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Record Store Day is an important day for the music community. A celebration for the record stores that are still alive and kicking. After all, the music industry is certainly on its rebound. In fact, this year's vinyl record sales are at their highest since 1997.
The participating record stores for Tampa this year included Seminole Heights' Microgroove and North Tampa's Mojo Books and Music.
Mojo celebrated with free, live music from several local bands, photographed below:
There are not many things that are better than a good concert, but especially a free good concert. If you did not make it to the pre-record store day show at Mojo Book’s and Music featuring Gun Outfit and Merchandise then you truly missed out.
Gun Outfit began their set almost an hour late, but the lost time was quickly forgotten when Gun Outfit began to churn out their aggressive psych pop. To be honest they covered a pretty wide variety of genres throughout their set, but all of them were delivered with a great exuberance. If you are at all familiar with the musical history of Olympia, Washington then you should not be surprised to hear the kind of music that Gun Outfit is playing. Olympia is responsible for the legendary K Records, which has released material from bands such as Beat Happening, Modest Mouse and The Microphones, and Gun Outfit is definitely carrying on a tradition of great music. Their set was full of beautiful guitar work that was held up by driving bass lines and steady drum beats. The vocal duties were shared between the two guitar players a guy and a girl and the effect was fantastic. The way that the two traded off vocals helped bring an interesting twist to their sound. Their closing song, which ended with a psychedelic jam at the end, was definitely a highlight of the night. If you have not heard Gun Outfit, I would highly recommend you check out their song “Phaedra.”
After Gun Outfit finished Merchandise set up and played a terrific set. They started off with “Anxiety’s Door,” a highlight from their new EP Total Nite. It was a great start to an incredibly lively and energetic set. The addition of a drummer has definitely brought Merchandise’s live show to another level; the energy was high all night. After “Anxiety’s Door” they went into “Nightmare Room,” which sounded phenomenal in a live setting. I was particularly impressed with the guitar sound that Merchandise was able to get. They sounded absolutely perfect and the way that the bass and drums propelled the music really showed Merchandise to be a remarkable live act. The next song they went into was “What I Want/What I Wanted” the extremely energetic closer on their Terminal Jagger release. It was definitely surprising to see Merchandise play an old song like this, but it was certainly a great moment for die-hard fans that probably thought they would never see any of that old material in concert ever again. It was particularly fun to watch the singer Carson Cox began to thrash around and go crazy at the end of “Become What You Are.” He was leaning into the crowd while mercilessly attacking his guitar and slowly falling onto the ground. This seemed like it would be the peak of the show, but things got even more hectic during their closing song “Total Nite.” It is already the most abrasive song in Merchandise’s discography so in a way it should not have been surprising, but the way that Carson Cox flung himself around at the end of the song was truly a spectacle. He began singing into an upside down microphone as he waltzed throughout the crowd, eventually finding his way onto the counter where the coffee is served. Merchandise have truly mastered the art of the live show, and I would highly recommend that you take any chance that you get to see them live. You will surely not regret it.
The third Saturday of April is a day that brings excitement to fans of an older format of music and a celebration of the art of music, both old and new. Record Store Day was conceived in 2007 at a meeting of independent record storeowners and employees as a way of celebrating the music and the culture surrounding it. Metallica, the first ambassador, officially kicked off the first Record Store Day at Rasputin Music in San Francisco on April 19th, 2008. It has since seen the likes of Ozzy Osbourne, Joshua Homme, Ozzy Osbourne (again), and Iggy Pop. This year the ambassador will be Jack White of the White Stripes.
What makes Record Store Day unique is that all participating stores carry limited and exclusive CDs and vinyl along with other promotional materials that are released in celebration of Record Store Day. It is celebrated globally with hundreds of artists and bands making appearances and performances, as well a chance to meet and greet their fans. One of this year’s exclusive RSD releases will be the ten-year anniversary of the White Stripes album Elephant and will be rereleased in special black, red, and white record. In local Tampa news, Mojo’s Books and Music will celebrate Record Store Day with a hometown show from Pitchfork-approved punk band Merchandise, as well as a full line up on April 20. Microgroove in Seminole Heights will also have special record releases, free drinks and free local music all day.
Some of the artists to look forward to that have releases on Record Store Day this year include: A Place to Bury Strangers, All That Remains, The Animals, Avenged Sevenfold, The Band, Billy Bragg, Biffy Clyro, Bob Dylan, Bon Jovi, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Buddy Guy, Coheed and Cambria, Country Joe and the Fish, Cream, the Cure, David Bowie, Dio, the Fall, Frank Turner, Gary Clark Jr., The Gaslight Anthem, The Notorious B.I.G., Willie Nelson, ZZ Ward, and Pink Floyd. Record Store Day is a throwback to not only the music record stores helped launch, but also to the cultures/subculture it has helped create even to this day.
Tampa Bay independent record stores celebrated the fifth annual Record Store Day on April 21. Mojo Books & Music, just minutes from the University of South Florida on Fowler Avenue, celebrated with an all-day band lineup, a vegan bake-sale and more.
Record Store Day is a day for independently owned record stores, music artists and music lovers to come together to celebrate the art of music. Stores put on events for the day, musicians release limited edition vinyls and fans revel in new music and physical purchases. It celebrates “brick and mortar” stores and introduces people to a culture almost lost in the age of iTunes and Amazon.
My weekend kicked off on Thursday, catching some great surf and psychedelic rock bands in Ybor.
Soon after, I geared up for Record Store Day. Looking through the lists of rare and live releases, I planned out what I wanted to get. Then I promptly forgot all of it and met a bunch of awesome people along the way.
Fighting off a cold, I was not one of the first people in line. Showing up in Seminole Heights’ new Microgroove in the early afternoon, the storefront was buzzing with people meticulously searching through the vinyl offerings.