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Record Store Day 2014

Local independent record stores break out the goodies, performances, and rare releases

By Jim Fester

Fort Wayne Reader

2014-04-03


It’s hardly news that the industry once responsible for producing, distributing, and selling recorded music on physical objects is not as robust as it used to be. Digital downloads, legal and otherwise, have fractured the record business, jeopardizing not only the big labels that used to be at the top, but the retail outlets that used to sell the music on whatever format it was released on.

But while giants like Tower, HMV, Virgin, and Borders have gone the way of the automat, and other outlets have drastically reduced their CD stock, the independent record store has shown more resilience than might have been expected. Not that everything is great for independent record stores in general, but the loss of the music sections in those big box stores and — to some extent — a resurgent interest in vinyl have given the remaining stores a new lease on life.

In 2008, a group of small, independent record stores from across the country established Record Store Day, an event to celebrate the vitality and importance of the independent record store.

Record Store Day has grown every year, with more record companies and leading bands and artists stepping up with special releases and one-time-only offerings.

The 2014 edition of Record Store day falls on Saturday, April 19, and as always, local indies Wooden Nickel and Neat, Neat, Neat Records are pulling out all the stops with giveaways, goodies, and in-store performances to complement the host of new and exclusive releases coming out that day.

And there are a LOT of new releases coming out that day. Back in 2008, there were 27. This year? “I lost count around 450,” says Morrison Agen of Neat Neat Neat Records.

Among those releases you’ll find established names like Bruce Springsteen, Coldplay, Katie Perry and Nirvana alongside newer artists and bands like Jake Bugg, and rarities from classic bands like Credence Clearwater Revival, The Allman Brothers, and Otis Redding, all with limited edition, “RSD-only” releases.

A wide range of genres are represented, from old-time blues and country to pop. Some are CDs, but as always the emphasis is on vinyl.

Wooden Nickel — one of the 32 independent record stores that originally started Record Store Day — is offering special Record Store Day releases at all three locations. Starting at 8 AM, the North Anthony location will feature 15 local bands performing throughout the day, including Sunny Taylor, Dave Todoron, Black Cat Mambo, and Soft and Heavy. Plus, in addition to the free Record Store Day “goodie bags,” Wooden Nickel will be giving away $2000 worth of special prizes of its own, including a Joe Bonamassa signed guitar; an A-T USB turntable; the Beatles 50th Anniversary US Albums CD box set, and much more.

Vinyl specialist Neat Neat Neat Records at 1836 Calhoun is also participating in Record Store Day. Opening at 8 AM, the store will have a huge selection of special releases available, plus new releases from local artists Streetlamps for Spotlights and Exterminate All Rational Thought. Bravas food truck will be on hand first thing in the morning. “We’re doing a charity donation with them,” says Morrison Agen. “For everything we sell and everything they sell, we’ll donate a dollar to a charity here in town.”

Neat Neat Neat opens at 8 AM on April 19, but one lucky customer can get in 15 minutes early. “The week before Record Store Day, anyone who buys over $15 worth of merchandise, we put their name in a ‘hat’,” Agen says. “We’ll pick a name and they’ll get to go in 15 minutes early and get first pick of the new releases.”

In addition to the “Goodie Bags” and other special offers, Neat Neat Neat will also host live performances from Exterminate All Rational Thought, Heaven’s Gateway Drugs and Streetlamps for Spotlights (see EA Poorman’s interview with Streetlamps for Spotlights’ Jason Davis on page 4).

Once again, Record Store Day happens on Saturday, April 19

For more information on Record Store Day, including a list of releases, visit recordstoreday.com

For more on Wooden Nickel, visit woodennickelmusicfortwayne.com

For more on Neat, Neat, Neat Records, visit neatneatneatrecords.com

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