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Vinyl Fetish: Josh Homme is your Record Store Day ambassador

April 18, 2010 |  2:50 pm
On Saturday, music lovers who live for vinyl rejoiced in the limited-edition bacchanalia of Record Store Day. That’s when independent record stores nationwide, including most of L.A.'s better boutique stores, offered up a galaxy of exclusive releases in celebration of their anti-big-box business model and the gloriously resurgent LP. The folks behind the big event had the good sense to name Them Crooked Vultures/Queens of the Stone Age frontman (and Palm Desert native) Josh Homme as their official Record Store Day ambassador. Homme and Them Vultures gigged at Coachella on Friday night on the Coachella stage.

Throughout the weekend, a record store has been on-site selling vinyl, a lot of it very limited edition. Herewith, an interview with the ambassador.

What are your official duties as Record Store Day ambassador?

Homme: Oh, I go from town to town playing pan flute like Zamfir. But really, it’s an endorsement of your local hub of finding out [what’s] going on. There’s a place in Coachella, in Palm Desert, called the Record Alley. It’s in a mall, but I wouldn’t know about anything musically had it not been there. So, for me, it’s about recognizing where you come from but also supporting the cool little indie places. Because frankly, when people say they don’t like buying records at Best Buy or Wal-Mart, I’m kinda with you. There’s something very anti-cool about that, and I think music has to stay cool.

What’s your favorite thing about indie record stores?

What’s important is that visceral sense of discovering something, that Easter-egg happiness. To me, it’s about vinyl. If something catches the eye, I just buy it. I like not knowing. People say don’t judge a book by its cover, but those people usually have a [expletive] cover.
All your music has been released on vinyl. Is that something you’re adamant about?

To steal a modern word, I like that vinyl is an interactive job. I like that it’s over soon and you have to flip it. But I also love the tangible sense of stuff. I mean, what if I want a Day-Glo Jimi Hendrix poster? I don’t wanna go online to get it.
It’s not as fun that way.
One’s cool and one’s virtual cool. And I mean that in the most literal sense: It’s almost cool. Downloading has really thinned the herd for record stores, so where are you gonna go now that’s cool? In that respect, Axl Rose was right: Where do we go now?

-- J. Bennett/Brand X