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Record Store Day At Amoeba (And Other Places)


Sean and Clementine from Cherry Glazerr

I guess I am blessed to be surrounded by so many record stores! They are an endangered species all over the country (and even the world) and musicians who visit Amoeba to play an in store, often say they don’t have anything like this at home. I went to three record stores on Record Store Day and drove by two others and, from what I saw, I can tell it was a total success! After visiting Record Parlour for a performance by Alexandra and the Starlight band, I headed up to Amoeba a few blocks away. How can two record stores essentially selling vinyl records be so close to each other and survive?  I thought we were living in the digital age, but people still buy records, real records. Incredibly, the line outside Amoeba had started around 4:30 am! I read this on Twitter, I wasn’t there, but this is pretty crazy when you know that the store opens at 10:30 am! And all this to be the first person to get his/her hands on some Record Store Day exclusives, such as… a pink vinyl of Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, a Rainbow Splatter vinyl of fun., a red and black swirl vinyl of the Dresden Dolls, or a purple vinyl of Fleetwood Mac, yeah I took the more colorful ones from the gigantic list of 450 items that you can check out here.

Is everything gone by now? Probably most of it, the large store looked like a giant beehive when I arrived around 3 pm in the afternoon, if the line outside had disappeared there was another huge one inside, running through the aisles to reach the cashiers. Insane, do these people think it is Christmas all over again? Actually it was probably better than Christmas for Amoeba, I could not stand anywhere in the store without hearing ‘excuse me’ coming from someone wanting to check something I was leaning on. The store was full of merchandise, more than usual, and the activity inside was intense. As if the shopping experience wasn’t enough, Family Industries was doing live silk screening with special RSD/Amoeba designs, and celebrities were DJ-ing, Chuck E. Weiss at the beginning of the afternoon, then the two handsome kids from Cherry Glazerr. Little Dragon sat down for a signing at 2 pm – aren’t they playing at Coachella? – while there were prizes to win and of course food, lemonade and caricature drawings outside. You have to keep your customers fed and busy.

Vacation Vinyl, Origami Vinyl, Franky’s, High Fidelity Records, Permanent Records, Rockaway Records (and I am only mentioning the closest shops) all have special deals, sales, events, DJs,… but I still don’t have several clones working with me. Seriously, this Record Store Day is the independent stores’ triumph, after the shut down of the major retail chains, we are witnessing a renaissance with all these independent shops. The birth of Amoeba music in Hollywood, far from monopolizing vinyl customers, has actually triggered the opening of many record stores in the neighborhood. Aren’t we living awesome times?

This video below, which was posted by Amoeba a few hours ago, shows comedian actor Brently Heilbron interviewing people on line this morning…. If that doesn’t demonstrate how many people are dedicated to music in Los Angeles (and have a lot of free time), I don’t know what does!

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