Saturday, April 19, 2008

Happy Record Store Day!

For the record, today's a holiday. Record Store Day! Celebrating the existence of independent record stores across the US and Canada, and probably elsewhere. Hundreds of special events going on: sales, free stuff, prizes, exclusive merchandise, and such. You and I know both know the first artist that comes to mind when you think "indie record store"... Metallica! Um, yeah, so they're kicking off the festivities with a in-store signing and fan meet & greet at Rasputin Music in Mountain View (near San Francisco).

450+ record stores are participating in the events. Lots of local bands performing in-store. An incomplete sample of artists involved can be read here and here.

  • If you live in Massachusetts and have a Newbury Comics near you, check the list of events here. Coolest in my mind, at the Newbury Comics in Cambridge, Brian Viglione and Amanda Palmer of the Dresden Dolls will be acting as "employees" between 2 and 5pm. In addition to helping out at check-out, Brian will be acting as store DJ and Amanda will be painting a picture that will be given away at the end of the day. Coming soon from the Dresden Dolls: No, Virginia a collection of b-sides and newly recorded versions of songs left off Yes, Virginia. There's a pre-order contest here. Grand prize? A wicked-looking toy piano (a baby baby grand), a copy of their new songbook The Virginia Companion (literally a Dresden Dolls tome), and pair of tickets to every Dolls concert in North America and Europe that you can physically get yourself to. 5 runners-up get all of the above minus the piano. Nice.

  • Concerts all day at Sunrise Records (click for full line-up) on Yonge Street in Toronto. Hey, at 4:30pm, Fong Songs fave Laura Barrett will be performing there.

  • Check here for events across Canada as compiled by the folks at CBC Radio 3. Here in Vancouver, I've heard there's a few indie record places to check out: Red Cat Records, Zulu Records, and Scratch. Since moving here I've only been to Red Cat which is probably closest, but today I may just do a little circuit to see what's going down. Unbelievably it hailed and snowed last night-- hopefully it warms up soon.

So yeah, support your local record stores. Sure it's all fun to download and stuff, but nothing beats flipping through stacks of CDs and finding gold.

Record Store Day Grab Bag!
Mates of State - Starman [originally by David Bowie]
Long Goners - Ball & Biscuit [originally by The White Stripes]
The Bad Plus - Velouria [originally by The Pixies]
Metallica - Stone Cold Crazy [originally by Queen]
Furillo - The Final Countdown [originally by Europe]
Cansei de ser Sexy - One Way or Another/Teenage Kicks
[originally by Blondie/The Undertones]

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