Record Store Day: it’s about community not commerce

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Each year, on the third Saturday afternoon in April my activities have been synonomous with one thing: buying music in Ireland’s record shops. Since 2008, Record Store Day has been celebrating those bricks and mortar outlets that mad as it may seem, sell music in its physical form.

While those shops have reduced in number in the last few years, Record Store Day has strengthened and with it, a backlash of sorts from music fans none too happy about the the high prices assigned to limited edition once-off releases and that is understandable. For an optomist though, Record Store Day is about people not limited edition vinyl (though that’s cool too). For me, RSD is a gathering (not that one) around music shops, places which can still inspire, where you can meet new friends, discover new music, where bands are started, where music can thrive and where music has meaning.

More than ever, RSD is about the community around music. Shops like Elastic Witch, Tower, Freebird and All City Records in Dublin, Wingnut Records in Galway and Limerick, Plugd in Cork and Rollercoaster in Kilkenny are just some of the shops hosting sets from bands on the day (full list of events and Irish releases) . Because it’s about reminding people that record shops can be nice places to shop and hang out, as well as a nice way to support the shop owners that facilitate that.

Over in Scotland, Matthew Young, the founder of Song, By Toad Records is really putting his money where his beer goes for Record Store Day. This year, his label is simultaneously releasing 250 copies of a red vinyl label compilation and 250 four-packs of Barney’s Beer with a download code for the release, pitting Music vs. Beer. It’s a commentary on the value of music and an interesting experiment. As the beervsrecords.com site points out: “People will happily twelve quid on a single round of beer, but it seems they’re reluctant to spend twelve pounds on a record – why?” That’s an answer we may know come tomorrow.

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In This Week’s Day & Night – John Meagher’s Top 30 Irish albums of all-time

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In Friday’s Day & Night Magazine with the Irish Independent, John Meagher counts down his top 30 Irish albums of all-time. Here is the list from A-Z. Pick up the mag today to read the list in countdown fashion along with the reasons why and the 20 albums that make the 30-50 slots. So, what’s missing?

A House – I Am The Greatest (1991)
Ash – Free All Angels (2001)
Bell X1 – Music In Mouth (2003)
David Kitt – The Big Romance (2001)
Damien Rice – O (2002)
The Divine Comedy – Casanova (1996)
Engine Alley – A Sonic Holiday (1992)
Fatima Mansions – Viva Dead Ponies (1990)
The Frames – Fitzcarraldo (1995)
Horslips – The Book Of Invasions (1976)
Lisa Hannigan – Passenger (2011)
Microdisney – The Clock Comes Down The Stairs (1985)
My Bloody Valentine – Loveless (1991)
Planxty – Planxty (1973)
The Pogues – Rum Sodomy And The Lash (1985)
Power Of Dreams – Immigrants, Emigrants and Me (1990)
The Radiators – Ghostown (1979)
Sinead O’ Connor – I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got (1990)
Sinead O’ Connor – The Lion and The Cobra (1987)
Taste – On The Boards (1970)
Thin Lizzy – Jailbreak (1976)
Two Door Cinema Club – Tourist History (2010)
The Undertones – The Undertones (1979)
U2 – Achtung Baby (1991)
U2 – Boy (1980)
U2 – The Joshua Tree (1987)
Van Morrison – Moondance (1970)
Van Morrison – Astral Weeks (1968)
Villagers – {Awayland} (2013)
Whipping Boy – Heartworm (1995)

The full chronological list is in the paper today. Thanks to Eoghan The Point Of Everything for making this Spotify playlist before we had a chance!

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Listen to the albums reviewed today from Biggles Flys Again and Low Sea

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Every Friday, John Meagher reviews a selection of new release albums in Day And Night and we’ll publish a Spotify playlist of the albums (where available) so you can listen and judge for yourself.

This week’s reviews includes Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Mosquito, Iron and Wine’s Ghost on Ghost, the Spring Breakers Soundtrack featuring music from Cliff Martinez, Biggles Flys Again’s Remember Saturday and Low Sea’s Remote Viewing. Pick up a copy of the paper today to read the reviews in full and listen to the last two albums in full right here.

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Flattr deepens its pitch

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When Flattr launched in 2010 offering a new way for creatives to make money through online micro-payments, the idea was an intriguing one. The brainchild of Peter Sunde, the co-founder of The Pirate Bay, Flattr worked like a a social microdonation system.

Instead of clicking ‘Like’ on a piece of content, a user who enjoyed that content would click the Flattr button on the site and a small amount of money from that user’s Flattr monthly balance would be transferred to the creator.

While the idea is great, Flattr has yet to reach critical mass where it can become a sustainable form of revenue for content creators. For example, In all that time since I signed up to Flattr, I’ve made €3.76 for the content I’ve created by Flattr users. Not great obviously but maybe more lucrative than Spotify payments?

Flattr’s latest online tipjar move sees it integrate with prominent web platforms. Now, any time you star a tweet on Twitter, like an Instagram photo, download some software from Github you appreciate, like a video on Vimeo or favourite a track on Soundcloud, the creator of that content will receive some of your Flattr monthly donation money. Flattr is pitching itself as Kickstarter after the content is made.

Think of the comedians on Twitter who get retweeted around the world for a funny one-liner they made up that day. Think of the bedroom producer who uploaded a hot remix to Soundcloud or the dog owner who posts pics of their dog on Instagram. All of these people could potentially make some money from Flattr.

Of course, the biggest hurdle for Flattr is still hitting that ubiquity that means there is enough money put in by Flattr users to make a financial difference to content creators. That the company is aiming for Youtube and Facebook integration (“it’s only a matter of time,” a spokesman told Evolver.FM) is the most ambitious evidence yet that Flattr could be here to stay.

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Listen to a Spotify playlist of albums featured in the mag from The Knife, Wiley, The Postal Service and Paramore

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Every Friday, John Meagher reviews a selection of new release albums in Day And Night and we’ll publish a Spotify playlist of the albums (where available) so you can listen and judge for yourself.

This week’s reviews includes a 5/5 for The Knife’s Shaking The Habitual (“some of the most exciting – not to mention exhilarating – music you’re likely to hear in 2013,” says he), Paramore’s slimmed down lineup’s self-titled fourth album (“their knack for writing catchy rock tunes is as evident as it always was”), a 10th anniversary deluxe reissue of The Postal Service’s Give Up (“I can’t be the only one who wonders quite why this slight, charmingly whimsical album is so admired.”) and Wiley’s less than grimey The Ascent, his ninth album in ten years (“some of Wiley’s rougher edges have been sanded down”).
Listen to the albums:

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In This Week’s Day & Night – Happy Eva After…

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In Friday’s Day & Night Magazine with the Irish Independent…

HAPPY EVA AFTER
As a little girl, Eva Mendes wanted to be a nun and pay all her mother’s bills. Now as a Hollywood megastar, she has certainly managed the latter and still hopes to play a nun on the big screen, she tells Will Lawrence

Plus
KEEPING PARAMORE PARAMOUNT
Having survived love splits, line-up changes, internet hate, Paramount are all about the band, they tell Ailbhe Malone

THE BEST MEDICINE
For indie songsmiths The Vaccines, a change – writing songs for One Direction – has proved as good as a rest

BRITISH SEA POWER
On the group’s oddball reputation, “communist table-tennis” and the importance of the sunny side of the street

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