“If you ever get lonely, just go to the record store and visit your friends.”
Happy Record Store Day!
A relatively new holiday, Record Store Day began in 2007, by Eric Levin, Michael Kurtz, Carrie Colliton, Amy Dorfman, Don Van Cleave and Brian Poehner as a celebration of the unique culture surrounding over 700 independently owned record stores in the USA, and hundreds of similar stores internationally.
On this day, independently owned record stores across the country come together with artists to celebrate music. Special vinyl and CD releases and various promotional products are made exclusively for the day and hundreds of artists in the United States and in various countries across the globe make special appearances and performances. For more info visit Record Store Day.
There’s something so cool about records…that crackling noise they make when they get going, the trippy album art, and the fact that they are a physical representation (rather than digi) of the music we love. Almost all of the records I own are used, either hand me downs from my parents (btw-thanks parents for your sweet taste in music), or purchased used from a record store/vintage store. Whenever I listen to one, I always think about who listened to that one before me, and why they loved that particular record, and why they eventually gave it up. They obviously take up a lot of room, case in point below (our record collection), and storage space is a precious commodity, but I don’t think we will be getting rid of our stock anytime soon.
Listening to records is an activity in itself, but the passing down of records ritual is pretty cool too. I remember going through my grandparent’s attic and discovering vinyl heaven by accident; I was actually looking for my mom’s and aunts’ clothes from the 70s, but was happy to have stumbled upon boxes of records instead. It must have been some holiday because most of the aunts were present and we all sat around talking about the records, where they got them and what shows they remember going to when they were younger. I remember my mom talking about how much she LOVED the Doobie Brothers and which of their concerts she had gone to back in the day.
My dad is also a huge music fan, went to many a concert, and passed on his affection for rock ‘n’ roll to me as a child. My favorite song at the age of 5, The dogs of war by Pink Floyd. Later once I discovered MTV I became obsessed with Peter Gabriel‘s Sledgehammer and Robert Palmer’s Addicted to Love. When I was in college, he started handing down a few records at a time with stories in tow. I think most of the Jimi Hendrix stuff I inherited was his. When he gave me Electric Ladyland, he told me about his favorite Hendrix show: May of 1969 in Tuscaloosa at the Memorial Coliseum- soooo jealous.
There are over 700 records stores that participate in Record Store Day and hundreds of similar stores internationally. There are two stores in Athens that participate each year: Wuxtry Records and Lo Yo Yo Stuff. Damn the man! Save the Empire!
Wuxtry has been an Athens staple for years. It is included on the Athens Music Tour because of its been around since 1975 and has an impressive list of now famous employees… including R.E.M.’s Peter Buck, the Olivia Tremor Control’s John Fernandes and Brian Burton, AKA DJ Danger Mouse.
Lo Yo Yo Stuff has over 30 years in the mail order biz and are now located next to the 40 Watt. Check them out!
One of my other fav record stores- Renaissance Records in Birmingham, AL.
Anybody else have any favorite records or record stores?