Rare is it that one gets to take in so much great music over the course of a day and for free. This is the beautiful thing about Record Store Day, an international event where independent record shops open their doors to some of the best bands and deals in town. It can be an exhausting affair trying to keep up with everything while carting along bags full of cheap and rare records, but that’s part of the fun.
I arrived at Neptoon Records just in time to catch a smokin’ slinky set by the Beladeans. They were greaser-rock groovy and had one guy holding court on the dance floor like he owned the place.
Then a run up to Red Cat Records saw Apollo Ghosts who delivered a loose and fun set that reminded me of everything that is good about music in this city. Singer/guitarist Adrian Teacher has an endearing shrug-it-off delivery that makes your heart feel good, even if you’re having a lousy day.
From there it was back to Neptoon for Rags to Radio and B-Lines who both got my ears ringing with their energetic nu-punk for the everyman. Rags to Radio became a new personal favourite as they ended their set with a near dozen strong conga line trip that wound through the store and outside while the drummer played on.
With the intention of taking in as much of this Record Store Day business as I could, I hopped a bus to Zulu Records to see what was up there, and wasn’t disappointed. I caught a bit of the lovely Hannah Georgas followed by a beautiful set by Damien Jurado. In socks and looking right at home, Jurado played a bunch of sad poignant songs that had a packed Zulu willingly melancholy and wistfully rethinking their lives.
By this point fatigue was setting in and so it was time to make for home, but I’d given it my all and felt pretty fulfilled. With the forgiving weather, running into friends and plenty of good music, it was just the kind of experience my soul needed. Thank you Vancouver and thank you Record Store Day!