Is the tide turning for the local music industry? ARIA would have you think so, the association's most recent statistics show that revenue Australia-wide has increased for the first time in three years. It's touted as good news for the artists, labels and retailers.
But while there's a lot to like about the report – including a massive 34.68 per cent jump in vinyl sales between 2014 and 2015, and overall revenue from physical sales holding relatively steady (compared to an 18 per cent drop the previous year) – your local record shop isn't out of the woods just yet. Physical units moved still dropped nine per cent.
Which is why the annual Record Store Day remains as important as ever. This Saturday, retailers across Brisbane will be staging a vast array of special events and performances designed to get you in the door and dropping a few bucks on some rare vinyl and merchandise.
We took a look at what's going on around town.
Tym Guitars, Fortitude Valley Tym Guitars is not just a guitar shop. Come Record Store Day it's also a rumbling underground live music venue replete with a fully equipped stage and side order of four exclusive Tym Records vinyl releases. Things will get loud – Tym’s peddling six live bands including BUDD, No Anchor, DEAD and Moe. Beginning at 10am, the day will feature DJ Jeff Miller throughout and copious amounts of ginger beer courtesy of Bundaberg.
Rocking Horse Records, Brisbane CBD One of Brisbane's most beloved music stores may have relocated under the stairs at its digs in the CBD, but that hasn't stopped management from prepping the vinyl and putting on some live sets for Record Store Day. Rocking Horse rode out some very tough times over the past few years and Saturday will in part be a celebration. Opening at 9am and running throughout the day, the store will feature acoustic live performances from the likes of Matt Kennedy (Kitchen's Floor), Seja and Jeremy Neale (Velociraptor).
Sonic Sherpa, Stone's Corner Steve Bell was a street press editor and solicitor who walked away from it all last year to open Sonic Sherpa, his dream record shop. For Record Store Day, Bell has an in-store performance from singer-songwriter Luke Peacock, winner of the prestigious Billy Thorpe scholarship at the Queensland Music Awards in 2016, as well as the Indigenous award for his song Fruits of Our Labour. The launch of the vinyl edition of Peacock’s solo debut We've Come a Long Way Darling is a nice sweetener.
Vital Juice Records, Redcliffe Vital Juice Records is kicking off Record Store Day at 10am with DJ Fluent JB and LSDJ spinning tracks. Live music performances will take over in the afternoon, with The Floyd Family Breakdown, Ben Ely and Jeremy Neale all making appearances. The day is complete with a one-off Record Store Day Special Edition turntable up for grabs. The rig is a Pro-Ject Debut Carbon, with custom artwork by illustrator Luka Va and an acrylic platter. Entry is simple: a ticket for each purchase on the day.
The Record Exchange Brisbane, Brisbane CBD The Record Exchange boasts one of Queensland's largest vinyl collections, so a Record Store Day visit is a no-brainer. With a slew of specials on offer on Saturday, you can get your hands on some great new and second-hand records, from Ozzy Osbourne and Pantera to Radiohead and Lou Reed. The store has sourced plenty of extra stock specially for the occasion, with LPs and singles on sale on the day from 50 cents a piece – or you can choose five second-hand records for the price of three.
Record Store Day runs all day at various venues across Brisbane on Saturday 16 April