Record Store Day Weekend!

Music. In theory it’s an art form. It’s a form that works to impact a listener—through the sound, the instrumentation, the changes in tonality. Then there are the lyrics. And the lyrics as they are set to music. How does it all relate? How do these words and these tones work to create a bigger picture?

These days I’d argue music is becoming more and more of a commodity. It’s easily accessible through routes like iTunes. The concept of an album is out of date. It’s all about the singles. Though music is all around us—in advertising, television shows, and in your coffee shops, the community built around music is dying. At least locally.

As we happily spend our money and time online, be it on iTunes or Amazon, a local record store is dying. As someone who has a deep respect for local music and has seen a music community grow and develop into a system of shared resources and support, I believe local record stores DO matter. I’m not just bemoaning the death of another local endeavour.

Record stores have immense potential as a community gathering place for people who have shared interest in music. It provides a local venue for area artists to get their work out. Nowhere in the description of a local coffee shop is there the mandate: You should carry CDs by local artists. No, that job description should be in the hands of the local indie record stores.

And that is why RECORD STORE DAY matters. Though its basic quest is to get people back into the idea of record stores, and bring a little money to the local stores, it’s so much deeper than that. It’s a celebration of music. It’s a celebration of the local music community. It’s a celebration of the music audience that is keeping that record store alive.

Here in Salt Lake we’ve got a few different indie record stores alive and kicking, and they’re all amping up for some pretty awesome events.

A quick preview:

U of U Graywhale (208 S 1300): (yes it’s bigger than most with a few different branches, but it’s still got some local spirit)—local music showcase will start @ 10 AM April 17. Bands include Fictionists, Paterstats, IH86335, Sonic Massacre, Joshua Payne Orchestra, Australia’s Violent SohoJamie’s Elsewhere, Vibrant Sound, NightNight, Guides & Braves.

Oh—and if you’re like me and enjoy buying used CDs: they have a killer buy 2 get one free sale. And they’ve got a lot of used CDs. Just imagine the treasures you can find. I’m stoked. (and for people in Bountiful, Ogden and Orem, check your local Graywhale for different events. If I were in Ogden, I’d totally be gearing up for the ‘Black Tie’ Metal Showcase being thrown with Slug mag.

For a complete listing of Graywhale events go here (yay comprehensive lists!) or visit Graywhale’s official site.

Slowtrain records (221 E Broadway) is planning on making this into a fullscale weekend event, with musical acts of all varieties and some quality lounge time in the basement.

Starting at 12 PM Saturday, local music will take over Slowtrain, both inside and out. On the outdoor stage will be The Continentals (12-1), The Futurists (1:30-2:30), Desert Noises (3-4), The Naked Eyes (4:30-5:30), and The Devil Whale (6-7). Inside, in the newly opened Subterranean Lounge Stage will be Andrew Shaw (1-1:30), Isaac Russel (2:30-3), Glade Sowards (4-4:30), David Williams (5:30-6), Wren Kennedy (7-7:30) and Brian Oakley (7:30-8).

I would suggest not missing the Devil Whale. I saw them last year and thoroughly enjoyed their set. Plus, and this is the really exciting part, the Devil Whale will be releasing an album through the newly started Slowtrain Records label. Interested in the label? Interested in obtaining the Devil Whale’s album? Mark your calendars for July 18, a pre-release party at the Subterranean Lounge. A good time will definitely be had by all.

And—believe it or not—this is not all that Slowtrain will be offering. In addition to more local music than you’ll know what to do with, they’ll have crazy storewide sales and a temporary liquor license. Just for Record Store Day weekend! For more information on the Subterranean Lounge and the type of alcohol they’ll have, visit this page. It’ll give you all the info you could possibly need. And in case Saturday isn’t enough for you (they’ll also be open on Friday, FYI, and the lounge will be open for Gallery Stroll. Who needs art when you can have local beer? And music? Really.), they’ll also have a special brunch on Sunday. PLUS a storewide 20% off sale (not including local items/items already on sale).

Basically, if you don’t stop in at Slowtrain sometime this weekend, you’re crazy.

Just do it.

For more info on the Record Store sales (of which there will be many) check here.

And while you’re on a local Record Store Day high, don’t forget to stop by Positively 4th Street Records. The last update to their facebook page suggests live performances by The Daniel Day Trio (5pm) and the Crate Dwellers (7pm). In addition DJs Chase 1Two & Street Jesus will be spinning throughout the day. They do have a new location, so if you were used to visiting them in their location across from the Salt Lake City Library—don’t go there. Their new address is 370 S State St. If I have any more updates from Positively 4th Street, I’ll definitely include it here.

So. That pretty much wraps it up as far as Salt Lake goes. So. What are you doing to celebrate Record Store Day? What is going on in your local community? Are you completely jazzed? Because you totally should be.

Happy Record Store Day weekend. And don’t forget~your local record stores are putting A LOT of work into making these things happen. Make sure you thank them when you visit and keep in mind that these places exist the other 364 days of the year. Support your local stores all the time! 🙂

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