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Record Store Day, a day vinyl collectors, and music fanatics a-like all gather together at their local independent record store to listen to great music and buy rare releases of bands celebrating the occasion. Celebrated the third Saturday in April, this years record store day marked the 6th annual celebration of Record Store Day. This year I spent my RSD at the local Tampa record store Microgroove. In addition to the obvious RSD releases, Microgroove had a wonderful line-up of some great local artists, including DieAlps!, Empire Cinema, Morphic Lapse, and Permanent Makeup.
DieAlps! kicked off the party with a solid and enjoyable set, full of indie pop and plenty of spunk. The Tampa based 5 piece, led by husband and wife, Frank and Cornelia Clacaterra, have a very likable and pop-filled “waltz” style sound, and a vocal delivery reminiscent of Joanna Newsome. They were a joy to watch from beginning to end and the whole band seemed very comfortable and professional on stage and had a great live sound. DieAlps! is currently working on an EP set to be released during the summer of 2013.
Empire Cinema followed with a great set, playing tracks off their first EP as well as their just released second EP entitled Esse Quam Videri. Empire Cinema, have a very unique sound drawing influence from such bands as Modest Mouse, Death Cab for Cutie, and Joy Division. They opened with the track Intro/Start From Scratch off their 2012 EP, and didn’t slow down the entire set. Front man Brendon Hock gave a very passionate and entertaining performance, dancing throughout.
After the end of Empire Cinema’s set, the room kind of died down while the next band, Morphic Lapse, set up their equipment. The most shocking band of the line up, Morphic Lapse burst into their fast and furious set to a crowd of maybe 5 or 6 people. As they continued, more people began to pour into the room and by the end of the show they were playing to about 15 to 20 people. Having never heard the band before, I was quite surprised when the band opened with a very fast, very loud, very heavy 10-15 second song. Screeching to the point of exhaustion, the singer (whose name I didn’t catch and can’t find anywhere) spent half the set on his knees screaming and putting in more emotion than any band I have seen in a long time. Morphic Lapse sounds like a grindcore band, but I can’t say for sure what genre they actually fall under, but they are certainly an entertaining and talented group of passionate musicians.
Permanent Makeup was the last artist of the day, and proved why they are currently signed to Microgroove owner Keith Ulrey’s label New Granada Records. They have a very DIY punk sound, that has a loud and driving sound that captures you in a way you would not expect. Drawing influences from bands like Fugazi, and maybe even The Pixies, Permanent Makeup put on a fast, loud, and extremely energetic performance that left me wanting to hear more. I could have listened to these guys for easily other 30 minutes to an hour. Their new album entitled The Void…It Creeps was released in February, and is worth listening to over and over. I was able to pick up a copy of the LP while at RSD and it was worth every penny.
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.
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.