In this day of digital downloads, it’s never been easier to find music without leaving the house or interacting with another human being. Some of us may never have been in a record shop and listened to new music through the cans. But there are some who still covet the secret quest of flicking through vinyl; who relish the banter with an equally music-obsessed shop owner. And there are still a few who remember when the humble record shop was a top pick-up joint.
To keep these noble traditions alive, International Record Store Day is back for its seventh year. Conceived by record store holders in the US, the day aims to rally music fans to indie record stores with live performances, parties, discounts and special vinyl releases. Australia’s five IRSD ambassadors – much-loved songstress Marcia Hines, music entrepreneur Tim Dalton, music manager Ian Hunter and rock royals Dan Sultan and Adalita – will show their devotion to record stores with appearances around the country.
Adalita will be performing at Bluesfest in Byron Bay, but you can catch a set from Dan Sultan at Readings bookshop in St Kilda at 2pm (they sell music too, didn’t you know?). Also on the south side is Obese Records, where local DJs will be spinning hip-hop, funk and soul. CBD treasure-trove Basement Discs, who just celebrated its 20th birthday, is bringing Triple RRR MCs Neil Rogers and Ian Bland to their party for a music quiz. Explosive eight-piece Eagle and the Worm will play there too, alongside Georgia Fields, Mike Rudd and Jen Cloher. Over on Gertrude Street, Fitzroy, funk and soul heaven Northside Records will be hosting gigs from Oscar Key Sung and N'fa Jones, featuring hip-hop up-and-comer Remi from 2.30pm. They'll also be selling Oscar Key Sung's new EP Holograms, as well as exclusive releases from Flume and Saskwatch. Brunswick's Record Paradise will celebrate local bands releasing vinyl by hosting an all-day lineup including Melbourne rockers Sun God Replica as well as a Man, who are releasing their debut LP Gravity Wins Again.You can catch these bands, alongside DJs including Gringer & DJ REM, Fraser A Gorman, British India DJs and Gupster from 1pm-6.30pm.
True to its we’ll-do-whatever-the-hell-we-want form, Eureka Rebellion Trading is putting on a charity bake sale, music trivia quiz and offering discounts on their vinyl stock. You can even get music-inspired tattoos inked in-store for $50 – all to the sound of heavy metal from DJ S2H. At TITLE Fitzroy, you can catch live music after 3pm from Wonderboy, Empat Lima and Chook Race, and hear the winner of the Get Pressed competition announced, where the winning local band will have their music immortalised onto seven-inch vinyl. Quality Records will celebrate their 20th anniversary with a gig from blues singer Geoff Achison at 2pm, and Audiophile Reference Recordings invite jazz fans to watch an open rehearsal from piano and trumpet duo Ade Ishs and Ee Shan Pang from 11.30am to 3pm.
Is your turntable working? You better hope so, because IRSD is like Christmas for special vinyl releases. Just as 2013 ambassador Jack White had his White Stripes record Elephant re-released as an exclusive black-and-white LP, Adalita is issuing her self-titled first album as two 180g records – one disk blood red, the other gold. Next on our wish list is the new record Indie Cindy from the Pixies – their first since 1991. It comes out at the end of April, but you can snag it weeks in advance on vinyl. Perth psych-rockers Tame Impala will release their recently-recorded Live album, and the buzzy East Brunswick All Girls Choir will be putting out their debut EP Seven Drummers on the day too. For a nostalgic rush, pick up one of just 3500 emerald green special vinyl editions of the Wizard of Oz motion picture soundtrack. And hey – it could be worth buckets one day, if you’re into the whole collecting thing.
If you’re worried you won’t get all the limited releases you’re after, head over to real-deal licensed record store Pure Pop. They’ll be continuing their tradition of rewarding those in line before 9.30am with an IRSD wishlist to fill in (available to download in advance), which they’ll then draw at random. As long as stocks last, those whose names are drawn will be able to purchase the first two choices on their list.
Vinyl sales have risen by 77 per cent in the past 12 months, but as any record store owner will tell you, there’s plenty more room for those who like their music cut, pressed and slipped into luxuriously large sleeves.
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