April 16th, 2011 was the 4th annualÂ Record Store Day, and for many record stores local to Vancouver, it translated to live bands and superb sales.
Throughout the day, many of Vancouver’s most popular record shops played host to a magnificent celebration of the Vancouver independent music scene. Shops likeÂ Neptoon RecordsÂ on Main Street andÂ Scratch RecordsÂ on Hastings housed some rather large local acts likeÂ Red Cedar,Â The Tranzmitors,Â The SSRIs, andÂ No LA KillÂ and the subsequent followings that they inevitably drew.
Zulu Records, one of the stores that I had the chance to visit, hosted two local indie bands,Yukon BlondeÂ andÂ No Gold, for two hours after its regular closing hours. The store transformed into a densely populated music venue. As soon as I walked in the door, the atmosphere hailed down on me. People wanting to enjoy the privilege of hearing a live band play flocked around the pit. Others gleaming at the prospect of buying three records for the price of one stocked up in the backdrop of cadence.
It seemed as if the loud music blasting out onto West 4th was enough promotion for the event. One teen, Joanna, 18, was sold on this alone. “I didn’t know about the event before today,” she starts. “I only wanted to check it out because I’d heard the music while walking down the street. I don’t usually go to these types of events, but it really opened my eyes to alternative music. Overall, the atmosphere was great and it really put me in a good mood!”
I’ve definitely gained a newfound perspective in one aspect of music as well. In an era where technology can be seen as the sole portal of entertainment, I’ve come to realize that it is important to remember and still appreciate earlier forms of it. Records shouldn’t be seen as outdated or useless. Each record holds its own uniqueness and reminds us of how people enjoyed music before the age of digital downloads and mass autotune.
Clearly, the industry has changed, but I believe that when the founders of Record Store Day first drew up the idea, they weren’t thinking of how to resurrect a fading sub-industry. They merely wanted people to celebrate this art of music. And so far, it’s doing its job.
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