April 18, 2013

Cue the fans and the bands: Saturday is Record Store Day

An estimated 1,700 independent record stores will be participating this year.

By Ray Routhier rrouthier@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

The way Spencer Albee sees it, Record Store Day is like a holiday for him and all his friends.

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Dark Hollow Bottling Company will perform live on Record Store Day at Bull Moose stores in Maine.

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RECORD STORE DAY

WHEN: Saturday

WHERE: About 1,700 independent record stores around the world, celebrating with in-store performances and by selling hundreds of special Record Store Day releases

HOW MUCH: Free, unless you buy something

INFO: For a list of participating stores by state, and for a look at some of the 350 special releases coming out, go to recordstoreday.com.

WHAT'S IN STORE?

HERE'S A LIST of the live, in-store performances at Bull Moose Music stores across Maine on Saturday as part of Record Store Day. Most are local artists. For more information on the shows, go to bullmoose.com.

• Bangor, 683 Hogan Road: Dead Season, 2 p.m.

Brunswick, 151 Maine St.: Toughcats, 1:30 p.m.

Lewiston, 20 East Ave.: Beyond the Fall, 2 p.m.

Portland, 151 Middle St.: Phantom Buffalo, 6 p.m.

Sanford, 1364 Main St.: Nice Places, 4 p.m.

Scarborough, 456 Payne Road: Doors drummer John Densmore signs copies of his book "The Doors Unhinged," 2 p.m.

South Portland, 219 Waterman Drive: Spencer Albee, 4 p.m.; Worried Well, 6 p.m.

Waterville, 80 Elm Plaza: Rustic Overtones, 7 p.m. Friday; Chris Ross, 4 p.m. Saturday

Windham, 771 Roosevelt Trail: Dark Hollow Bottling Company, noon

Portsmouth, N.H., 82-86 Congress St.: ZipGun Bomber, 2 p.m.; The Connection, 3 p.m.Top: A special Record Store Day release from Between the Buried and Me. Below: Dark Hollow Bottling Company, Rustic Overtones, Toughcats and Spencer Albee will perform live on Record Store Day at Bull Moose stores in Maine.

Many of them are local musicians trying to make a living while doing what they love. They're also music geeks who spend much of their free time at record stores or listening to albums.

And Record Store Day -- an annual event returning on Saturday -- is a world-wide celebration of musicians and music fans alike.

"It's like our day. It's like our Maine Maple Sunday, a day for local musicians and music nerds," said Albee, whose local band resume includes Rustic Overtones, As Fast As and several other groups. "I think it's important for us, for musicians and fans, to have a day when the physical record store is celebrated."

From its incarnation in 2008, Record Store Day has grown to the point where an estimated 1,700 independent record stores will be participating this year.

And record labels have embraced the event so much that this year, some 350 special releases will be shipped to stores specifically for Record Store Day. They range from a collaboration on vinyl between early '60s rocker Freddy "Boom Boom" Cannon and Los Straightjackets to a four-record set from The Flaming Lips that has to be played on four turntables at the same time to be heard properly.

In Maine, the Bull Moose Music store chain will be celebrating by staging free, in-store performances by local artists at its nine locations. And one very big non-local rocker, Doors drummer John Densmore, will be at Bull Moose's Scarborough store to sign his latest book, "The Doors Unhinged." His appearance at Bull Moose marks the start of a book tour that will bring him to 13 independent record stores.

It makes sense that the Portland-based Bull Moose chain is doing a lot for Record Store Day, because the idea for the celebration began with Chris Brown, head of marketing for Bull Moose. Brown started by just sending out an e-mail to other independent record store owners about having a day to celebrate record stores, and the idea was immediately embraced.

At the time, a lot was being written about how physical record stores would probably go away because of the huge trend toward people getting their music online.

"At the time, there was a lot of talk about what was going on in the music business, and I just wanted people to know what has been happening at independent record stores -- that everything's fine, we're just going through an adjustment," said Brown. "All I wanted to do was have everyone do what they would do normally -- fans buying music, labels shipping product -- but have them do it all on one day."

In Bull Moose's case, things do seem to be fine. The company has 11 stores, including two in New Hampshire, and in the past year opened a new store near the Casco Bay Bridge in South Portland. That's the store where Albee will be playing on Record Store Day.

Greg Klein, who plays in the Portland string band Dark Hollow Bottling Company, has been to Record Store Day festivities as a fan, to hear bands and browse the special releases. But this year, his band was asked to play Record Store Day at the Bull Moose store in Windham.

"We were honored to be asked," said Klein. "It's such a great event."

Michael Kurtz, who runs the day-to-day operations for Record Store Day for a coalition of indie record stores, is leaving his Los Angeles office on Saturday to come to Maine. He said he wants to see Densmore, and he's always wanted to celebrate Record Store Day in the place where the idea came from.

(Continued on page 2)

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Additional Photos

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A special Record Store Day release from Between the Buried and Me.

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