There’s something about a record store. The smell of used vinyl, the obscure music played by the staff, the thrill of stumbling upon a long sought-after record, the warm conversation between strangers – it’s a beautiful thing. Those characteristics make record stores the soul of the music community where curiosity, nostalgia and joy are almost tangible. It doesn’t matter how old you are, what you look like, what you do for a living or where you’re from – everyone belongs in a record store.
Each year on Record Store Day, fans, artists and independent record stores all over the world come together to celebrate this unique culture. Conceived 10 years ago by a group of indie record store owners and employees, RSD has grown to become the world’s largest music event. With its exclusive releases, it has helped spark the resurgence of vinyl and has even been declared an official holiday in several cities. During the first Record Store Day, Metallica spent hours meeting their fans at Rasputin Music in San Francisco sparking the tradition of intimate in-store appearances and performances that fans line up for each year.
In 2009, Jesse “Boots Electric” Hughes from Eagles of Death Metal created another RSD tradition when he declared himself the “Record Store Day Ambassador” symbolizing the importance of record stores to artists. Since then, an ambassador has been named each year. Jack White, Iggy Pop, Dave Grohl, Chuck D, Ozzy Osborne, Joshua Homme and Metallica have all held the position. In its 10th anniversary year, the first female Record Store Day Ambassador has been added to the roster as Annie Clark (St. Vincent) fills this year’s role. “It is with deep honour and humility that I accept this ambassadorship. Rest assured I do not take my duties lightly.”, Clark said.
Inspired by the first female Record Store Day Ambassador, Toronto singer and multi-instrumentalist Lou Canon has crafted a female-heavy lineup to join her in celebrating RSD at Tiny Record Shop. “This is the first year we have a female ambassador for Record Store Day, Annie Clark. So why not back her up?!,” Canon says. “I had the pleasure of inviting a bunch of kick-butt women to share the stage with me this Saturday at Tiny Record Shop: Blunt Chunks, Terra Lightfoot and She-Devils.”
“I spent the month of March asking women – artists, musicians, directors, fierce business owners – all independent, creative forces that I work with and work alongside, to contribute to a collaborative mixtape called W.O.W (Way Out Women),” Canon continues. “In some ways, this Record Store Day event feels like an extension of that mixtape – embracing and connecting with a community of thriving women. And speaking out in a male-dominated music industry.”
Head down to Tiny Record Shop on Queen East to celebrate #RSD17 with vinyl, beer from Great Lakes Brewery and live music starting at 12pm. Pay-what-you-can with proceeds going to Planned Parenthood.
Check out the list of this year’s exclusive Record Store Day Releases here.