Indie Flavour: Record Store Day review, music chart news, & more!

Eric Casey

Eric Casey

Eric Casey, Beacon blogger

The seventh annual Record Store Day was April 19. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend for the first time in a few years. It has since become a national phenomenon for independent music stores. This year in fact saw an 11 percent sales increase over last year’s event.

According to USA Today, independent record stores had their highest weekly physical album share in SoundScan’s 23-year history. Twelve-inch vinyl records are up 113 percent in sales compared to last year’s RSD. Although online streaming and CDs dominate most of the music market, vinyl has been on a surge the past few years and now makes up 3.2 percent of all sales. That’s it’s biggest percentage in over 15 years.

Some of the biggest selling vinyl LP’s for RSD included Childish Gambino’s “Because the Internet,” Bruce Springsteen’s “American Beauty” and Tame Impala’s “Live Versions.” Hot-selling vinyl singles (45s) included Nirvana’s “Pennyroyal Tea,” David Bowie’s “1984” and Paramore’s “Ain’t It Fun.”

In other news, Lana Del Rey released her long-awaited single, “West Coast,” off her forthcoming album “Ultraviolence.” Due to heavy online streaming and being available on iTunes, it landed at No. 17 on the Billboard Hot 100 making it her highest debut to date. Although it hasn’t been serviced to commercial radio, that didn’t stop me from playing the Dan Auerbach remix on my radio show recently thanks from an urgent request by fellow Wilkes student Carly Yamrus.

Fitz and the Tantrums have just gone to No. 1 on the Alternative Songs chart with their hit “The Walker.” It has also peaked at No. 68 on the Hot 100 so far. This makes them only the fourth act to have their first two Alternative hits go to No. 1 along with Fun, Alanis Morissette and Green Day. You can catch the band live in Jim Thorpe May 9.

This past Friday Wilkes’ radio station 90.7 WCLH celebrated its 40th anniversary with a small, but very nice get together that included past alumni and current DJs and directors. Also, star of the event general manager and adjunct professor Renee Loftus was there in full force.

I may not have known Renee Loftus as long as some of my peers, but being around her is like a jolt of caffeine in the morning. She has done a fantastic job of being a mentor for students looking to get into the radio business or just to have a show as a great hobby. Although she is leaving at the end of this semester, she is always there for support.

Tune in this Thursday from noon to 3 p.m. on 90.7 WCLH as Rasha Shaker and I do our last show for the semester. We will have guest host Zabaida Azad on board and maybe even a surprise guest. Be sure to listen to Wilkes junior Macey McGuire’s debut single “H.U.” sometime during our airing.

Seriously, she’s a fantastic local musician who is going places and you should totally “like” her Facebook page.  We’ll probably be moving to Friday evening’s this fall and might do a few summer shows so stay tuned. For more info, you can like our show Indie Flavour on Facebook.