Record Store Day 2011


I have a confession to make. The first I ever heard of the yearly event known as Record Store Day was when I heard that the recently reformed Blur were going to be releasing a track in honour of the event. That track was Fools Day and, whilst it didn’t exactly set my world alight, it was certainly good to hear Damon and co reunited. It also raised my awareness of a date in the calendar designed to get people away from the likes of Amazon and HMV.com and into record stores. A good thing, I think you’ll agree.

A couple of months ago, I became aware that, held on April 16th, Record Store Day (or #rsd11, as it was being referred to on Twitter) was going to be quite a big event this year. Mute were promising a special 12″ release of Grinderman’s Evil single- we haven’t talked much about Grinderman and Nick Cave yet, but we will- I think Gorillaz were doing something, Arctic Monkeys had a single out and there was a whole heap of stuff going on. The Grinderman 12″ was so exciting because… well, because it was on red vinyl. I’m kidding, the reason I was so looking forward to the Grinderman release was the fact that one of the remixed versions of Evil featured The National’s Matt Berninger on vocals (the red vinyl helped though). Oh. My God. I had to have it. At the weekend watching, again, The National’s Glasto set from last summer, it ocurred to me that perhaps Matt got involved as he sings the word “Evil” so well during Conversation 16.

Anyway, I found out where my local participating store was and it turned out to be Head in Bromley’s Glades shopping mall. The same Head that I haven’t visited all that often, probably because of Amazon and HMV, but the same Head that I did manage to find a remastered cd copy of Kings of the Wild Frontier (+ bonus tracks) for £3 last Christmas.  I got the Rocky Story album for a quid too, but I don’t think we need to talk about that one. So, come Friday evening, the excitment was beginning to build. Especially when Pete, the author of http://iturnedoutapunk.com asked me to get him a copy of the Clash release for #rds11- a Clash release? Mag 7 on red vinyl, he said. Lovely, I thought. I’ll get me one of those too. My good friend James also asked me to get him a copy of “Don’t Sit Down Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair” by Sheffield’s Arctic Monkeys.

The alarm was set, we were ready to get up early and get to the shops before the rush kicked in and everything went. And then the beautiful Persian cat that walked into our lives two weeks ago and was let out for the first time on Friday decided not to come back. We went to bed with her awol and when we got up, she still hadn’t returned. I decided to go and look for her, with no luck, and so Jo and I were later getting to Bromley than we should have been. By the time we arrived there was quite a queue formed as the vinylheads of Bromley pillaged the store. I could find nothing, nothing, that I wanted. No Clash, no BAD, no Gorillaz and no Grinderman. Jo, on the other hand instantly sighted and grabbed, Echo and the Bunnymen’s classic The Killing Moon, the latest Kills release and “Don’t Sit Down…”. It was one per customer, so she picked up one for herself and handed one to me for James.

Having half heartedly thumbed through the available merchandise, I picked up a Burial 12″ on the basis that, having got up at quarter past eight on a Saturday morning, I might as well buy something. I’d been meaning to check out Burial for a while anyway. And then Jo asked me if I’d looked through everything, I said yeah, but realised that I hadn’t. And so I looked through an unlikely pile of 12″s and right at the back of that pile, one word glittered back at me. One word of four letters, that word was the word I had come to the store looking for, that word was “EVIL”. I had my copy and it very much looked to me like the last one. Unleashing the left handed fist pump that I normally reserve for the 5 and 7-a-sides I am lucky enough to score in (I may even have yelped a “YES!”), I rushed off in the direction of the nearest till.

When I got home, I realised that Mute had been kind enough to include a cd of the tracks on the red vinyl. So I don’t have to risk scratching it up. Not that’s an issue for me, I don’t buy records with a view to one day thinking I might like to cash in on it’s collectability. I buy them to listen to them and so I’d like to tell you exactly how good both the records I bought are, but we only had time to listen once (early impression on Burial is that I like it) before heading out. On Sunday it was Jo’s birthday and so a whole new load of music is in the process of being assimilated; The National’s gorgeous Cherry Tree EP and TV on The Radio’s new Nine Types Of Light album. Which sounds good, but is suffering because we can’t stop listening to The National.

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