My guilty secret: Amber Lawrence

My guilty secret: Amber Lawrence

We’re asking folk to tell us about their guilty secret  … the one album that they have in their collection that kinda just stays at the back of the cupboard when people come round, but that you play when you’re alone.

Amber Lawrence guilty secretAmber Lawrence, RSDA ambassador, got into the spirit and has ‘fessed up to this album from Australian pop music singer and songwriter Merril Bainbridge. It’s all about the 1994 track Mouth, which Amber says “was a bit taboo at the time – so I snuck that purchase in : )”.  Sex themes.  folks. Sex themes.  It was also a very successful single, with six consecutive weeks at number one on the ARIA chart and top five in the US.  The Second Single talks about the track.

Got a guilty secret?  Go over to the #RSDAguilty page and see how easy it is to participate. Up for grabs is a capsule coffee machine, so it’s worth having a bit of a think and taking a pic …

Vital Juices Records hosts Halfway

Vital Juices Records hosts Halfway

Vital Juices logoCongratulations to Halfway for picking up both best song and best country song at the Queensland Music Awards 2015. On RSDA they can be found at Vital Juices Records in Redcliffe Qld.

Halfway describe themselves as rock n roll and some country. They’re an 8-piece from Brisbane with four critically acclaimed albums.

Plus instore specials, free raffles, lucky dips, sausage sizzle (of course), best dressed price and 20% off almost everything. Opens at 10am.

78 Records:

78 Records:

78 RecordsIt’s always an amazing day at 78 Records in central Perth. This year 15% off almost everything, the exceptions are the RSDA limiteds and tickets.

Plus get into the raffle for a (brand new) ATLP 60 turntable from Audio Technica, plus Rotel amp and Polk Audio speakers.  Cool set up for a vinyl head.

They will be posting to Facebook as they unpack their RSDA stock so stay close.

Songland: check out some of the vinyl donated for the RSPCA fundraiser

Songland: check out some of the vinyl donated for the RSPCA fundraiser

Songland Records in Canberra has done this cool video for a show and tell of some of the stuff donated for their RSPCA fundraiser on RSDA 2015.  What they do is simple: you bring in whatever you want to donate. Can be cassette, VHS tape, vinyl, CD. They put it in a special area.  People buy it and every cent goes to buy treats for the animals at the local RSPCA shelter. If they  just give the cash to the RSPCA it goes into consolidated revenue and gets used for normal things. Frog, who owns Songland, isn’t interested in that. He wants the animals to have something special, so he buys treats and donates those.

Anyway, check this out to see some of the treasures that have been donated.

 

Courtney Barnett designed t-shirt at Jet Black Cat, Brisbane

Courtney Barnett designed t-shirt at Jet Black Cat, Brisbane

Jet Black Cat will also, once again, offer limited edition t shirts: this year designed by musician of the moment Courtney Barnett.  Here is this year’s design BUT you are strongly advised to pre-order. There are only 200, in four different colours, and they are supplied mail order as well as instore,  JCB report they get orders from overseas, so it’s a much-in-demand bit of fashion.

JCB coloursFront of t shirt and colours

 

 

 

 

Jet Black Cat t shirt backBack of t shirt

 

More info at the store.  Bands also booked.  More info coming.

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Treasures 4 You, Brisbane: vinyl sale

Treasures 4 You, Brisbane: vinyl sale

Treasures for YouTreasures 4 You has 20% off all vinyl, CDs and DVDs for RSDA.

And they have heaps!

Goldmine Records: celebrating two stores

Goldmine Records: celebrating two stores

Goldmine posterFabulous poster from Goldmine Records, which now has two stores north of the river in Melbourne.

To mark Record Store Day Australia and the recent opening of Goldmine Records second store, on St.Georges Road in North Fitzroy, they’re  throwing a big afternoon shindig to celebrate!

Record Store this year is going to be huge, but both two stores (in close proximity to each other!) stacked with truckloads of exclusive ]releases.

The CARLTON NORTH store at 369 Nicholson St is opening super early at 8am

The new NORTH FITZROY store at 355 St.Georges Rd (across the road from Danny’s Burgers) will be opening a little later at 9am.

At 3pm at the North Fitzroy store lots of free music from:

MASSES
Politically driven post punk/goth

TØL
Members of Lakes doing 80’s throw back anarcho punk

Tim Dalton’s fave record stores around the world

Tim Dalton’s fave record stores around the world

Shakespeare Records bagRecord Store Day Australia (RSDA) falls on the 18th April this year and it’s the second year that I am an ambassador, something I’m quite proud of. Planning for RSDA has got me reminiscing about the first record that I ever bought and about some of my favourite record stores that I’ve visited. The first record that I ever bought was a 7” vinyl single of Son Of My Father by UK band Chicory Tip. I vividly remember saving all of my birthday money to buy this record from Shakespeare Records, located inside Paragon railway station in my birth city of Hull. The word ‘paragon’ is an interesting choice here as the word means ‘a person or thing regarded as a perfect example of a particular quality’. The station actually took its name from the street it stands on, Paragon Street, but still the use of this word is misappropriated.

Back in 1972 there were approximately 39 record stores in Hull city centre serving a population of around 200,000. This begs the question why Shakespeare Records and not Sydney Scarborough, Stardisc, Sheridan’s or one of the large department stores such as Hammonds or Debenhams or any of the other 39 stores I could have chosen? Paragon Station was a fabulous unmodernised Victorian building so much so that it has appeared in numerous feature films and TV shows. One attraction was that Shakespeare Records was a small building, more a pre-fab really, inside another enormous building. Subconsciously it could be the 11-year old me signalling that music and travel would be forever connected in my life.

Originally this record store was called Shakespeare Brothers but in a bid to move with the times in the early 1970’s they dropped the ‘Brothers’ and replaced it with ‘Records’. Mid December 1972 and it was a right-of-passage type day as my Dad drove me to Hull city centre in a tepid blue Vauxhall Viva to make my first ever purchase of many future records. I didn’t know it at the time, but this record is actually a cover of a Giorgio Moroder/Pete Bellotte tune that was released in 1971 under the name Giorgio. The 1972 Chicory Tip version features the very first top ten appearance of a Moog synthesizer in the UK. AIR studio manager Roger Easterby heard the Giorgio original and persuaded Chicory Tip to re-record their version, with additional lyrics added by vocalist Michael Holm, in a weekend. The Chicory Tip version was rush released where it went straight into the top ten and eventually hit number one. AIR’s resident record producer Chris Thomas played the dominating Moog synth part.

Released in February 1972, it took me almost 10 months to get around to purchasing this record. Listening back to this record I can see why I developed my lifelong love of synth pop. This record has all the DNA of 1980’s synth-pop, such as the synthesizer as the dominant musical instrument, which I came to love a decade later. For an 11-year-old kid from a cultural backwater like Hull, this record demonstrates a musical maturity way beyond my tender years.

This visit to Shakespeare Records set me on a course that would see me visit many record stores all over the world for both business and pleasure. Only 16 years after purchasing my first record I’d left school and was working in the music industry, albeit on the very bottom rung of the ladder. Over the next 34 years I was lucky enough to travel the world many times over and visit record stores in just about every city that I’ve visited. One of the biggest stores I regularly made visits to was Tower Records at 1 Piccadilly Circus, London. This massive 2,300m2 store opened in 1986 and was their European flagship store. London also had the Virgin Megastore on the corner of Oxford Street and Tottenham Court Road and that was also enormous. These enormo-dome type record stores ushered in the era of the in-store performance or as we called them in the USA ‘the shake and howdy’.

In these big stores a small stage and PA could be incorporated onto the sales floor allowing for acoustic performances. These performances normally coincided with whatever touring band was in town playing at the local venue. The normal schedule would be an in-store early afternoon, sound check late afternoon and show on the evening; we liked to work our acts hard back then. These in-stores would pay a dividend in terms of record sales, through in some ‘specials’ some free nibbles/barrel of beer and significant sales would follow. In-stores are now a common component in the arsenal of engagement tools of the music retailer.

Though the sheer scale of some record stores is breathtaking, such as Amoeba Music in LA, which is the world’s largest independent record store spread over 2,230m2 and holding over 100,000 titles. It’s the sheer variety of independent record stores that I love. Some are genre specific, some location specific, but all of them love and know music. Some of my favourites, in no particular order, are:

  • Aquarius Records in one of my favourite US cities San Francisco. This store has been a fixture of San Francisco’s music scene since 1970, making it one of the longest-running independent record shops in the United States. The store carries a wide range of stock, but is most famous for its extensive selection of psychedelic, metal and drone music, as one would expect of a San Fran store.
  • Spacehall Records on Zossiener Straße in Berlin, which I first visited in the late 1980s. You cannot even begin to talk techno or house or dub or any electronic music for that matter without bringing up Berlin’s Spacehall. The beautiful minimalist, modernist design of the store suits its refined, highly stylish musical aesthetic. It’s like a classic 1980’s BMW, never out of style.
  • Rough Trade East is the daddy of UK record shops. London’s Rough Trade East, which opened in 2007, may be the younger brother of Rough Trade West, but is also one of the biggest independents in the UK. The store sells predominantly new stock of vinyl and CDs, racked up across a huge 465m2 sales space, and has a handy cafe at the front. Rough Trade is more than just a shop, it’s also one of the most influential labels in the UK, and has put out influential records by The Smiths, The Fall, The Strokes, Arcade Fire, Belle & Sebastian and more. Rough Trade East also plays host to in-store gigs, film screenings, and talks on film, music and literature. This is more than a record store, it’s an institution.
  • Probe Records in a city where I lived for over a decade, Liverpool. In a city with such a fine musical pedigree, it takes a lot to stand out and Probe does that. Though it’s moved premises through the years, Liverpool’s Probe Records has been going strong since 1971. Established by legendary Twisted Wheel DJ Roger Eagle and music entrepreneur/producer Geoff Davis, it was more than a record store it, was the center of a movement. Pete Burns of Dead or Alive and Paul Rutherford of Frankie Goes to Hollywood have both worked there. In the wake of punk, Probe Records became Liverpool’s go-to record shop, attracting clientele from Echo and the Bunnymen, The Lighting Seeds and OMD. The shop launched its own record label Probe Plus in 1981, which has released work by cult Merseyside act Half Man Half Biscuit.
  • Good Vibrations, Belfast. The film Good Vibrations named after the legendary Belfast record store of the same name and released last year, was brilliant. It told the story of local music lover Terri Hooley’s attempt to expand his store into a label that would go on to release DJ John Peel’s favorite record Teenage Kicks by The Undertones in 1979. But the film’s popularity also sparked the store back into life. Now in its 13th incarnation, and proclaiming itself as “Belfast’s poorest record shop”, shoppers can still bump into Hooley, now aged 65, working behind the till. Visit it soon as it has a history of going bust very quickly.
  • I know I’m very biased but my favorite of favorite record stores is Grimey’s of Nashville. Nashville is a town of institutions and Grimey’s is no exception. It’s a store beloved by the city’s residents, and has a sort of hometown family feel. I first Mike ‘Grimey’ Grimes when he played guitar with local rock band Bare Jr. who I was working with at the time. Grimey has an uncanny King Midas knack of turning whatever he touches into cool. When I lived there he took over a run down bar, The Slow Bar, in the very un-trendy East part of town and within a few weeks it became Nashville’s coolest, muso bar and hangout. It’s the same with his record store. They have a vast selection of new music, and next door at their “too” store they have an abundance of “pre-loved” music. They supply their consumers with all formats including CD, vinyl and cassettes. But what really makes them stand out is they do a lot of activities to bring artists into the stores and make them accessible to their patrons. They have many releases and after hour in-stores in “The Basement” located obviously beneath the store. This is a cozy little live music bar to catch a local artist performance while drinking a beer. This is a very special kind of record store that I recommend to anyone that stops in Nashville. This place holds a special place in my heart just because it’s so damn cool. And who knows? Maybe if you’re lucky you’ll visit at the same time as locals like Taylor Swift, Steve Earle or Ke$ha.

In my now adopted hometown of Melbourne, Australia I’m totally spoilt for choice. There are some fine record stores in this city and my suggestion is to go out and find the one you like. The one that stocks the style and genre of music you like in the part of town that appeals to you. Personally I’ll be down at Basement Discs in the Laneways on RSDA on 18th April, see you down there?

Tim Dalton is  RSDA blogger ambassador.  He has a long and illustrious career in the music industry, including managing bands, audio engineering, tour managing and being A&R for Sony in the US. He is now an academic, teaching  students about the music business. He blogs at TouringTim. He is available to write 500 word guest blog posts.  For more information, please email RSDA Central at info@amra.org.au.

Field Music and the Drifters soundtrack

Field Music and the Drifters soundtrack

Field MusicField Music hails from Sunderland, England with their indie art rock. Based around the Brewis brothers, David and Peter, they have a moveable feast of musicians who join them from time to time.

The RSDA title is the soundtrack for the 1929 silent documentary Drifters, which follows the working day of a herring fishing fleet that sets sail from the Shetland Islands. The soundtrack was performed live at a screening for the Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival, in northern England.

Confession is good for the soul!

Confession is good for the soul!

Coffee Comp Win pageTell us your guilty secret!  That one record, CD or cassette that you can’t part with but .. well .. don’t admit to. Get it off your chest and you could win a capsule coffee machine worth $579 RRP.

We won’t judge you. Promise.

More info here.

It’s an Instagram competition.