Playback: Record Store Day
Record Store Day – inclusive, not exclusive
Records aren't cool because they're rare, but rather because they're common. Remember that when you're lining up to score limited-edition vinyl on Saturday, and that the real importance of Record Store Day is spotlighting the record store itself. In Austin, we're lucky to have lots of them, and, despite the increased accessibility of music online, digging through a rack of albums beats the hell out of clicking through a Spotify playlist. The owners of both Waterloo and MusicMania reported that Record Store Day ranks as their biggest retail day of the year, proving the audiophile holiday is a small business blessing. In a larger sense, the record – that flat piece of pressed vinyl – symbolizes a sublime multisensory experience in a world of increased digital detachment.
Local RSD Releases
• Gary Clark Jr., HWUL Raw Cuts, Vol. 2 LP
• Roky Erickson, "Mine Mine Mind"/"Bloody Hammer" 7-inch
• Alejandro Escovedo/Chris Scruggs, 78rpm 10-inch
• Patty Griffin, "Ohio" 7-inch
• Iron & Wine, "Next to Paradise"/"Dirty Ocean" 7-inch
• Sarah Jarosz, Live at the Troubadour EP
• Daniel Johnston, Fun LP
• Willie Nelson, "Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die" 7-inch; Crazy: The Demo Sessions LP
• Sir Douglas Quintet, "Interpreta en Espanol" 7-inch
• Shearwater & Sharon Van Etten, "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around"/"A Wake for the Minotaur" 7-inch
• Small Faces, "Green Circles" 7-inch; "Here Comes the Nice" 7-inch; There Are but Four Small Faces LP
1) Bring your own bag. Austin banned single-use paper and plastic bags last month.
2) Keep your receipt. Only in Austin does that earn you 10% off at all other shops on RSD.
3) Last Thursday, City Council proclaimed April 20 official Record Store Day in Austin. Owners of the city's three oldest record shops, Waterloo's John Kunz, Antone's Forrest Coppock and Eve Monsees, and MusicMania's Bernard Vasek – combining 80 years of local business – were on hand to accept.
4) Waterloo hosts Small Faces pianist Ian McLagan for a meet-and-greet and signing at 3pm, plus onetime 13th Floor Elevators frontman Roky Erickson for the same at 5pm.
5) Breakaway Records parties all day with free drinks and DJs spinning shop favorites.
6) Encore Records owner Chuck Lokey has prepared for a big day, reporting that he currently holds the largest selection of vinyl that Encore's ever had.
7) Want a discount at Trailer Space? Just shotgun three 16-ounce beers in 90 seconds and receive 50% off anything in the store.
New Austin Music Award winners for Best Rock Band, Whitman plays the Bob Mould aftershow at Mohawk on Saturday, while also celebrating the release of a new EP, Lying, Cheating, Stealing. We spoke with the group's frontman.
Playback: Your band shares a name with Austin's most famous mass murderer, Charles Whitman.
Ram Vela: That's not by design. We were kids in college and big literary buffs and Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass really hit us hard. My goal is for one day when you Google "Whitman Austin," you'll find the band and not the mass murderer.
PB: You won the Best Rock Band at the AMAs. What was that experience like?
RV: Winning that award was pretty fucking awesome because we're a rock & roll band, plain and simple. Being at the ceremony was great, but I wish we'd gotten our plaque. They could have sacrificed one Gary Clark Jr. award – he got like nine of them!
PB: That was during South by Southwest, but you didn't play the Festival. Did you apply?
RV: Absolutely. We've applied every year for the last eight years and not been selected. It doesn't matter – making the music is what's important. We can do that by having a party with kegs and our friends.
PB: Tell us about your new EP.
RV: It's a collection of B-sides and acoustic versions of our songs. I think of it as a gift for our fans because it's free and it has songs we've been playing live and never released. It also has a cover of the Descendents' "Bikeage."
PB: That's off Milo Goes to College. Was that an influential album for you?
RV: Absolutely. Milo Goes to College, Black Flag's Damaged, Dead Kennedys' Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death, the Minutemen's Double Nickels on the Dime – those all hit me really hard.
PB: Why should people stick around after Bob Mould to see Whitman?
RV: Because Bob Mould is opening for us! We're the badass rock show.
Broken Spoke Bus Seized
Typically, two senior citizens battling over a broken-down bus wouldn't make the news, but that old Texas Top Hands touring vehicle sitting outside the Broken Spoke for the last 15 years was pretty iconic. Last month, Ray Sczepanik, manager of the still-active Top Hands band, confiscated the 1948 Flxible bus he'd once given to Spoke owner James White and took it to the Texas Pride Barbecue restaurant in Adkins. Sczepanik claims White didn't properly restore the vehicle. White says Sczepanik sold him out. "I pulled that bus out of the ground with a wrecker and made it famous," states the honky-tonk patriarch. "People here love it, and I love it because it shows how bands traveled before million-dollar buses." White has detectives and an attorney working on recovering the bus.