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Happy (fill in the blank) Day! 

Local record stores celebrate their indie spirit

Saturday, April 19, is a day to celebrate! First of all, it's my dog Elmer's birthday. He'll be 3. Did you know it's also YoYo Day? It is! And it's Husband Appreciation Day, Oklahoma City Bombing Commemoration Day, Auctioneers Day, National Hanging Out Day, Passover, World Cow Chip Day, and National Record Store Day. You can't make this stuff up!

I found out about National Record Store Day from Boo Boo

click to enlarge SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL RECORD STORES! :  On April 19, Boo Boo Records is hosting a day-long celebration of National Record Store Day with giveaways, a raffle, free silk screening, and a free nine-band concert! - LOGO COURTESY OF NATIONAL RECORD STORE DAY
  • LOGO COURTESY OF NATIONAL RECORD STORE DAY
  • SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL RECORD STORES! : On April 19, Boo Boo Records is hosting a day-long celebration of National Record Store Day with giveaways, a raffle, free silk screening, and a free nine-band concert!
# Records. The other commemorative days I discovered online at brownielocks.com/month2.html. I'm not sure how World Cow Chip Day will be celebrated locally (cow chip discus toss?), but Boo Boo's has a whole lot of activities and giveaways planned to coincide with a celebration of hundreds of other independently owned music stores across the country.

As you may have noticed, all record stores--even national chain stores--have fallen on hard times, many going bust. Technologies like MP3s and illegal file sharing programs have drained revenue from music retailers, which is one reason why retail behemoth Tower Records collapsed. But independent stores like Boo Boo's and Cheap Thrills--two seriously awesome, locally owned record stores--have worked hard to adapt to changing times, while also being the sole providers of antiquated technologies that some of us audiophiles can't live without.

Keep your file sharing and MP3s! I want CDs with cover art, or better yet, vinyl records with their huge 12-inch sleeves, 45s, old posters, band T-shirts and buttons, and real people I can talk to and ask questions of.

As Tom Waits sang, in praise of record store clerks, "Folks who work here are professors. Don't replace all the knowers with guessers. Keep 'em open. They're the ears of the town."

That's what National Record Store Day aims to do: Remind music lovers there's still a place for them to go where they can pick up music and look at it, feel it in their hands, and get their questions answered.

click to enlarge BY THE NUMBERS :  Threes and Nines are of one of nine acts playing a 6 p.m. free in-store concert at Boo Boo's on April 19. - PHOTO COURTESY OF THREES AND NINES
  • PHOTO COURTESY OF THREES AND NINES
  • BY THE NUMBERS : Threes and Nines are of one of nine acts playing a 6 p.m. free in-store concert at Boo Boo's on April 19.

# Cheap Thrills, which has an astonishing 50,000 vinyl LPs in stock, will be offering "open stock" records at one-third-off all weekend. They're also selling a record cleaning system at less than half-price. Boo Boo's is offering 20 percent off all used stock on Saturday, plus hosting a lot of extra hoopla!

"Here at Boo Boo Records, we'll be hosting a line-up of local musicians that represent a rich cross-section of San Luis Obispo's best music acts," said Boo Boo's ?ber-clerk and New Times' CD reviewer Malik Miko Thorne. "This will be an all-day showcase that is open and free to the public."

Here's the Boo Boo's schedule: 11 a.m., The Green Apples noon, Guy Budd 1 p.m., Inga Swearingen 2, Fighting Chance 3, Sparrow's Gate 4, Black Shirts 5, Hot & Cool Orchestra 6, Threes & Nines and 7 p.m., Port O'Brien.

But that's not all! Boo Boo's is giving stuff away, and with every purchase, you'll be entered into a raffle for tickets to a bunch of shows or a portable turntable. Any purchase also scores you a free hot dog (while supplies last).

"We're also encouraging customers to bring a T-shirt, old tote, or some article of clothing to get silk-screened for free," Thorne wrote. "We'll have various Boo Boo Record logos to screen along with different colors, instantly transforming previously owned apparel into a personalized souvenir of Record Store Day."

Go to World Cow Chip Day if you want, but I'll be heading to our local indie record stores to celebrate those more useful flat discs. As Shelby Lynne says, "You can't roll a joint on an iPod--buy vinyl!"

National Dopehead Day?

click to enlarge TAKE FLIGHT :  Sparrow's Gate will soar into Boo Boo's for a 3 p.m. free in-store on April 19. - PHOTO COURTESY OF SPARROW'S GATE
  • PHOTO COURTESY OF SPARROW'S GATE
  • TAKE FLIGHT : Sparrow's Gate will soar into Boo Boo's for a 3 p.m. free in-store on April 19.

# Sunday, April 20, is the de facto national stoners day, 4/20 being code for "let's spark one up, dudes!" for potheads nationwide. It's also a seriously popular day for reggae music, since Rastafarians--the Christian sect most associated with reggae music--consider cannabis an essential part of their religion. What's all this mean? That starting a day early, on Saturday, April 19, if you plan it right, you can ride a killer wave of high-inducing music from Saturday at noon to Sunday night.

On Saturday, April 19, Grateful Family Productions, Third Eye Illumination, and Pozo Saloon will present "A 4:20 Celebration" with The Twinkle Brothers with Della Grant, Resination, and The Zongo Allstars. (Doors open at noon, the show starts at 1 p.m., and all-ages tickets are $20 advance at all VALLITIX outlets including Boo Boo Records in SLO, the Mustang Ticket Office on the Cal Poly Campus, and the Mid-State Fairgrounds Box Office in Paso Robles on-line at www.vallitix.com or by phone at 1-888-825-5484.

The Twinkle Brothers--who come from the north coast of Jamaica in the ghettos of Falmouth, Trelawny Parish--started singing in church when they were mere boys. Because they were so poor, Norman and Ralston Grant made their own guitars and drums from things like fishing line, garbage cans, and sardine tins. Eventually, they named themselves The Twinkle Brothers and they started competing in and winning pop competitions in their parish. By the '60s, they joined a band called The Cardinals, all comprised of locals who were known as--get this--Falmouthians! Alston's wife, vocalist Della Grant, will join the brothers as they perform reggae, African music, spirituals, blues, and R&B.

On Sunday, April 20, Downtown Brew will continue the rastabration with a 7 p.m. "420 Party" featuring local acts Siko, Klockwyze, Venomous Voices, and A.F.R.O. during a 21-and-older show that costs $6 in advance at Boo Boo's or the venue or $8 at-the-door. All four of these local juggernauts of rock are filled with funky, reggae- and hip-hop-flavored beats.

Smoke 'em if ya got 'em!

click to enlarge MOOR YOUR SHIP :  Check out Port O'Brien when they play Boo Boo Records on April 19 during a 7 p.m. free in-store. - PHOTO BY ALISSA ANDERSON
  • PHOTO BY ALISSA ANDERSON
  • MOOR YOUR SHIP : Check out Port O'Brien when they play Boo Boo Records on April 19 during a 7 p.m. free in-store.
# Churches helping churches

There's a gospel brunch at SLO United Methodist Church to benefit the building retrofitting fund for the Springfield Baptist Church in SLO on Saturday, April 19 at 11 a.m.

The Southern-style brunch features two sets of entertainment with the gospel choirs from the 2nd Baptist Church of Paso Robles and the House of Prayer Church of Arroyo Grande. California Poet Laureate Al Young will read his poetry during both sets. The program will feature nationally known comedian and television personality Nancy Giles as the Master of Ceremonies.

Feel the spirit with Rev. Henry Ford's famous sweet potato pie and two great gospel choirs! Amen! Tickets are $30 for adults and $7.50 for children and are available at both the UMC and the Springfield Baptist churches, as well as at Boo Boo Records.

More music

The Johnny Starlings play Friday, April 18, at the Steynberg Gallery. Your $10 admission also gets you opening act Derek Senn of the postpartum punk duo the Wedding Industrial Complex. Sweet!

Irish music purveyors Athena Tergis and John Doyle play the Red Barn Community Music Series at the Red Barn at Los Osos' South Bay Community Park on Friday, April 18, at 7 p.m. (or 6 if you want to come for the potluck supper). Celebrating the

CD Reviews

Orchestra Baobab--Made in Dakar

click to enlarge 20080416222255_l.jpg

# In 2002, Orchestra Baobab reawakened from a slumber of nearly two decades and reminded the world why the government built clubs for them in their native Senegal. A bubbly, yet fluid amalgamation of Cuban rhythms, warm Nigerian high life melodies, and feisty Congolese rumbas, this is music that can fill a dance floor and wring the sadness off your bones. Lead by the deft, ebullient guitar work of 62-year-old Barthelemy Attiso, and alternating between the soulful inflections of six lead vocalists, Made in Dakar has the zest of a band re-invigorated and tightened by regular touring. Senegalese superstar Youssou N'Dour pops up on "Nijaay," a 1974 hit for Orchestra Baobab, quite possibly the most infectious song you'll hear all year.

 

Debashish Bhattacharya--Calcutta Chronicles: Indian Slide Guitar Odyssey

click to enlarge 20080416222439_l.jpg

# Mesmerizing, beautiful, and artistically jaw dropping--besides maybe Ry Cooder, it's tough to compare Debashish Bhattacharya to another guitarist with an equal range and technical ability. Picking up a Hawaiian steel guitar at a young age, he eventually added resonating and drone strings, crafting it into a more Indian instrument, which in the end ballooned to 24-strings. On Calcutta Chronicles, you'll understand why Bhattacharya is considered a national treasure. Whether he's merging Sufi music with devotional music of India ("Sufi Bhakti") or exploring the Hawaiian steel culture by way of Andalusian gypsies ("Gypsy Anandi"), there's an ancient subtext to the contemporary compositions. On "Aviskaar," you can only imagine the blur of fingers motivated by the tabla's insistent, propulsive beat. Hearing Calcutta Chronicles may make you want to pick up the guitar and give up all within the same listening.

-Malik Miko Thorne, of Boo Boo Records and KCBX's "Night Train."

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