Hello and happy Monday everyone.
Indie record stores and vinyl junkies around the world celebrated the 15th annual Record Store Day this weekend, where cool exclusive tracks were released in a snap and you’ll miss it promoting these indie purveyors.
For the first time since the pandemic, Record Store Day went down as one drop (as opposed to three dates spread out in an effort to stay socially distant). It comes at a time when vinyl sales are at their highest level in 30 years – in fact, it’s the 14th year in a row that vinyl record sales have increased.
While your head-hoddler in Record Store Days past has been queuing since the pre-dawn hours (4am) to get his vinyl fix, this year he’s taken a more relaxed approach. This is because he needs to allocate additional funds for his upcoming move to Washington, DC.
Instead, I ventured to the solitary Caffe Nero in Connecticut (a future hoddle) to enjoy a good morning cup of coffee and a book before digging through the files.
I made a promise to myself this year: ONE RSD title, no exceptions!
After five minutes at Johnny’s Records, I managed to have four records in my hands: that of Stevie Nicks Bella Donna (with demo sessions), Lou Reed demos from 1971, Max Roach’s We insist! on transparent vinyl and Dave Davies Twisted. This is without counting the temptation to mount a 3LP set of Charles Mingus (tempting! and expensive), Doors Wife sessions, and the Grateful Dead and Ramones box sets. Blonde sunday girl 7″, it seems, was one of the top items this year.
But I promised myself: ONLY ONE RSD title, without exception! And, after going back and forth between two titles, I put down Stevie Nicks and picked up Max Roach. How could I say no to clean vinyl and a record of analog taps mastered by Bernie Grundman? You just know it’s gonna be good.
I had my eye on this album for quite some time. I’ve listened to Roach before, but not as a lead artist. It took me a while to appreciate the cover art – three black men sitting at the counter of an American restaurant. This album was released in 1960, a bold statement of the civil rights-era sit-in movement, and an image that would have been outrageous for many white-collar buyers.
It’s pretty cutting-edge, and didn’t have the best reception when it came out. But, like all great works of art, it was eventually staged as a much-needed treasure.
It was an important collaboration by Max Roach, probably the greatest drummer of all time. It was a turning point for the drummer, who finally found how to use his voice and his gift to advocate for justice.
Fitzie’s track of the day: Freedom Day, later Max Roach’s Freedom Now
And now for your links:
Small business owners fear regeneration program at Tottenham could drive them out of their livelihood
Athletics ($$): Do Spurs need Antonio Conte to roll the dice?
Alasdair Gold’s Latest Video: Conte, PSG and overhaul of summer transfers
Alexander Mitrovic wins EFL Championship Player of the Season
WSJ ($$): Barcelona still have a winning team, and it’s the women