesome are record stores, and that one of the bad effects of Internet and evolution is that these magical places are in a little danger of extinction, or at least under a huge pressure for reinvention, however they need an extra dose of energy and love to pass the challenge, survive the test, and conquer victory after a process of transformation. This is the time.
Evolution calls for improvement, and if the music biz has been under frightening threat during the last decade is also because there were some things wrong. You know all those things that were wrong. Right? … big fish abusing of tiny fish, and the rejection of the consequences of their actions, a classic. And then Internet, and the wonder of free access to information, awesome times. The bases of all those big companies that own(ed) music industry shaking like the knees of a denounced rascal. And then, like in raves, the euphoria of freedom damaged some good things too, and one of those was the sweet spot kept by record stores.
There you have High Fidelity, Empire Records, El Dia De La Bestia (The Day Of The Beast), Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, A Clockwork Orange, and so many more stories telling about the romantic energy that record stores bring to our world. Places, physical places, not websites or forums, but physical like that thing you do when you have sex, physical places to touch and be touched by music and everything that can happens around it.
Do we need to add anything else to highlight the mission behind Record Store Day?
Ah, yes, one more thing.
I’d like to point out that the ideal goal to achieve with this celebration, should be that there is no need of it anymore. Like with those other days, the day of the mom, of clean air, of weed, of UFOs, and pandas, they would not need a day if they wouldn’t have been almost forgotten. I think we can, we could try at least, and evolve as an intelligent species, and make it to the point that there is no need to be reminded to support and care for those things that bring good to our existence. I know we can be like this.
Let’s give an imaginary round of ch(b)eers to the organizers of this event, because it is creating positive results. There you have the return of the vinyls, and now the cassette (thought I think that one is just for oldies in “romantic season”, no way a cassette will sound better than a vinyl or a CD… but well, freedom of medium, fine).
The day in question is April 20th.
The place, all around Gaia. Specifically the record store near wherever you are then, and that you can find it on this smart list. If you are in China then that place is Uptown Record Store in Shanghai. The ONE and only oasis of its kind in this huge land, believe it or no, Uptown stands alone like a tree in the desert creating hope for forestation.
The event will be different in each store around the planet, but the main dish in every store will be the special album releases. There are three kinds of releases scheduled for the event:
Record Store Day exclusive releases, only available in record stores participating on this celebration and only on this day.
Record Store Day Limited Run/ Regional Focus Releases: also only available on this day at record stores participating in this celebration, and in very limited quantities.
Record Store Day First Release: titles that you can find first this day on stores in the celebration, that later will be available everywhere else.
The list of albums is HUGE, find your favorite artists.
In China, at Uptown Record Store the special day will start early at 2pm, upon entry you will receive a 7” vinyl record from Beijing indie band The Dyne, and a Record Store Day T-Shirt. At 2pm will be shown the documentary Last Shop Standing, about the rise, fall, and rebirth of the British indie record stores. And at 3.30pm bands will play, The Dyne, Pairs, Himdong, Reykjavictim, and Goooose.
Local record labels will be there too of course. And the featured releases in store will be a couple of cassettes by the local crew of SVBCVLT.
You maybe already know it, but the ambassador of this year’s Record Store Day is Jack White, the tremendous himself. This celebration also coincides with the ten years anniversary of White Stripe’s Elephant…. one plus one… Elephant will have its own special Record Store Day exclusive edition, a double vinyl, the one will be an split black and red vinyl, and the “two” will be white (no stripes).
Elephant was a great album, and a great tour too. It was the first big concert I took my little sister, just a little bit before I moved to China. I wouldn’t mind to have the vinyl of this album… in case Mr. White is reading this… don’t be shy.