Sunday, April 20, 2008

Record Store Day

I hope everyone had a chance to get out and visit their local record store yesterday (Saturday, April 19) and joined in the celebration of the first annual Record Store Day.

Nationally, hundreds of independent record stores celebrated the event with sidewalk sales, live music, refreshments, in-store specials and what I think is the best part of it all- actually using the 'old fashioned' way to obtain vinyl, by physically flipping through bins of records to add to a collection.

I made the forty-mile trek into the east side of Milwaukee to visit Atomic Records, who had a full day of events planned. Local bands were entertaining the crowded store while customers enthusiastically shopped for music.

What struck me the most were the people, all ages and races, happily celebrating this historic day. I saw many customers with their arms full of vinyl records, from the classic like Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd, to the obscure punk and alternative musical genres.

I spoke with Kevin, who had also made a long 'road trip' to get to Atomic Records.

"I do a lot of my vinyl shopping online nowadays because we don't have a record store close by, but I am here to lend my support," related Kevin. "Vinyl records are a part of the music culture and so are record stores, and this is a wonderful way to draw attention to the record stores that are still open."

Since 2003, over 3,100 record stores have shut down, making vinyl lovers have to scramble to find records. But there was something very special in the air on this springtime afternoon in Milwaukee. I can remember all the great times I had as a youth at Insound & Stereo in Indiana (where I used to obtain vinyl records), the people I met, the music I heard, why, even the smell of that old record store. I don't get back to Indiana much and I wonder if the store is even open anymore.

But, this Saturday afternoon, I would suppose there were a lot of memories made. I saw the excitement on people's faces, heard the laughter, listened in on some vinyl vs. CD debates and heard some fantastic local music, and, by the way, also added several nice gems to my own record collection. I can only hope that this celebration can be duplicated, it truly was a marvelous day.

Do you have any Record Store Day experiences? Please share them; we would love to hear your thoughts and comments!

David Bowie to release 'Ziggy Stardust' live album

David Bowie will release a live album, 'David Bowie, Live Santa Monica '72' on June 30 on CD and double vinyl.

The album is a recording from Bowie's gig at the Los Angeles Santa Monica Civic Auditorium on October 20, 1972. The gig was part of Bowie's 'Ziggy Stardust' US tour.

In a statement to NME.COM, Bowie said of the recording: "I can tell that I'm totally into being Ziggy by this stage of our touring. It's no longer an act; I am him.

"This would be around the tenth American show for us and you can hear that we are all pretty high on ourselves. We train wreck a couple of things, I miss some words and sometimes you wouldn’t know that pianist Mike Garson was onstage with us but overall I really treasure this bootleg. Mick Ronson is at his blistering best."

The track-listing for 'David Bowie, Live Santa Monica '72':

'Hang On To Yourself'
'Ziggy Stardust'
'The Supermen'
'Life On Mars?'
'Five Years'
'Space Oddity'
'Andy Warhol'
'My Death'
'The Width Of A Circle'
'Queen Bitch'
'Moonage Daydream'
'John, I'm Only Dancing'
'I'm Waiting For The Man'
'The Jean Genie'
'Suffragette City'
'Rock 'N' Roll Suicide'