Subject: Record Store Day
KARL STEFANOVIC: Last year LP vinyl sales reached an all-time high proving everything old is new again.
SYLVIA JEFFREYS: Indeed it is and, in celebration of that Karl, record stores across the country are tuning up for the 10th annual Record Store Day, happening this weekend. Nick Kennedy from Red Eye Records in Sydney, and get this, the 2017 Record Store Day Ambassador DJ rocker himself, DJ Albo – Anthony Albanese – back in the house. Good morning to you blokes.
STEFANOVIC: Right on, Albo.
ANTHONY ALBANESE: How you going. Nick is a big improvement on Pynie.
JEFFREYS: He’s always listening, you know.
STEFANOVIC: He is.
JEFFREYS: Hey Albo, you are the 2017 Record Store Day Ambassador as I said. What exactly does that mean and what have you got to do?
ALBANESE: Well what it’s about is promoting Record Store Day and we are here at Red Eye Records in York St in Sydney. Twenty years ago people were saying people would be sitting at home and downloading records, downloading songs off their computer, and that would replace going into a record store, picking up a record, touching it, feeling it, listening to it and chatting to the guys or women behind the counter about what the latest sounds were. And of course it hasn’t. Records are on the way back, either CDs, people are buying CDs, people are buying vinyl records and there is something special about a record, the way it hangs together, in tracks, in the order in which the song writer wanted them to be in. This Saturday is a big celebration of that. There will be DJs, there will be bands playing, there will be special releases in independent record stores right around Australia and indeed right around the world in 30 countries.
STEFANOVIC: Well, no stranger are you to the ways and the movements of the famous DJs. You’re performing at Glastonbury this year, as well as just coming back from Coachella. But I am going to go to Nick, you are also a professional drummer. How have independent record stores, like your own, been able to survive all this?
NICK KENNEDY: Well, if it wasn’t for bricks and mortar stores stocking records, and specifically records by bands that I’m in and local musicians are in, we’d have a lot of boxes under the bed. So we are very lucky that everyone survived and is now thriving. It’s great news.
JEFFREYS: Well just quietly, I think Tom and Pete Stefanovic may single-handedly be keeping your store afloat, Red Eye Records in Sydney.
KENNEDY: I was going to mention Tom, regular guy.
JEFFREYS: Pete’s record player I think is his most prized possession, ahead of his wife.
JEFFREYS: Vinyl records…
STEFANOVIC: A possession?
ALBANESE: I’m sure that’s not true.
JEFFREYS: You know what I mean.
STEFANOVIC: A possession?
KENNEDY: I feel partly responsible for that.
STEFANOVIC: Let’s stay on topic. Records have seen a huge resurgence over the past few years, there’s no doubt about it. What is behind that do you think Nick?
KENNEDY: There are several factors. There’s the sound, which is unparalleled. People argue about that, but I’d say it’s true. There’s the artwork which you can’t really translate digitally, I mean there is nothing like holding a record. It’s cross-generational as well, kids are really into it, older customers are getting back into it. I don’t think it’s a fad, I think it’s something that we’ve always stocked, but will continue to. I think people will always use convenient music media, but they will also have the love of having the physical product and listening to it at home.
STEFANOVIC: Albo, just over your left shoulder, we are almost out of time, we have a shot of your eye after Splendour in the Grass last year.
JEFFREYS: Splendour in the Grass.
STEFANOVIC: So Albo, just give us a little bit of a demonstration, if you don’t mind, of your prowess as a DJ.
ALBANESE: Well, we’ve got here Split Enz. One of the great things about albums and records is that you can have a sense of where you were when you bought the record, the first time you listened to it, that you cannot get from holding up an iPhone, let’s face it.
STEFANOVIC: Yeah, go on.
ALBANESE: We’re going to put on I’ve Got You, a great track by the Enz.
STEFANOVIC: A good song too.
ALBANESE: Who became Crowded House.
STEFANOVIC: You’ve got to move along to it Albo.
JEFFREYS: You’re the DJ Albo.
ALBANESE: Well, I’m not paid to dance at this time of the morning.
STEFANOVIC: You’re the DJ.
ALBANESE: That’s later on, at night.
KENNEDY: Yeah, come on.
ALBANESE: As you know, Karl, when we’re together.
JEFFREYS: We’ve seen you work the decks in Newtown.
ALBANESE: Well if Sylvia and Pete had have had me at the wedding.
JEFFREYS: You were asking too much money Albo. We’ve had that conversation.
ALBANESE: Just saying. I was promised.
STEFANOVIC: Build the shapes Albo, come on.
JEFFREYS: Worst DJ ever, gees I’m glad we didn’t hire you for the wedding.
Thank you gentlemen much very. We wish everyone a happy Record Day on Saturday 22nd of April.
STEFANOVIC: Beautiful stuff, thank you.
Leader of the Australian Labor Party, MP for Grayndler, Rabbitohs Life Member. Authorised by Anthony Albanese, ALP, Canberra.