Saturday was International Record Store day, a holiday celebrated by independent record stores, musical acts, and fidelity-nerds across the world with performances and special releases from select artists.
There’s a deleted scene from the movie Empire Records, a lovably 90’s film about a independent record store trying to keep from being converted into a franchise music store. Night manager/Gen X philosopher Lucas is flirting with a female customer in the store after-hours. She picks a CD from the rack and says, “Oh, I love this…”. Lucas tells her she should really listen to the album on vinyl, because:
“Some people say it doesn’t make a difference…but I say that it’s the difference that makes it.”
These are important words to keep in mind as the real world slowly fades into a series of ones and zeroes. Here’s some winners from this years roundup:
1. Jack White- “Lazaretto”
Jack White is always doing weird stuff publicly, like making a band with his ex-wife Meg White and referring to her as his sister, or officially changing his name to “Three Quid” during a 2005 tour.
This year he issued a single “Lazaretto”, which he claims is the the fastest made record in the world. He played the new song for crowd on Saturday and three hours, 55 minutes, and 21 seconds later a vinyl of the performance was available for purchase. While he played, fans could watch a live video of the recording being cut in to the acetate.
“Thank the mom-and-pop, brick-and-mortar record stores all these years for staying alive, the ones that could,” White said. “Now it’s bigger than ever. Every neighborhood wants to have one.”
2. Veruca Salt- MMXIV
Speaking of the lovable 90’s, female-fronted garage pop darlings Veruca Salt returned after 15 years with their angular harmonies and crunchy guitars blazing full force. The second track, “It’s Holy” is guaranteed to make you feel like you are riding in a convertible with the cast of Clueless.
3. Songs: Ohia- Journey On: Collected Singles
Like Elliot Smith or Mark Linkous of Sparklehorse, Jason Molina’s lonely and intimate recordings became all the more haunting following his death. This beautifully packaged limited release from record label Secretly Canadian was definitely a treasure worth waiting in line for.