As we march forward into the depths of the modern age, we leave behind experiences that defined our predecessors. Each new generation finds new ways to replace human with machine. Consequently, the evolution of sophisticated technology has shaped the evolution of music listening. We’ve seen the birth and antiquation of cassettes and CD-Rs in only a few decades, as more and more digital downloaders flock to the passive, hands-off method of attaining tunes. Quietly swelling in the background, however, is a group of listeners who prefer to chase the satisfaction of an analog experience.
On Saturday, April 21, Revival Records will be welcoming all listeners to celebrate Record Store Day, the 5th annual celebration that has grown into a massive international event. Billy Siegel opened Revival downtown over two years ago and it continues to blossom, earning its namesake and providing the community with a haven for do-it-yourself music listeners.
The store will be holding special hours for Record Store Day—8am to 8pm— and both Jim Pullman and Adelyn Rose will be playing stripped-down sets to help commemorate a day that’s all about giving back to the listener. The event is not exclusive for enthusiasts; rather, it is an opportunity for all community members to come share what digital listening lacks and what Billy aims to provide: an experience.
“In the digital age right now, everybody’s getting their music online, sometimes not knowing about the artist or about the song,” Billy explains. “I think people want more than that. With an analog listener, you get to know about the artist and what the artist is about. That opens a lot of new avenues for the listener.”
Billy wants each person who comes into the store to discover something new or something treasured. No matter what the customer craves, the vast and varied collection at Revival can please the pickiest listeners. The stock that Billy provides for customers is a testament to his effort to create opportunities for people to find their music, and more importantly for people to gain access to an exhilarating experience.
“I don’t want them just to come here to buy music; I want this to be a mindset—an everlasting mindset,” he says as the store bells welcome a pair of shoppers, one young and one old. Billy brightens. “I want the store to be a nostalgic experience for the customer. When a parent is shopping with a child and the child is picking out groups that the parent loved when they were younger, it creates a whole conversation and a bonding experience. Just to witness that has been a real pleasure.”
All ages can benefit from stopping into the store, not only to rifle through records but also to see what’s happening throughout the local music scene. After Jim Pullman and Adelyn Rose help ring in the Record Store Day celebration, Billy hopes to have small in-store gigs at Revival every few weeks, and to make Revival a place where people can go for information and suggestions.
Record Store Day is an opportunity for first-timers to acclimate themselves with everything the store offers, and for veteran listeners to take a moment to reflect on the memories they’ve made and the new ones in store. Billy wants people to find more than rare B-sides and stellar pressings—he wants everyone to share the experience.
“It’s all about the thrill of the hunt,” he says. “The store is my way of giving back to the community. I want to support local music and local music listeners in any way that I can, and Record Store Day is truly a day of celebration for the music lover. I want people to come and to remember the smell of the old vinyl. I want them to remember feeling their fingers going through the records and finding that one that they’ve been looking for. It’s so much more of an experience than downloading—it’s the thrill of the hunt.”
-Matthew Mabis, April 2012
Revival Records is located at 418 Barstow St. in Eau Claire. Regular store hours are 11am-7pm, Monday-Saturday, and by appointment only on Sunday. Check Revival out at www.revival-records.com or find them on Facebook.