“Record store day is the day for people who say they like music to put their money where their mouth is,” said Ryan, a Chicago tourist who was sorting through stacks of vinyl at Louisiana Music Factory during last Saturday’s Record Store Day 2014. Tourists and locals alike were attracted to independently-owned record stores throughout the city for special new releases, live music and free beer.
Participating stores included Skully’z Recordz (907 Bourbon Street), Euclid Records (3401 Chartres Street), Peaches Records (408 N. Peters Street), Louisiana Music Factory (421 Frenchmen Street), The Mushroom (1037 Broadway Street), and Jim Russel Records (1837 Magazine Street).
The national event, which was created in 2007, has the mission of supporting and raising awareness of independently owned “real, live, physical, indie record stores — not online retailers or corporate behemoths” (according the the RSD site.) Music labels that produce vinyl also use RSD as a date for special releases. Some of this year’s best sellers, according to Skully’z owner Scott Wells, included releases by Joy Division, Chvrches, and the Cake Box — an aptly named box-set of Cake’s albums.
Local radio stations had an important presence at the day’s events. Laura Brunies, Local Music Director for WTUL New Orleans (91.5 FM), represented the station at Euclid’s new Bywater space, noting, “This shop has provided us with music to add to our stacks, and, in turn, we always support their endeavors and come out for their events.”
The relationship between independent radio and record shops was similarly stressed at Louisiana Music Factory’s new Frenchmen Street location. The store now boasts a handsome counter-space, which serves as the official shop for beloved local station WWOZ (90.7 FM).
“I created the shop, and Barry [Louisiana Music Factory’s owner] donated the space,” said Suzanne Roberge, manager of the newly christened Swamp Shop, WWOZ’s retail store located inside Louisiana Music Factory, which sells merchandise such as t-shirts, CDs and memberships. “We have always had an awesome relationship with the Louisiana Music Factory for years, and we promote the hell out of them. We’re friends, and our people are their people.”
If the ultimate goal of Record Store Day is to unite the community that supports local music, independent business owners, and the creation of original, quality music — then RSD 2014 was a great success.