As Record Store Day’s stature has grown over the last seven years, it’s easy to lose sight of the international music retail celebration’s humble beginnings. Here, on the eve of Saturday’s (April 19) event, Billboard sat down with RSD co-founder Michael Kurtz who explained the inspiration behind the event (Tower Records closing, Free Comic Book Day), some stores’ initial resistance (claims of being a “sell-out”) and the event’s exponential growth (from 100 stores to nearly 2,000).
Check out Four Tet featured in Don’t Watch That TV’s Beat This video series, sampling portions of Michael Jackson’s classic Thriller album to make a beat in just 10 minutes. “10 minutes is not very long to make a track, and I’ve never sampled Thriller, before so go easy on me,” he wrote on Twitter. He doesn’t have to worry – he took a pretty important record and made it even more devastating.
This is the final rollicking concert of the legendary Faces featuring a high powered performance from Keith Richards, Rod Stewart himself shakin’ his booty like there’s no tomorrow, and a string section for a little class. Although Rod went on to bigger success, many say his association with Faces was the musical highpoint of his career and this concert is the cinematic proof. Stewart and his Faces group were joined on-stage by Rolling Stones stalwart Keith Richard. For the record, “Faces” consisted of Ron Wood (guitar) Ian McLaglan (keyboard), future Who member Kenny Jones (drums) and Tetsu Yamauchi (replacing Ronnie Lane on bass).
“The Train Kept A-Rollin’” was first recorded by American jazz and rhythm and blues musician Tiny Bradshaw in 1951. In 1965, the Yardbirds popularized the song as an early psychedelic blues rock song, due largely to Jeff Beck’s fuzz-toned guitar work. After guitarist Jimmy Page joined the group, the Yardbirds recorded an updated version with new lyrics as “Stroll On” for the film Blowup in 1966. With a highly charged rhythm section and a dual lead guitar attack by Beck and Page, it is seen as a forerunner to heavy metal.
When the Yardbirds broke up in 1968, “Train Kept A-Rollin’” was adopted as a concert opener by Page’s new band, Led Zeppelin, during its early (and again later) touring years.
…and not only that, but he voices the villainous Fibonacci Sequins on the new Powerpuffs Girl show, too. Here, one of the world’s greatest drummers performs “Wish I Was a Powerpuff Girl,” which isn’t that far off from the fun he delivers in “Octopus’s Garden” and “With A Little Help From My Friends.”
Meredith Shaw’s musical journey is unique among singer/songwriters today in that she is giving the world a chance to see her artistic and creative development happen in real time.
Shaw’s music has a sophisticated pop vibe and features clever, witty lyrics, mixed with a playful sensuality. Her uncanny ability to compose evocative, yet fun and memorable melodies created a ground-breaking debut CD and caught the attention of the music industry and music lovers far and wide.
Her 2011 debut album, Place Called Happy established the popular radio personality and club performer as a musician and songwriter to be reckoned with – a refreshing face, voice and approach on the North American music scene.
Her current musical adventure is an exciting series of recordings that has entered its second phase with the upcoming release of a new three-song EP entitled Hardest Goodbye.
Phase one saw Shaw work with talented recording artist, songwriter and producer Joel Plaskett as producer for the ‘Trouble’ three-song EP which came out in the spring of 2013.
This second phase, Hardest Goodbye, was produced by John-Angus MacDonald of The Trews.
It features a whole other side of Meredith Shaw — a deeper, more contemplative, rootsier, more grounded artist. The songs still highlight her quick wit, clever turns of phrase and delightful melodies, but they are infused with a true roots sensibility.
“I’m walking along the alt-country road. I am moving forward. I am doing what I am doing and the world around me is changing,” Shaw said.
The title track, Hardest Goodbye is a modern, melodic take on the good old fashioned ‘hurtin’ song’ you’re going to get out of Shaw.
“Hardest Goodbye walks that line between pop and the kind of country music I am interested in doing. The country influences are there,” Shaw explained.
“What I am hoping to do is set the stage for something that might come next for me, because these songs represent where I am musically right now. I am very involved in that more traditional, old-school country community so naturally, I find myself making that kind of music.”
Even If You Don’t Know could confidently be said to be the most country of the trip of tunes.
“It has a bit of a honky tonk vibe to it. It’s probably the most traditional country song on the EP, and it is a blast to perform live,” Shaw said.
Conversely, the song Slide is a smoky, sultry little number that is better suited to the boudoir than the dance floor. It features backing vocals by soul rock group, The Walkervilles, and one of Shaw’s most enticing and expressive vocal performances ever captured on tape.
“After hearing the Walkervilles do their stuff on the track. I went back and told John-Angus I wanted to redo my vocals. I wasn’t singing against all of their voices originally. I was kind of just cooing in the vocal booth. I didn’t have the context. So the vocal that made it onto the EP was done in one take. And that was awesome,” said Shaw.
The goal of Shaw’s current journey is a full album encapsulating each phase of this musical adventure. Rather than recording all of the songs and just sitting on them for months on end, she decided to release an EP representing each creative segment of her journey — a snapshot of her evolutionary process.
“I guess what I am doing is more like a reality show of creating music. As long as I am really solid and happy with every stage, and that it’s good music, that’s what matters,” she said.
Shaw is charting her own musical path. By creating small recording packages that feature their own unique style and sound, she is taking ownership of her journey, and not catering to the schizophrenic whims of popular culture.
And she has been rewarded for not only her talent, but her independent spirit and integrity with a distribution and promotional deal with eOne Music Canada. As well, the song Call It A Night from her first EP, spent much of the summer of 2013 firmly planted in the top 20 on CBC Radio 2s charts, and she also toured extensively, and spent a great deal of time in Nashville.
“Honestly, I don’t totally have all the answers as to what the final product is going to be. But it’s a very interesting journey so far. I think this process, and releasing the material as it’s completed, is really helping to define my voice, both as a writer and as a singer. And I hope people come with me on this ride, because I think we’re going to end up somewhere really good,” she said.