Numero Group Has Big Plans for Record Store Day | Bleader

Numero Group Has Big Plans for Record Store Day



Record Store Day, which falls on April 16 this year, is a sort of secular holiday whose ethos is hard to argue with—it's basically "hooray for independent record stores and actually buying records instead of downloading them off Mediafire." But I'm sure that some very cynical person out there has already imagined the point when some very hip person would decry RSD for losing sight of its roots and abandoning its soul. Congratulations, whoever you are! In a press release sent out Wednesday, Numero Group honcho Ken Shipley is quoted as saying, "Most Record Store Day records are trashy cash-ins. Bogus 7" repros, expensive and needless live LPs, and perhaps the worst culprit of all, records that aren't actually limited but are marketed as such." He then calls the holiday a "cash grab," which to be fair it was sort of meant to be, though recently RSD seems dominated by major labels and not so much the indies that first embraced the idea.

Bold words from Mr. Shipley. The obvious response is, Do he and his label have plans to right the wrongs he sees? The answer is yes, and fairly elaborate ones at that.

First off, the label will offer the compilation Local Customs: Pressed at Boddie, which collects 17 tracks from the massive stash of tapes Numero acquired last year from a defunct Cleveland vinyl-pressing plant called the Boddie Recording Company, which they refer to "the epicenter of greater Cleveland's small time record business." The comp, which promises to span a range of styles from whacked-out protopunk to bizarro folk, will be available in a super-deluxe vinyl version, on CD, and on cassette at any sufficiently discerning shop that's celebrating Record Store Day. In his typically understated fashion Shipley refers to it as "what we believe to be the first must-own RSD album."

Much more interesting (and much more Chicago-centric) is the pop-up shop Numero will open for the day in the Stop Smiling headquarters at 1371 N. Milwaukee. It'll be stocked with Numero releases as well as used vinyl from the collections of Numero friends and notable record geeks like Courtland Green and Dante Carfagna, who helped put together the liner notes for Local Customs. The Numero pop-up will also be the only store selling an exclusive 45 from the label's Eccentric Soul collection; it's limited to 100 copies, many of which will no doubt turn up on eBay for completely ridiculous amounts of money.

On top of that Numero will broadcast a live radio show at 89.9 FM, consisting of "your favorite Numero tracks alongside vintage commercials, weather reports, air checks, and news updates." So if you live in the Wicker Park area and you wake up April 16 to news reports from the 1970s, don't panic. You probably haven't somehow been transported several decades into the past—if it helps, look out the window and check the model years of the cars driving past.

Here's a video preview of that exclusive 45: