Monday, April 11, 2011

Record Store Week

Sure, Record Store Day is this coming Saturday. And sure, it's been one of my favorite days since it began in 2008 (witness my three Zia Records shirts, one from each from RSD). And sure, I'll certainly be there at the Speedway store for Tracy Shedd and Howe Gelb. But why just one day?

So, it's Record Store Week here at Catfish Vegas presents.

I see the whole idea of Record Store Day as a series of goals – to celebrate independence and expertise in music retail, to celebrate the intersection between artistic creativity and expression and the material value of collectibles, and to create a day of surging enthusiasm for music and the shared culture of music fans.

And yes, it’s under the ideals of Record Store Day that I can reconcile the existence of a crate of CDs in my kitchen that I want to sell to Zia with an ongoing desire to purchase yet more music on vinyl.

You see, it’s those 1,000- or 3,000-copy, limited release 7 inch records that are so much fun to have. New, exclusive singles and B-sides are the very essence of music collecting. And with the master list of Record Store Day releases bigger than ever, there will be both expanded options and limited access. So everyone’s experience at the local record store will be more different than ever. And I like that. I have no clue what I’ll end up with – or end up gunning for – but I’m going to get to Zia early and spend a good bit of time looking over as much as I can.

As an added bonus, Fort Lowell Records will have a mini-showcase of in-store performances there: Tracy Shedd at 11:30 and Howe Gelb at noon. This will be the official Record Store Day release of Gelb's contribution to FLR, the label's sixth release, coming at the close of its first year.

I wrote an article for Zocalo a year ago about the label's beginning - and reading back over, it's clear that label founder James Tritten has easily accomplished his goals. Now this is a pure devotee - he sold his Jeep to fund the first release and jokes that his tombstone should read "He put vinyl into the world."

Since then, I've attended record releases and even put together a Fort Lowell Records showcase at Sky Bar in September. But, somewhat embarrassingly, what I haven't done yet is written about any of the music itself, even though reviews of the first few releases are long overdue. So, here's the plan for Record Store Week: a chronological run through the label's releases, which truly show the diversity and excellence of the Tucson music scene.

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