There wasn't a single record on the list of exclusive "Record Store Day" releases that I really gave a shit about...It's highly likely the day has jumped the proverbial shark. I mean, I still went out to a few stores and bought some records, but nothing "special" to this day. Despite a lack of interest in the physical component behind the "holiday," I was totally down for the parties that the various record stores were having to celebrate all of their extra sales.
I started off at Schoolkids in Durham. I hadn't been to the store since it became Schoolkids - it's a nice spot even if their used selection is a bit lacking. I was primarily there to see Eric Bachmann, especially since I missed him the last time he was in town this past winter...having a new kid leads to a lot of sickness, which then leads to missed performances. He was set up outside the store in the open patio area, a perfect setting on such a gorgeous day. As you might expect for a gig happening in the middle of the day in a place as busy as Brightleaf Square, lots of randoms and families and random families wandering around, which always leads to kids standing directly in front of the band totally mesmerized. Basically, a short version of me I guess. Eric performed with two other musicians plus two female back-up singers, one of which was local Skylar Gudasz, who would be performing after him. Outside of a couple of tracks it was all songs from his latest self-titled solo record, not the first under his own name but the the first since he officially retired the Crooked Fingers moniker. It was great from start to finish, and the back-up singers really adding a great extra dimension you usually don't get with Bachmann's songs (the very same sentiment is true of that new self-titled record).
After Bachmann, Skylar Gudasz performed a few songs from her excellent new record "Oleander." My friend Yan, who has played with everyone from the Rosebuds to Mount Moriah to Bowerbirds to probably every other band in the Triangle, was performing with her and it was great to catch up with him. I love her songs but the real draw is her voice - to say it is heavenly is an understatement. She reminds me a lot of Karen Carpenter, and I mean that in the best way possible. I only had time for a few tracks, but I left certain I would be seeing her perform again in the near future.
I cruised across town to Bull City Records to briefly partake in their Record Store Day festivities as well. Aside from buying more records, as one does, I was there to see a little bit from the Charming Youngsters - or rather, half of the Charming Youngsters, thy rhythm section were clearly otherwise engaged. It had been a little bit since the last time I saw them play, but their ramshackle pop songs sounded as good as ever. Unlike at Schoolkids, they were playing in the store, and it made for nice accompaniment while I dug around in the vinyl, or at least the vinyl I could get to as there were quite a few people piled into the tiny store. It was a day well spent, and money well spent too.