Eric Levin, the co-founder of Record Store Day (April 17) and owner of Atlanta's Criminal Records, was standing in his independent record shop one day when a customer told him that he would never buy a Radiohead album at Criminal. He'd buy it at Target. Why? Apparently, this customer didn't think Radiohead would be considered "cool" by the store's staff. The irony? They were standing right next to a massive Radiohead display.
Levin blames Jack Black, er, High Fidelity -- which quietly celebrated its 10th Anniversary last week -- and the record store snobbery stereotype it's permeated. According to Levin, the cooler-than-thou, "Do we look like the kind of store that sells 'I Just Called To Say I Love You'? Go to the mall!" image is something he and other retailers have had to combat in the decade since.
"We've never had anything like the fiction presented by Jack Black," he says. "In many ways, High Fidelity's one of the reasons we started Record Store Day. It did a lot of damage."
Now in its third year, the goodies only available at independent record stores on April 17 are pretty killer. Sub Pop's re-pressing the Soundgarden 7" single, "Hunted Down" on orange vinyl, a reissue of Elvis Presley's 7" single "That's Alright Mama," and plenty of previously unreleased material from everyone from Beach House to the Rolling Stones. Minus the Bear will be performing at both Sonic Boom locations as well.