On Thursday, March 20 Amoeba Hollywood hosted a press conference and roundtable conversation to announce the official list of limited edition releases available exclusively at independent record stores on Record Store Day 2014 (April 19). Download Amoeba's list (.pdf) of Record Store Day titles here.
RSD co-founder Michael Kurtz kicked off the event with representatives from the city of Los Angeles. Angela Babcock, Business Development Specialist for LA Mayor Eric Garcetti, and Tony Arranaga, Communications Director for LA City Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell, presented Kurtz with official plaques proclaiming April 19 Record Store Day.
Our special guests for the roundtable included Chuck D, Record Store Day Ambassador for 2014 and co-founder of Public Enemy; John Densmore, founding member of The Doors; Marc Weinstein, co-owner of Amoeba Music; Mark Thompson, owner of Vacation Vinyl; Neil Schield, owner of Origami Vinyl; Julie Edwards of Deap Vally; and Samuel Lopez of Tapioca and the Flea.
Chuck D introduced himself saying the "D stands for Densmore," and talked about how he has been inspired by artists as varied as Ani Difranco, J-Live and Jack White. Describing record stores as cultural libraries and meeting centers, Chuck D said he likes to call Amoeba the "10th wonder of the world." High praise from a man who has traveled the aisles of record stores across the globe! Using a baseball metaphor, he went on to say record stores are the "intimate ballparks for which we play."
The sense of community found in record stores was echoed by John Densmore, who spoke about his recent experiences with book signings at record stores around the country. He called record stores an "oasis" and said how he loves the diversity found in record stores, with all types of music located in one place. He even commented on how people meet their mates at record stores, which prompted Marc Weinstein to agree and remark about meeting his wife in a record store.
The three local record store owners each recalled their experiences with Record Store Day and record store culture. Origami Vinyl's Neil Schield recounted how they had 100 people waiting outside their store on the morning of the first Record Store Day and how much it's grown since then. He also talked about the idea of competition between the three stores, saying it's, in fact, the opposite. "We're brethren," he said, adding that he appreciates the support he's had from other record stores.
Marc Weinstein, who has been working in record stores since 1975, called music the "people's art," and likened record stores to what an art museum is for a visual artist. He went on to say that people celebrate their love for music at record stores, and Amoeba itself is a product of how much we all love artists.
Speaking as a touring artist, Deap Vally's Julie Edwards shared how much she misses her physical music collection when she's on the road, saying she has a physical relationship with music. She also noted that it's much harder to steal a vinyl record than it is to steal an MP3. Indeed it is!
Chuck D also talked a bit about the challenges of major record labels being run by lawyers (and accountants), quipping, "You all named me Record Store Day Ambassador therefore you get all the Chuck D shit that goes along with it."
Everyone on the panel had a deep love of and appreciation for record stores, but Chuck D said it in a way that only he can: "Going to record stores is a good problem. It's better than cocaine."
See the full photo gallery here.
Back Row: Neil Schield, Chuck D, John Densmore, Marc Weinstein.
Front Row: Julie Edwards, Samuel Lopez, Michael Kurtz, Mark Thompson.