It may be still a few more days until this year's Record Store Day (Saturday, April 17th), during which all three Amoeba Music stores will be joining other independent record stores from all around the world in celebrating, but tonight the Amoeba Berkeley will get a head start on the festivities with a free Pre-Record Store Day Party at Oakland’s Uptown Nightclub at 1928 Telegraph Ave. Tonight's no-cover dance party, a co-production with the East Bay Express that runs from 9pm to 2am, will feature employees from Amoeba Berkeley, 1-2-3-4-Go! Records, Mod Lang, and Dave's Record Shop (2634 San Pablo Berkeley), all spinning music to groove your butt to.
Then, come Saturday, a thousand independent record stores from eighteen different countries will simultaneously celebrate Record Store Day 2010 with special events such as instore performances and special sales, and exclusive releases from tons of fabulous artists and labels!
Amoeba Hollywood's celebration will include live silk-screening to benefit Pablove Foundation, a Smashing Pumpkins pre-order event, a Slash CD signing (sold out -- sorry), and a DJ set by Spinderella of Salt-N-Pepa fame.
Meanwhile up in the Bay, in addition to giveaways and limited edition Record Store Day releases, Amoeba San Francisco's festivities will feature a Charlotte Gainsbourg CD signing (noon), and a live performance from Jónsi of Sigur Ros (2:30pm). Amoeba Berkeley will feature Holly Golightly & The Brokeoffs for a 2pm DJ set. See complete updated Amoeba Record Store Day details right here. Also, be sure to enter for your chance to win a Project-Debut III turntable & a grip of great vinyl courtesy of Amoeba Music.
This Saturday, on four continents around the world a thousand independent record stores will be celebrating Record Store Day, including Bell Book and Candle in Galway, Ireland, where I stopped by recently to interview owner Paul Deacy (see video clip below) who opened the shop 18 years ago. Located at The Small Crane, Galway, the record store, which also sells books and (yes) candles, is an inviting, cozy place where you can easily while away an entire afternoon browsing and chatting with the friendly owner about music and books, or about the bright blue 1957 model BMW Isetta parked smack in the middle of the store.
The instantly likable mild-mannered Deacy, who has an obvious passion for what he does, makes a point of supporting local Galway musicians of all genres by selling their indie CD and vinyl releases on consignment and then giving all the profits back to the artists. Admittedly, he doesn't make huge profits but does get "enough" to survive, he says, especially for a store that is "independent, small, and on a back street...and competing with chains." As with so many existing indie record stores around the globe, it is the knowledgeable personal touch Bell Book and Candle offers that brings the customers back and keeps the business operating.
Perhaps that is why big chains like Virgin have disappeared while many smaller independent record stores have survived. As one shopper at All City Records in Dublin said to me on my recent trip to Ireland, "I know I could buy records at a big store, or more likely online, and maybe for cheaper, but I don't get the same experience as coming into a record shop like here where I can actually listen to the vinyl on a turntable and talk music with hip-hop heads who know their stuff. Not to mention I get the music right then and there and do not have to wait ten days [as I would] if I bought it online."
In a really well written story on the subject of Record Store Day and the record retail business published in the UK's Independent newspaper over the weekend, Spencer Hickman from the Rough Trade record shop in London was quoted as saying, "I think lots of [record] stores closed because they didn't move along and evolve. We know our customers could buy their records online if they wanted. So what you have to do is offer them a service they can't get online."
Amoeba Music Celebrates Record Store Day
Paul Deacy of independent record store Bell Book and Candle in Galway, Ireland