It’s Record Store Day. I’m not sure it’s celebrated in Iceland, but do you know what? It doesn’t matter. Reykjavík has one of the best record stores on the planet; 12 Tónar.
Here is an excerpt from Iceland, Defrosted about that very store:
‘Talking of record stores, next time you’re in Reykjavík, try to get yourself to 12 Tónar on Skólavörðustígur. It’s tiny, but it’s painted bright yellow, so you won’t miss it. It’s a great little place, and they run a record label too. It has become a meeting place for Icelandic musicians and music lovers. The complete opposite of chain-run record stores, and a survivor of the encroaching preference for digital music, it is a record store that is run exactly how record stores should be run world over. You are encouraged to take your time and browse. You can listen to anything that tickles your fancy on CD players that are scattered around, and the owners even provide you with free coffee. How lovely is that? I have spent far too many hours in the basement of that little shop, lounging on leather sofas, sipping coffee and playing new Icelandic music one CD after another.’
There’s another independent record store that appeals hugely to me. It’s a bit closer to home, and has links to Iceland, Defrosted. First off, it’s owned and managed by my old pal, Andy. Andy is responsible for introducing to many things during our time working together at HMV, including Sigur Rós. Andy appears in the book, a fact he is secretly proud of. Further more his record store (Left for Dead, Birmingham) sells Iceland, Defrosted, and finally, I can’t wait to share the Left for Dead ‘stage’ with Hafdís Huld on May 11th.
In any case, independent record stores (and book shops) need our support, rather than the faceless enormo-corporations that we sometimes turn to. Furthermore, they need support throughout the year, not just for a single day. I, for one, wouldn’t want to be without wonderful stores like 12 Tónar and Left for Dead.