“I don’t know if I’d ever have had the exposure to the roots and world music…folk, blues, classic jazz, gypsy, celtic, African, Latin, had it not been for combing the racks of the local independent record stores in the Cambridge/Boston area when I was in college and the years since.
Those ‘mom and pop’ stores and small chains, like radio, provided the rich soil from which so much of my passion and education sprang. Having the ability to linger and talk about selections with a staff person who really knew their stuff and was able to illuminate why certain albums by a given artist were better than others or steer me to new exciting finds I never would have discovered without their help, is another reason why preserving these independent record stores is so crucial.
It’s the personal connection, the vastly more extensive collections, and being part of the community of like minded music fans, that makes such a difference. I loved striking up conversations or just spending hours reading notes on vinyl record covers and having the visceral experience of being surrounded by so much history and variety. Nothing like it.
So much of what I love about music of all kinds and eras was hatched by just this kind of discovery and choice. The decisions about what to carry and the overall service of these stores is what has made so many of us who we are as musicians and people. Indelible, irreplaceable…and a treasure to protect.”
– Bonnie Raitt
Over the holidays, astronaut Chris Hadfield sent, from the International Space Station to earth, the first song ever recorded in space. As one might expect from someone hovering high above our small blue dot, the tune contains lots of references to love, peace and goodwill.
To promote their forthcoming album Optica, Swedish band Shout Out Louds made an ice record of the first single, “Out of the Blue.” They only released 10 copies of the record and word is, they’re all gone, but you can still have watch and a listen to what an ice record looks and sounds like.
Here’s another ice record that was seen at a museum opening at Duke University:
Finding handmade treasures inside record sleeves is one of the joys of working at a record store. Someone taking the time to create a customized cover, or write out the lyrics to a favorite song, reflects a passion and connection to the music that extends far beyond merely listening to it. It’s an expression of the imprint that the music has made on a life.
These lyrics, written in a bubbly, cursive script, were found inside a jacket that was neither the Kinks nor Led Zeppelin. Memory is not serving me, but I think they were in a spoken word album, or audiobook. Regardless, tip o’the hat to whoever took the time to give the songs a little extra love. Perhaps it was just an exercise in penmanship, but even if that’s the case, for this particular exercise the scribe chose the Kinks and Zeppelin. Music awesomeness, indeed.