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I Went to the Record Shop and I Bought…

I Went to the Record Shop and I Bought…

By: Jack Whatley

Yesterday witnessed the seventh annual Record Store Day, a day where the muso-society descends upon it’s nearest independent shop and gorges on new releases, re-releases, signed copies and in-store performances all in the name of refusing to flick the switch on the vinyl life support.

Yesterday witnessed the seventh annual Record Store Day, a day where the muso-society descends upon it’s nearest independent shop and gorges on new releases, re-releases, signed copies and in-store performances all in the name of refusing to flick the switch on the vinyl life support.

Independent record shops across the country had their biggest day of the year yesterday, a day where we drop our ipods, reject our tablets and head for the purer side of music; the blessed vinyl. For you vinyl may just be a collectors item, it may be a genuine antiquity or simply a dead format, fitting then that on Easter Weekend vinyl is, if only for one day, truly resurrected.

I won’t continue to bore you with the cliched reasons for loving vinyl like the warmth of sound, the crackle before the record starts or the extra money bands and artists will make from the physical purchase, though all are important in a industry that maintains its desire to exorcise its soul. But I will tell you about some of the must-haves from RSD2014 you’d have been lucky to lay your grubby fingers on.

Jehnny Beth and Co. have been holding back the follow-up to their incredibly impressive Silence Yourself for far too long, touring America and Europe whilst coincidentally scaring every parent of a teenage girl who manages to catch their abrasive and aggressive post-punk sound. The EP, released on 12″ with the girl’s own label Pop Noire Records not only has the intensity and burning desire of a screaming Boadicea but the band have even signed 100 copies of FUCKERS/DREAM BABY DREAM for the luckiest ‘first come first serve’ customers to their online store. Although the idea of buying a collectible record from a faceless warehouse does stick in the throat a little, if Savages continue from where Silence Yourself left off then these 100 first press copies will be the future collector’s wet dream, though don’t tell the band about that bit.



The Beautiful One – Splashh, Comfort

As much as vinyl can be used as a comforting blanket with its warming sound or as a weapon to fight off the most annoying of musical purists it can also be plainly and simply seen as art. This release, Comfort from Spalshh the Brummie purveyors of 21st Century Britpop is as beautiful as it is contemporary, perfectly styled and available in blue coloured vinyl (already you can hear the palest and most nasalising of collectors “Oooh … coloured vinyl doesn’t sound as good as normal”) it represents what defines British music and should be hailed as a design classic as well as the great album it is.

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The Comprehensive One –  LCD Soundsystem, The Long Goodybe: LCD Soundsystem Live at Madison Square Garden

As comprehensive goes this five LP set of the live recording from the four hour set that James Murphy and his band bid us farewell with is like the favourite child of an indie-disco encyclopaedia. Full of all the tweaks and one-liners you’d expect at a live gig it also has the musical perfection of Murphy and is an electrifying goodbye to New York from LCD Soundsystem. It’s a must-have for any fan, simple as that.



The Single - Parquet Courts, Sunbathing Animal 

The sardonic Brooklynites Parquet Courts have long been impressing us with their Jonathan Richman inspired sound drawing on the three chord musings of The Ramones and expanding them with the social commentary of an enlightened vagrant. Sunbathing Animal the eponymous first single from their forthcoming album continues in this vein and was released yesterday on the formidable Rough Trade Records. A 7″ that must go under the ‘re-release’ section as Parquet Courts relinquished the track a few weeks ago; as sheet music. RSD 2014 was therefore the first day the instrumentally challenged among us could get their hands on the track and not be mocked by their lack of musicianship. Its worth the wait.



The Funky One - William Onyeabor, What!? 

African funk godfather William Onyeabor has been talked about alot recently, his mysticism sometimes over-riding his incredbile ability to make the stuffiest of shirts ruffle and fall on to the dancefloor. This double 12″ release complete with remixes by Daphni (a.k.a. Caribou), Hot Chip, JD Twitch and more is a dedicated shrine to one of the true innovators of funk and comprises what Record Store Day is all about. Although I was aware of William Onyeabor’s story I had (wrongly) dismissed him as just that; a story. It was only after some deep conversation with my local record shop that I fell in love with his music and left with this record firmly within my grasp and a smile slapped across my face.



As I’m sure you’re aware this list could go on for infinity, I could rattle off some other fantastic releases like the acclaimed Nirvana Pennyroyal Tea, The Sonics and Mudhoney’s collaborative effort, Bad Betty / I Like It Small or the awesome The Space Project featuring Beach House, Spiritualized, Youth Lagoon, and Mutual Benefit to name a few. But the point of Record Store Day is to find the right record for you and more importantly to enjoy doing it.

With the constant rise of digital media within the music industry vinyl represents something a little archaic in terms of production and a lot more expensive in your wallet. For most though, vinyl can be something and everything. It can be art, it can be a lifetime collection, the last piece of the puzzle or a perfect pillow to fall asleep with. In any case Record Store Day continues to help educate and reaffirm our love of this format, if vinyl is the art then record shops are the galleries and should be entreated with the same respect, adoration and support.

Words: Jack Whatley