Subject: Record Store Day
ANDREW O’KEEFE: By day he is Anthony Albanese, mild mannered politician, Federal Member for Grayndler, Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Tourism; but by night he becomes a music industry super hero, DJ Albo.
MONIQUE WRIGHT: And today DJ Albo is doing his bit as an ambassador for Record Store Day which is independent music stores are critical to the music industry and to our communities.
O’KEEFE: Welcome Albo, great to have you here.
ANTHONY ALBANESE: Great to be here. Happy Record Store Day!
WRIGHT: And this is your collection, Albo?
ALBANESE: Some of these records are mine there, some of my favs – [inaudible], The Boss, The Jam, Bowie, Billy Bragg.
O’KEEFE: I notice you’ve got the original Blues Brothers soundtrack here.
ALBANESE: The Blues Brothers are fantastic.
O’KEEFE: I love those.
ALBANESE: It’s a great album.
WRIGHT: You’ve said that us sort of maintaining record is important for community. Why do you feel so strongly about this?
ALBANESE: Well what was happening about 15 years ago people thought people would be sitting at home downloading music, not going into record stores. You go into a record store, you can pick up an album like this, you touch it, you can feel it, there’s art work, there’s the songs, there’s the lyrics on the inside.
WRIGHT: You get the story.
O’KEEFE: It’s a document for life.
ALBANESE: And it tells you about where you were at the time, who you were with, who your mates were, the first time you saw the band live.
O’KEEFE: Like, how many times have you opened an old record sleeve to find something in it from your life at that time, and it take you right back, hey?
ALBANESE: And one of the things that is happening live – Patti Smith did it last week in Sydney – is bands are coming and playing songs from track one right through an album, in the way that it’s supposed to fit together like the way a novel fits together, or the Sunrise show fits together from beginning to end. It has the peak and it goes down and up. You know, it has a rhythm to it.
O’KEEFE: Why don’t you play a track while we talk, Albo?
ALBANESE: We can do that. Why don’t I put on; everyone is got to like this song.
O’KEEFE: Yeah, terrific. So you were a big live music devourer as a youngster around the Inner West of Sydney, does it disturbed you the way we are losing – particularly in Sydney but around the country also – our live music venues to cranky neighbours?
ALBANESE: It is, and I think in some states they’ve introduced laws so that if you move in an area next to a pub that’s playing live music you should know there’s live music there. That’s part of it. So I think the live music scene when I was young was just fantastic, and you know you got to go to local venues around. They employ local people as well, and the great thing about record stores is now they’re coming back. So you’ve got record stores opening rather than closing.
WRIGHT: They have become super cool.
ALBANESE: And bands are producing albums again on vinyl, which is great. And today is just a celebration. There will be 180 stores around Australia; there will be DJs, there will be bands playing, and I’ll be at The Record Store in Darlinghurst, and the Posse are playing across the road.
O’KEEFE: Where do we find out who’s doing it in our local community?
ALBANESE: You can find out online, Record Store Day Australia. This is a global thing; 30 countries this is happening; there is new releases. Elton John is the international ambassador. He’s producing a new version of his – or I guess reprogram – 1970 live album. So new albums, new tracks, a chance to engage with your local community. And it’s a bit like, I reckon, people hanging around pubs or coffee shops, it’s a place to gather.
O’KEEFE: Totally. Albo you’ve got a craft beer named after you, you’re a DJ, you’re a hipster. You are a hipster!
WRIGHT: You’ve just got to put the leather jacket on and grow the beard.
ALBANESE: The beard is not going to happen. You’ve got to draw the line somewhere. My wife would never accept that.
WRIGHT: Do you dance while you DJ?
ALBANESE: I do sometimes.
O’KEEFE: Do you do a bit of Peter Garrett style?
ALBANESE: I’ve done gigs for charities. I’m doing a gig for an Indigenous charity in Melbourne next month. It’s a good bit of fun.
WRIGHT: I love it; Nick our audio guy has just like come up roadie style.
ALBANESE: I did a count of my albums over there because he was going through the ones I brought through, and I going to make sure I leave with the same number.
WRIGHT: He’s a great musician, our Nick.
O’KEEFE: Albo thanks so much for joining us this morning, and happy Record Store Day.
ALBANESE: It’s great to be here. Get to your record store!
Leader of the Australian Labor Party, MP for Grayndler, Rabbitohs Life Member. Authorised by Anthony Albanese, ALP, Canberra.