OX: „For 60 years, basically, the life of rock & roll, new bands have been exposed first in record stores- by the people who work in them“

„I support Record Store Week because its all about the music- all about the fans… and we’re ALL fans: the artists, the audience, the folks in the store who essentially end up getting ‚paid in music‘ (because they spend all their money in the stores they work in), the indie labels- and its NOT about the hype and the big corporate music machine- commercial radio, pop idol, billboards and mainstream culture. Record Store Week is for everyone who loves and cares about great music.“

How important is the specialized trade for you in times of the Internet and MP3, as a musician as well as a customer and music fan?

For Ox, the indie record store is WHERE ITS AT. I’ve considered ONLY distributing to the indie’s and making them exclusive for our music- they’re that important to us. Basically, they are the only music stores that distribute and promote MUSIC. The big commercial retailers are philosophically anti-music as far as Ox is concerned.

What meaning do record stores have for the music culture in the general and for your music in particular?

I’m a little unique as, I recently opened my own ‚Vinyl-Only‘ record store and even participated in Record Store Day in Canada. This being the case, obviously, I’m bias. As a touring professional ‚indie‘ musician, I think the ‚Indie‘ record store is the backbone of not only Ox’s genre, but the music industry in general. For 60 years, basically, the life of rock & roll, new bands have been exposed first in record stores- by the people who work in them. Fans hang out in them- talk to the staff- share knowledge and spread news of breaking bands- indie record stores are about music and information, the big retailers are about hype. Nowadays, music fans are more informed thanks to the web, and so, are more selective. The corporate music industry hasn’t figured that out yet- and that’s why they’re suffering- the indie record stores have never been about hype so, they dont have to adapt.

When and where did you buy your first records or CDs and what memories do you connect with record stores?

First records were, The Go Go’s, ‚We Got The Beat‘ and Joan Jett, ‚I Love Rock & Roll‘- I still have them both and still love them both. I bought them on a summer day at Sam The Record Man on Yonge Street in downtown Toronto. Finding a great new record is like a high school make out- you just feel cool all over afterwards. Other than that, there just isnt a feeling like it.

What are your current CD tips and which musicians and albums should not be missing from any CD shelve?

Don’t buy CDs- they’re an obsolete format- and MP3’s are like the crackers and cheese samples they give out at the grocery store; NOT a real meal. If its real it can’t be acquired through an internet cable. Vinyl LPs remain the format that makes modern music great.

Must haves for me:

Damien Jurado, Caught In The Trees

Sun Kil Moon, Tiny Cities

Iron & Wine, Creek Drank The Cradle

Ian Love, S/T

Royal City, ‚At Rush Hour The Cars‘ (but this is long out of print so, they’re newest pressing 1999-2004 is a GREAT one to get)

Julie Doiron, ‚Goodnight Nobody‘ (not in print either, her newest ‚I Can Wonder What You Did With Your Day‘ is pretty fantastic)

Chad Vangaalen, ‚Infiniheart‘

Elliott Smith, ‚Either/Or‘

Plants & Animals, ‚Parc Avenue‘

Devendra Banhart, ‚Cripple Crow‘