I like the idea of Record Store Day, but something about it does remind me of that thing the TV character Murphy Brown, a recovering alcoholic, said about New Year’s Eve, that it’s for amateurs. I go to record stores so often, the idea that I should go on a specific day is almost confusing to me. I suppose I’d celebrate Earl Grey Tea Day, or Sichuan Food Day, or Inexpensive Notebook from the Corner Store Day, or Superfine Japanese Pen Day, but I do wonder at times to what extent Record Store Day — along with Independent Book Store Day — is equivalent to a holiday for people who only worship on holidays. In a general sense, as a way to get folks to rally around the community and cultural nature of record stores, it serves a purpose, but then again, the general idea of a commerce holiday makes me uncomfortable. To some extent Record Store Day is like a neighborhood picnic, but in other ways it holds up a small mirror to Black Friday.
In any case, Record Store Day does bring out some interesting packaging and material, along the lines of how annual independent comic book festivals provide milestones for comic artists to get something done. I do hanker for the new seven-track tape cassette (yes, tape cassette) release of Metallica’s demos recorded back in 1982 in Tustin, California.
And among the many Record Store Day exclusives this year is what can be heard as a deep tweak on EDM by Amon Tobin. Titled “Dark Jovian,” it has all the anthemic heft of EDM, but none of the comforting percussive milestones. Writes Tobin in an accompanying note, likening the work to a score for an imaginary movie, “Anyone who loves John Williams, Gerry Goldsmith or György Ligeti will hopefully see what I’m drawing from, and how it then sits in an electronic context.”