Indies go on the record

Tomorrow is International Record Store Day, which celebrates the unique culture of independently owned record stores around the world.

Tomorrow is International Record Store Day, which celebrates the unique culture of independently owned record stores around the world.

TOMORROW is International Record Store Day. Founded in the US in 2007, it celebrates the unique culture of independently owned record stores around the world. Limited releases will be available exclusively on Record Store Day and there will be store-wide discounts, live performances and guest DJs. However, confusion surrounds the event in Australia, with two Record Store Day events on the same date. The Australian Music Retailers Association (AMRA) set up its own Record Store Day when some music retail chains weren't included in the original event because they weren't independent.

Chris Gill from soul and funk wax specialists Northside Records in Fitzroy says AMRA ''have nothing to do with the day and shouldn't''.

''AMRA tried to ruin the whole day because independent stores weren't exactly JB Hi-Fi and friends,'' he says. ''In Melbourne, they don't seem to have many independents on board with AMRA but I know that they have a lot of independents around Australia who are involved but I don't think they have been made aware how their version of the day came about.''

Renae Maxwell of Record Paradise in St Kilda says that although her store would rather not get caught up in the politics of the issue, ''AMRA should let the independents have their day,'' she says.

''Maybe AMRA should just find another day to celebrate Australian retail in general. This is unfortunate but it doesn't directly affect us, as we have our regulars who wouldn't go into chain stores to buy music.''

Suzanne Bennett from Basement Discs in the city says AMRA was told by event founders in the US that they could not use the domain name recordstoreday.com and were asked to celebrate on any other day rather than International Independent Record Store Day ''so as not to confuse the public''.

''AMRA chose to go ahead and set up their own site, record storeday.com.au, and to adopt the same day as the original celebratory day,'' Bennett says.

''Most indie record stores are not members of AMRA as they primarily represent chain stores. Obviously, the interests of stores such as JB Hi-Fi ? is more often than not to the absolute detriment of indie stores,'' she says. ''More often than not, JB can sell things cheaper than we can buy them due to their market share ? They are also a publicly listed company, so obviously their incentive is cash and return to their shareholders. It is a totally different approach to the selling of music.''

AMRA chairman Gavin Ward says his organisation's adoption of the same day for its Record Store Day was ''not about a commercial opportunity''.

''We promote all stores, whether they are a member of AMRA or not,'' he says. ''If we hadn't organised this, there wouldn't have been any PR for Record Store Day and no activities to support this thing.''

Tomorrow, most indie record stores will have live music and in-store specials to celebrate the day. Record Paradise will have live music in the car park for the fourth consecutive year from 11am to 7pm with a licensed bar. Playing in the car park will be Even, the Bowers, Money for Rope, Rosie Haden and a surprise band who will be streamed live on tonedeaf.com.au. Inside the store will be special guest DJs and a lucky 7'' dip.

Soul and funk wax specialists Northside on Gertrude Street will offer discounts and have guest DJs all day, the Putbacks and the Psyde Projects will play live and, exclusive to the store in collaboration with Burn, limited-edition James Brown T-shirts will be for sale.

Basement Discs will have performances all day from artists such as Lisa Miller, Chris Wilson, Jeff Lang, Charles Jenkins, Mikelangelo, Alison Ferrier, the Cartridge Family and the Spoils Duo, and a music quiz will be hosted by RocKwiz's Brian Nankervis, ABC radio legend Derek Guille and Rusty Rich, formerly of the Scared Weird Little Guys. See recordstoreday.com

Back and bigger

BEN Lee, David Bridie and EMI chairman Mark Poston are the first keynote speakers announced for this year's BIGSOUND music industry summit in Brisbane from September 12-14. Now in its 11th year, BIGSOUND 2012 was launched in Melbourne at the Toff in Town on Wednesday night.

''We launched the first nine years in Brisbane,'' BIGSOUND executive programmer Graham Ashton says. ''Then it became a truly international and national event, we launched last year in Sydney and this year in Melbourne. Next year maybe New York City.''

International guest speakers include Ben Swank, who runs Jack White's label Third Man Records; the editor of College Music Journal, Lisa Hresko; and David Jimenez-Zumalacarregui, the promoter for the Spanish festival Primavera Sound. More than 100 acts will play showcases. Tickets are on sale now and include access to official conference sessions, parties, after-parties and live-music events. See qmusic.com.au/bigsound

Triple-booked

WE MIGHT consider ourselves the music capital of Australia but the Hoodoo Gurus' Dig It Up national tour has had its slowest ticket sales in Melbourne. The promoter has booked the majority of the sideshows on the same night in the hope it would drive up sales for the main event at the Palace on Anzac Day. The Sonics' show at the Caravan Club next Friday is already sold out. Redd Kross play the same night at the Northcote Social Club, and now the double bill of the Fleshtones and Steve Wynn is up against them at Yah Yah's.

Two's company

IT APPEARS to be the year of the two-piece at this year's annual Cherry Bar on AC/DC Lane street festival, CherryRock. San Francisco's Black Cobra, New Zealand's Cairo Knife Fight, Mildura's bluesy Jackson Firebird and Adelaide's King of the North, currently opening for Cold Chisel, are all duos. Also added to the line-up, headlined by Fu Manchu, is local Celtic punkabilly six-piece the Ramshackle Army, who have just returned from a tour of the US with Dropkick Murphys. CherryRock012 is on April 29 from noon to 9pm across two stages. Last tickets are available from cherryrock.com.au

Gigs

?TONIGHT Psych rockers Magic Bones are at Cherry with the Murlocs and the Fraser A. Gorman band; garage bands Bad Aches, Deep Heat, White Walls and the Stevens play a free show at the Cornish Arms; and Eagle & the Worm play the Old Bar.

?SATURDAY Brazillionaires, a duo featuring Helen Cattanach and Leah Lombardo, play an afternoon show at the Empress; Crystal Thomas launches her album at the St Kilda Bowling Club with Harry Howard and the NDE and Penny Ikinger; and surf group La Bastard are at the Retreat with Mesa Cosa.

?TUESDAY Raise the Roof 4, the hip-hop event at the Espy on Anzac Day Eve, features Funkoars, Lowrider, Vents, Def Wish Cast, Briggs, Reason, DJ Flagrant and more.

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