Almost as quickly as our music-consuming culture abandoned compact discs as the industry standard in favor of digital downloading’s ease and convenience, it began grasping for some semblance of physicality in the experience of owning and sharing music. Of course, the result has been the galvanizing reemergence of vinyl records. The newly-piqued interest of the medium has begun to yield not only the practice of contemporary albums finding release on vinyl but also a systematic first-issuing of an entire generation of music that existed during the age of cassettes and CDs and for whom such a release is nearly as new an experience as a bona fide new release. And with a yearly holiday like Record Store Day adding a face to the culture and appreciation of this phenomenon, it appears to be vastly more than just a passing fad.
Whether an impetus for – or simply a manifestation of – pop culture’s current re-obsession with vinyl records, Record Store Day has, in its own right, served as a modest beacon of success for a mainstream music industry desperate to find a new identity and rebound from its mid-aughts pseudo-collapse. Now in its fifth year, the nationwide day of observation invites music fans to patronize our nation’s independent record stores (not that any un-independent record stores even exist anymore outside the CD section of Best Buy and the occasionally-found FYE) with the promise of specially-tailored releases from their favorite artists old and new.
For the 2012 edition – which officially takes place this Saturday, April 21 – Record Store Day founders have appointed an Official Ambassador in Stooges front man and proto-punk icon Iggy Pop. With this figurehead title, Mr. James Newell Osterberg, Jr. will be tasked with representing a cultural movement that reaches not just across the entire United States but to Europe as well. On the national side of things, collector junkies can expect shwag from the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Captain Beefheart, Chocolate Watch Band, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., David Bowie, Phish, the Flaming Lips and the White Stripes alongside limited-press regional releases from Hey Mercedes, Battles, Lemuria, Branford Marsalis (That’s us!), and Botch among many others.
Here in New Orleans this weekend, all the hometown heroes are getting in the unofficial holiday spirit as well, with nearly every record store in the area participating in Record Store Day by either stocking special releases, running sales or hosting in-store live performances. Below is a list of our town’s record outlets and what they have in store:
All performances on Saturday, April 21, except where noted:
11:00am – DJ Matty (Mod Dance Party)
12:30pm (noon) – The Charlie Halloran Experience
1:30pm – Blind Texas Marlin & the Ramble, Tamble, Tamblers
2:30pm – Johnny Corndawg
3:30 – Boom Chick
4:30 – Die Rotzz
PLUS DJs: Bunny, Sarah Mason, Suzy Q, Yamin
2:00pm – Claude Bryant & the All-Stars
3:00pm – Anais St. John
4:00pm – Lil’ Red & Big Bad
The Mushroom (Friday, 4.20)
7:30pm: The Poots
9:00pm: The Unnaturals
PLUS: $4.20 off selected items
Stocking select special releases for Record Store Day, specials TBA
Stocking select special releases for Record Store Day
Past Record Store Day Items: 50% off
Sidewalk sale – specials TBA
To find out more about special releases and participating record stores, visit the Record Store Day Homepage.
Johnny Corndawg photo credit: Kevin Hayes