Record store day

If you weren’t in Dublin for the long weekend, it is likely that you missed out on one of the biggest music events of the year.

Record Store Day returned on 19th April and with over 600 vinyl releases for music fans to choose from it was one of the largest celebrations to date.

Record Store Day is traditionally about Independent Record Stores, communities and a fondness for vinyl, with plenty of live performances thrown into the mix.

There were a multitude of events going on around the country. Tower Records on Dawson Street played host to Conor O’Brien of Villagers and Lisa Hannigan, amongst others, the two of whom ended up on stage together, much to the audience’s delight.

Elastic Witch, the record store run out of Twisted Pepper by Gib Cassidy, sadly closed its doors at the weekend, but not before having a rather large closing party, with the likes of Lisa O’Neill, Jape and I Am the Cosmos performing.

Record Store Gay, an album of compilations by Irish musicians, was released in the lead up to the weekend. It is the third RSG release, and included covers of Lykke Li, Belle & Sebastien and Queen by Irish bands like Kate’s Party, Patrick Kelleher and others.

The proceeds from the album go to Outhouse, an LGBT community resource centre on Capel Street. Outhouse itself hosted a mini-festival of sorts with many of the bands included on Record Store Gay #3 performing on the day, both in Outhouse and Pantibar, also on Capel Street.

Dublin may have been the epicentre for the day’s events but there was also plenty going on in other parts of the country.

A launch party for the second edition of We Play Here was held in Cork over the weekend with bands like Carried by Waves and Croupiers taking part. We Play Here is a zine about Irish music which initially focused on rock bands in Cork, but has been expanded to shine a light on a variety of areas and interests, from rock music to record stores and photography.

There has been some criticism as to the standard of records released for Record Store Day over the past few years. For some it is a chance to expand their record collection, while others are looking for good musical products.
Fortunately there were some stellar releases this year, though they may have been hard to find. If you took the time to pick between the live releases it’s likely that you came away with something memorable. Conor Oberst, of Bright Eyes fame, Parquet Courts and Hamilton Leithauser all released new songs, while LCD Soundsystem’s The Last Goodbye was available.

Not least amongst Irish releases was the third instalment of Record Store Gay. Some of the covers on this album are refreshing takes on old classics, some danceable, others quiet and somewhat introspective.

Bryan Grogan

Image: Freakout Magazine

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