PORTLAND, Maine — In 2007, Chris Brown of Bull Moose came up with an idea: a day to celebrate independent record stores, and not just the stores, but the people at the heart of them, especially employees, customers, and musicians.
That simple idea hatched in Maine has become a phenomenon. Saturday will mark the 15th annual Record Store Day, an event that goes on around the world at somewhere between 2,000 and 3,000 independent stores. The latest country with a retail outlet to join the party was Mongolia.
Part of what makes the event fun is the slew of albums released especially for that day.
Mick Pratt and Chris Brown — who remains endearingly modest about being the father of Record Store Day — joined 207 to talk about some of the releases fans will find in Bull Moose stores on Saturday. Here are the descriptions Pratt supplied:
Larry Jaffee - Record Store Day book
A book and album that tells the history of Record Store Day. One of the songs on the album was from a performance at a Bull Moose store.
Joan Jett – Acoustics
You would think by this point in her career there would be a vinyl release of any of Joan’s acoustic recordings; but surprisingly there hasn’t been until now! Personally I would say I prefer Joan’s plugged in work, but the acoustic does give it a folk-punk edge which is pretty cool.
Kirk Hammett - Portals
Kirk Hammett from Metallica will release a solo EP this month. The only physical versions are the CDs and vinyl available at independent record stores on Record Store Day. It shows that there is way more to Kirk Hammett than metal. One track sounds like it could be the soundtrack to a western, although he still shreds at the end.
Tegan & Sara – Still Jealous
This is a fun one – Tegan & Sara are twin sister pop singers, and in their 2014 album ‘So Jealous,’ they switched off singing different tracks. Well this RSD release is that same album, except each is singing the other’s songs! It will be neat to see how it changes the mood and dynamic of the album.
The Chet Baker Trio - Live in Paris: The Radio France Recordings 1983-1984
There are many live Chet Baker recordings from late in his career. This is an essential release because of the people who made it. The lacquers were cut by Kevin Gray, who is considered the best at capturing that vintage vinyl sound. The producer, Zev Feldman, isn't nearly as well known, but everything he touches is top shelf.
MXMTOON - True Colors (From Life is Strange)
My favorite part of the Record Store Day is finding something that might be someone’s first record in their collection. For many this year it will be the Taylor Swift 7”, but the Vinyl edition of the True Colors EP from the game Life Is Strange will be a big one for fans of that game. Life is Strange has a considerable cult following and this is a rare physical release that fans will definitely want.