Saturday, December 6, 2008

Record Store Day 2009 and The Vinyl District announce exclusive partnership

Record Store Day 2009 returns next year on April 18th and TVD is proud to announce our exclusive partnership with the Record Store Day team whose efforts underscore the unique phenomenon that is the brick and mortar, mom and pop, and independent music stores around the globe.

The Vinyl District will be the official one-stop for Record Store Day 2009 news, events, and promotions leading up to that third Saturday in April. Look to TVD for exclusives as they develop--and already there is plenty to announce. To mark the occasion, Radiohead plans exclusive vinyl pressings of EPs and tracks never before available on vinyl. The Doors are opening up their archives to release completed, but unreleased tracks exclusively for Record Store Day. And they too will be pressed on vinyl.

On the home front, DC's own independent music retailers (those guys to the left) are at work planning a Record Store Day that will hold its own share of surprises. Additional details to be announced right here.

April 2008 marked the first Record Store Day event to great success with over 300 stores participating, not only stateside, but overseas as well. Paul McCartney, Norah Jones, Henry Rollins, Shelby Lynne, Tech N9ne, Raheem DeVaughn and scores of other artists and music industry luminaries all offered votes of confidence to Record Store Day which spiked revenue for indie retailers and inspired coverage in such media outlets as National Public Radio, the New York Times, Rolling Stone, the BBC, and even American Idol. In addition, retailers hosted in-store appearances and performances by both top name and local artists, including Metallica, (who started it all with the announcement of the Record Store Day vinyl re-issue of some of their classic albums, along with an in-store signing session), Panic At The Disco, Dresden Dolls, Regina Spektor, Steve Earle, and Billy Bragg.

The National Association of Recording Merchandisers (NARM) the leading trade association for music retailers, wholesalers, distributors, and record labels, has already confirmed it will sponsor Record Store Day 2009. Other event organizers include the Music Monitor Network, the Coalition of Independent Music Stores (CIMS), Alliance of Independent Music Stores (AIMS) and Newbury.

Keep your browsers set to TVD for all the breaking Record Store Day 2009 news and updates as we get them in. We welcome feedback and discussion from all of you who plan to participate and patronize this significantly worthwhile event.

Weller's style councillor

Record sleeves by the Modfather's favourite designer have been brought together in a new book about the former Jam frontman. Ian Burrell looks at the career of Simon Halfon, who has also worked with Oasis

When a young Simon Halfon, then one of only three mods at Durham University, went backstage to meet The Jam at a gig at Bridlington Spa Pavilion, he didn't think he was forging a relationship that would define his career.

But the conversation with Paul Weller in 1979 stood him in good stead. After Halfon dropped out of university, and returned to his native London to pursue a career in the music business, the Modfather remembered him. A quarter of a century later he is sitting on a portfolio of record-sleeve designs that span Weller's career from The Jam, via The Style Council, to his solo work.

In an era when record shops are closing in droves, as sales plummet in the face of digital downloading, smart design plays a vital role in slowing that decline. Halfon's work is so distinctive that he has been sought out by Noel Gallagher to produce Oasis covers, and has also worked for The Who and George Michael.

Certainly it is something that Weller himself takes seriously. He has deployed Halfon's services on solo albums As Is Now, Heavy Soul, Modern Classics, Stanley Road and Days of Speed. The same designer composed the artwork for The Style Council's Café Bleu and Our Favourite Shop, and for The Jam greatest hits album Snap!.

"Artwork for me is very important, and it's only a shame that it's becoming less important to people in the era of downloading," Weller says. "I've worked with Simon for decades, and he's a stickler for detail and has an excellent eye for order and interpretation." Much of this work has been included in A Thousand Things, a photography-based book on Paul Weller's career in which the musician and designer have worked closely with music specialists Genesis Publications.

(Via the Independent. Read the rest here.)