It’s the eve of Spring Break, and while I’m finishing tests, closing books, and leaving all the college baggage behind me, there is an upcoming event that I am getting increasingly more and more excited for, which is Record Store Day.
This day is particularly awesome in Bloomington because not only do we have some awesome indie record stores (Landlocked Music, TD’s CDs and LPs), it also falls on the date of the annual WIUX Culture Shock Music Festival. Every year WIUX, IU’s student-run radio station, hosts Culture Shock, a day festival that’s free to the public and features an great mix of independent music. It’s a great that the two will once again fall on the same day, because Landlocked is such a huge supporter of the festival and Bloomington scene. I will definitely be heading there for all of my Record Store Day delights, and particularly to get this.
Yes, Sargent House is making my dreams come true by releasing a compilation of live and new releases from artist on their label FREE to indie record store shoppers. I KNOW RIGHT???? This label is definitely my favorite right now, and not only because they are home to my beloved Maps & Atlases, but they are really stacking on some amazing bands, such as young Indiana band NATIVE, one of their latest signings. They’ve got a host of indie beauties like RX Bandits, This Town Needs Guns, Cast Spells, Good Old War, These Arms Are Snakes, and Russian Circles. Most recently they announced their connection with Omar Rodriguez Lopez Productions (yes, ORL of The Mars Volta and At the Drive-In) for the release of El Grupo Nuevo de Omar Rodriquez Lopez’s Cryptomnesia. Needless to say, I’m loving the bands on this label and praying to get my hands on a copy of their Record Store Day Release.
As for WIUX Culture Shock, this will be the second year its date will coincide with RS Day. I think it’s a perfect match. My favorite year for CS would have to be my first in 2007 when our lineup was packed with many favorites of mine like NOMO, Make Believe, Maps & Atlases, David Vandervelde, Catfish Haven, Arrah and the Ferns and so many more. It was about 40 degrees outside and freezing rain the entire day. We were set up outside of the Devault Alumni Center on the northern edge of campus with two tents and about 3-4 space heaters that were set up in them to keeps us from hypothermia. Lucky for me the dorm I lived in was about 3 minutes away, because I believe I changed my cold, wet socks about 4 times throughout the day. The motto of the day for bands was “Can I borrow a guitar?”, as the weather caused tunings to go haywire as well as countless other equipment malfunctions. I’m still surprised at how amazing NOMO was. Granted they came from Ann Arbor, Michigan where they are probably conditioned for this type of weather, but their wind players had to feel like their fingers were going to fall off:
Arrah and the Ferns (now defunct) of Muncie, IN were right at the height of their game after release Evan Is A Vegan on Indianapolis label Standard Recording Company. Broken strings were one of many problems that plagued their set, but they kept their attitudes high and still managed to crank out some hits.
Here’s “Bundle Up”:
I’d definitely say that one of the highlights of my day was seeing Maps & Atlases, who you all must know by now, is definitely one of the best bands EVER, in my opinion. This show was particularly special in that the band came in from their tour just to play for us…FROM CALIFORNIA. They had played a show in Cali the day before and booked it back to the Midwest to be apart of this event, and almost made it full band. M & A guitarist Erin Elders ran into car trouble so the band went on as a 3-piece. And let me tell you, (minus Dave’s funky sounding guitar on “The Ongoing Horrible”) they still rocked it. Erin, of course, made it in shortly after their set finished, and along with the rest of the CS bands they kicked back and enjoyed the rest of the fine lineup the day had to offer.
I think what I love most about WIUX Culture Shock is its sense of community and everyone gathering together to celebrate music. It unites fans from the IU Campus and Bloomington community as well as extra fans from the Midwest regions. Even the bands stick around for the excitement and to see bands that they admire.
Last year I got to take a backstage volunteer job and got to spend some time with a lot of the bands during their down time. It was great hearing their stories and just hanging out.
This year can look forward to less on an all day affair, cutting down the typical 15+ band lineup to seven acts: Four Tet, Destroyer, Extra Golden, Death Vessel, Dan Friel (of Parts & Labor), Tremendous Fucking, Found Objects. If you don’t know those last two, they are Bloomington locals, which I love to see get more exposure at an event like this. Particularly my friends, Found Objects. I’ve been following these guys since they started making music in the IU residence halls about 2 years ago, and they have just become increasingly more innovative with their sound. I really think this will be a great show for them and am looking forward to being there for it.