There are loads of great things about having your music collection on a digital device. You don't have to dust it. You don't have to build shelves for it. Lots of other great reasons too. But sometimes I really miss my vinyl and CD collection. I miss staring at the artwork and reading the liner notes. I miss the feeling of holding a favourite album in my hands. †I miss looking at all those dusty shelves and feeling comforted by all the good music I can see. For all that digital music services have done to try to replicate the experience of the physical album and CD, I don't think anything beats the real thing.
The same goes for buying music. Buying online at 2 a.m. and being instantly gratified by instant downloads is not nearly as fun as a trek to my favourite independent record store and asking what's new.
For those of us who miss the physical reality of our music, Record Store Day is a great thing. April 21, 2012 is the fifth annual Record Store Day and all kinds of artists are making sure they have brand new music available at independent record stores on that day. On vinyl and/or CD, that's the only way you can hear the music. Sure, in a few weeks time most of the music will become available by other digital means, but for a brief while, you'll have to experience music the old school way. Buy it, take it home, struggle with the shrinkwrap and play it.
Judging from the impressive lineup of artists who are participating in Record Store Day, they miss the physical presence of music too. The Flaming Lips are offering up the most extreme packaging to drive home this point. Their contribution to Record Store Day is an ambitious collaborative project that they are pressing on vinyl. For five of the most rabid of fans, you can buy a vinyl edition that has the actual blood of some of the collaborators poured into the vinyl pressing! Yowsa.
"What I'm going to try to do -- and I'm collecting stuff for it as we speak -- is I'm going to try to make a record that has every person's blood in the record," says Lips frontman Wayne Coyne. "I don't have everybody's blood just yet, but I collected quite a few vials of blood and it's actually sitting in my refrigerator as we speak.... I'm going to try to take that same concept and put little bits of everybody's blood in the middle of this record. Like a glass specimen thing."
Too rich for my blood, but I'll be spending some time at my favourite record store on April 21 to find some Signal goodies to play for you.
Here's the list of contributing artists. Make a date to get physical with music on April 21.
on Apr 18, 2012