Quarter Inch Collective head honcho, musician and journalist chats ahead of RSD13...
Singer with Dublin rockers Ginola, well-versed scribe for a whole litter of respected publications and founder of cassette-lovin' indie label Quarter Inch Collective and more recently Fallow Field, Ian Maleney can view the impact of record store day from so many lofty perspectives that I wasn't quite sure from which angle to approach the interview. One thing's for sure, the guy loves his music and - although not overly enamoured with RSD itself - the weekly ritual of sifting through records in his local indie stores.
The G-Man: What is your favourite record store, where is it located and why does it hold a special place in your heart?
Ian Maleney: I'll be honest and say I don't really have a favourite record store, or at least not a long-standing favourite. Right now I'd say Loki Records in the Mingle Marcade on Thomas Street, Dublin 8. It's just a small stall in the market with a bunch of records in it but they are all great records and it's run by one of the most knowledgeable and affable guys around. He takes a lot of my money.
What do you get from local independent record stores besides the obvious?
The obvious being records I suppose? I guess each record store in Dublin kind of offers something unique, they each have little communities that have built up around them and they don't crossover that much. In that sense I think I probably get exposed to something a little different in each one. I'm likely to bump into someone that I know too, which is usually a nice thing.
What is the last record you bought?
The last record I bought was Prostitutes' Crushed Interior: Blue vinyl on Digitalis from Loki Records.
How has a record store benefited your life/current job etc.?
Well my life is kind of intrinsically linked to record stores, in a couple of different ways. Firstly I guess buying records is probably second only to paying the rent when it comes to how I spend any money I earn from writing about music. I also release music so record shops are a big part of making that work, of being visible and discoverable by people who don't already know who you are or what you're doing. It's a little ecosystem and we all need each other to survive.
Do you visit record stores when you head off on holiday? What is the weirdest (or simply most original) record store that you have ever visited?
Not particularly original or weird but somehow memorable was a place in Birmingham that I can't remember the name of. It's on Bristol Street I think. It's just old and musty and crammed with some pretty insane records, like entire shelves of solo organ works and thousands of classic northern soul records. Myself and my girlfriend were there last year and we left with some Count Basie and collections of bird sounds and church bell tower sounds. There were three guys just at the counter playing records and talking the whole morning. The owner offered us both cups of tea and told us about his trouble getting records on as hand-luggage on Ryanair flights, which we ourselves were about to attempt.
What would you say to a young music lover who has never visited a record store before?
“You're missing out on something special”. The real, physical presence of music is almost gone for most people and while the emotional presence will never fade, there's a weight – actual and cultural - to physical product that doesn't exist online. It's the joining together of people, in real life. Record stores are second only to gigs in their ability to do that. You'll find out something new every time you step into one and open your ears.
Describe your last record shopping trip.
Well the buying of the Prostitutes LP was a rushed job but usually I'll spend half an hour or an hour in Loki just talking about gigs and new records and bands and work and life in general.
What record store rituals do you have if any?
I love taking a Saturday afternoon to do nothing but wander through town from shop to shop. The route generally goes from Elastic Witch to Loki via All City and Freebird. I'll inevitably spend more money than I planned to and get something nice to eat along the way. It's important to keep your energy up on such expeditions.
What does Record Store Day mean for you?
Record Store Day now means something very different from what it did a few years ago. Unfortunately it doesn't mean anything to me now that it has been co-opted by major labels and big indies with their over-priced reissues of records you can get for a fiver on Discogs or eBay. RSD these days tends to mean me asking people not to buy shocking pink Aerosmith albums or Sex Pistol re-issues on translucent orange, heart-shaped vinyl.
April 20th 2013 will be the sixth annual record store day. Any fond memories from previous Record Store Days that you would like to share?
There have been a few. I think one of my favourites was seeing Adrian Crowley do a gorgeous solo set in Tower Records on electric guitar a few years ago. I was just falling in love with Season Of The Sparks at the time. I had to get a bus down the country directly after he played and I listened to it the whole way, while the sun was shining and setting.
Have you got eyes for any special RSD releases this year?
If you owned a record store, what would you name it?
“Clear Out You Punk Kids Records”
Why would you be an amazing/terrible record store owner?
I would probably be an awful record store owner because I would only stock things that I really like and give discounts to my friends all the time.
Fallow Field is a newly founded label "for adventurous sounds. Soon to be publishing creative writing."
For more on Fallow Field Music & Press visit:
- Record Store Day takes place across thousands of independent record stores on Saturday, 20th April
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