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Record Store Day is coming!

April 1, 2014
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The seventh annual Record Store Day, a global celebration of and for music lovers who support indie record stores, is set for Saturday, April 19.

Hundreds of limited-edition vinyl and CD releases will be part of this year's celebration many created with full cooperation of the artists.  

Record Store Day was conceived in 2007 by Chris Brown, head of marketing for Bull Moose. The Maine-based company has nine stores in the Pine Tree State and two in New Hampshire.

Brown's idea to aside a day to celebrate independently owned record stores and the people who love to frequent them has been adopted by more than 1,600 stores in 22 countries.

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The chance to meet a rock legend or catch an in-store performance while perusing the limited-edition goodies is part of the fun of Record Store Day. This year, Bull Moose, 457 Payne Road in Scarborough, welcomes their special guest of honor, Mike Mills of R.E.M., for an autograph signing at 2 p.m.   

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For Chris Brown and the crew of Bull Moose, hosting Mike Mills on Record Store Day will be a very poignant moment. 'Not only is R.E.M. more popular in Maine than they are anywhere else, but the first thing sold on the first day at the original Bull Moose was an R.E.M. tape, Fables of the Reconstruction,'' Brown said.

Brown cites R.E.M.'s 1988 album 'Green' as the most important rock album of the last 30 years. 'It was the first time many people heard what was to become alternative rock,' he said.  

The forthcoming Record Store Day release creating the most buzz among fans this year is 'R.E.M. Unplugged:  The Complete 1991 and 2001 Sessions'  the complete 1991 and 2001 MTV 'Unplugged' programs, including songs that were not part of the original broadcasts, available for the first time on April 19. The four-LP box set is a special limited run/regional focus Record Store Day release. This title will be available on CD at a later date.         

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Chris Brown says locally owned record stores are usually the first to embrace new bands, 'which is why Bull Moose uses the magic of Record Store Day to highlight local bands.'   

Among the in-store guests on the RSD performance schedule: 'Rotating Taps,' performing at Bull Moose in Bangor on the Hogan Road at 3 p.m. Bull Moose in Brunswick will welcome 'Ghost of Paul Revere' at 3 p.m. 'Fifth Freedom' will perform at Bull Moose in Waterville at 4 p.m. For the complete performance lineup and other Record Store Day related activities, visit www.BullMoose.com  

For many thousands of music lovers around the world, the publication of 'the list' of special Record Store Day releases at www.RecordStoreDay.com is almost as exciting as the day itself.  

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This year's list, released on March 25, is bursting with a staggering number of unique items, each designed to delight fans.  'The list for the United States numbers well into the 400's,' Chris Brown said.  

When news of the list's release hit social media, thousands of fans flocked to the sight to read it or download the .pdf file. The response crashed the website servers several times during the day, but all is well now.  

It's important for Record Store Day fans and patrons to keep a few things in mind as April 19 approaches. The list contains a mix of exclusive RSD releases (available only at participating stores on Record Store Day and unavailable anywhere else in the same format), limited run and regional releases (extremely limited quantities pressed) and 'Record Store Day First' releases (participating stores will see them first on April 19. At a later date, they will be available at other retailers).       

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Because of limited quantities made, not all stores will receive all titles. That's a big part of the appeal of Record Store Day. When you walk out the door with that coveted item in your bag, you know that you'll be one of the few to own it.

If you see something that you absolutely must have on April 19, let your local participating record store know as soon as possible. They can't guarantee that you'll be skipping out the door with those coveted items under your arm, but it's a good idea to cozy up to your favorite charming, funny, handsome and/or smokin' hot participating RSD retailer as soon as possible. As you expose your heart's musical desires, remember to tell them how awesome they are.  

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Each year, Chris Brown shoots a preview video for Record Store Day in which he unveils some of the special releases. Look it for a week or so prior to Record Store Day at the Bull Moose website and Facebook page.  

I asked Brown to share some of the titles on this year's list that he is most looking forward to. 'Dozens of this year's releases excite me personally,' he said, noting The Zombies' 'Odessey & Oracle' (vinyl limited to 2,500 copies), Jaco Pastorious's 'Modern American Music...Period,' Sam Cooke's 'Ain't That Good News,' Ray Parker, Jr's 'Ghostbusters theme' (on glow-in-the-dark), Hank Williams (recorded in 1950, limited to 1,500 copies) and about 25 more! 

As much as Brown (and I'm guessing all Bull Moose employees) is looking forward to acquiring some of those titles, he assures me that customers have first dibs when the doors open on April 19. 'Otherwise, there wouldn't be a Record Store Day,' he said.  

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Other indie music stores in Maine taking part in Record Store Day include The Grasshopper Shop in Ellsworth, The Record Connection in Waterville, Everyday Music in Farmington, Newbury Comics in Portland and Music Plus in Biddeford. 

'The Big Morning Show with Mike Dow' can be heard on Big 104 FM The Biggest Hits of the '60s, '70s & '80s - airing on 104.7 (Bangor/Belfast), 104.3 (Augusta/Waterville) and 107.7 (Bar Harbor)

Last modified on Tuesday, 01 April 2014 14:34

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