Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Record store day is coming up April 21

Owsley Bros. @ Central Square
SEASIDE — It’s more than just nostalgia, this love of flat discs of vinyl imprinted with spiral grooves. And it can’t be hipsterism, because frankly I’m just too old to be hip.

Yes, I recall the first record I bought (the “Popcorn” single by Hot Butter, 1972; I was 8). I recall the 45s my dad gave me to listen to on my Close-N-Play in the years prior to that (“Rip It Up” by Elvis Presley, “Every Day” by Buddy Holley).

Mine was a childhood of Disney albums and Gene Autry’s “Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer and Other Christmas Favorites,” and doing household chores to the sound of my mother’s Broadway musical albums (“Annie Get Your Gun” and “Fiddler on the Roof”).

Later I graduated to hand-me-down 8-tracks, and when cassettes came into fashion I used them to copy my vinyl. No one would buy an album on cassette, right?

I still have a turntable. I even have one that connects to my laptop so I can digitize my old records. But these days, I tend to buy old records just for the artwork; I frame them and display them on a wall, and I change them out as the seasons shift or my mood alters.

My most recent vinyl purchase — meant for listening — was The Mountain Goats’ “All Eternals Deck,” which came with a digital download of the album. Before that, I picked up the unlikely but awesomely titled “Leonard Nimoy Presents Mr. Spock’s Music From Outer Space” at a yard sale in the Country Club out in Lynn Haven; it will go up on the wall one of these days.

I’m thinking about all this because the annual Record Store Day is approaching.

On the third Saturday of each April, the joy of sharing music via the medium of vinyl discs is celebrated with International Record Store Day. The event is intended to focus attention on the niche art of vinyl recording as well as the independent record store by drawing fans to stores for special appearances, live performances, art exhibits, and deals on special record releases and other promotional products.

According to RecordStoreDay.com, Metallica officially kicked off the original Record Store Day at Rasputin Music in San Francisco on April 19, 2008. Now standalone brick-and-mortar retailers around the world mark the day with their own unique festivities.

Since the shuttering of Tek Records in Panama City, the only independent record store in the area is now Central Square Records in Seaside (above Sundog Books). On April 21, Central Square “will have a boatload of exclusive releases,” live music throughout the day and giveaways including tote bags, label samplers and more, according to manager Tom King.

“We have confirmed critically-acclaimed singer/songwriter Daphne Willis and our local phenoms the Owsley Brothers for in-store performances,” the shop’s website says. More performers will be announced as the date draws near. King added that Willis will play about 4 p.m. and the Owsley Brothers about 6:30 p.m.

This is Central Square’s fourth year to participate in the event. The store will open early (8 a.m.) for what the staff calls “the best music day of the year.”


See you on the flip side.


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This was my "undercurrents" column for Thursday's paper.
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