Resurrecting Records

Local artists headline the annual Record Store Day Block Party at Hymie’s Vintage Records

by Joseph Kleinschmidt

What: Record Store Day Block Party

When: Saturday

Where: HymieâÄôs Vintage Records, 3820 E. Lake St., Minneapolis

Cost: Free

Inconspicuously located amid the Lake Street business district, HymieâÄôs Vintage Records houses a vast collection of LPs, well stocked to satisfy any polyvinyl chloride aficionado. Originally opened in the 1980s with James âÄúHymieâÄù Peterson and Kent Hazen at the helm, records continually find increasing relevance here, even within the digitally saturated music market today.

With the fourth annual Record Store Day at HymieâÄôs, the international celebration culminates in a daylong concert from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Saturday, supporting independent record stores across the nation. Local artists like garage rockers Is/Is, samba-soul Buffalo Moon and the bluesy Cadillac Kolstad will perform. In all, 12 bands are set to play on two different stages throughout the day.

Local labels like Moon Glyph have also spurred the growth and viability of records, pressing new albums for bands like Buffalo Moon, one of many bands directly involved with HymieâÄôs. It also reflects a trending resurgence of records in the Minneapolis music scene.

âÄúIn my immediate friends, it seems like CDs are out,âÄù Joel Schmitz, guitarist for Buffalo Moon, said. âÄúSeems like itâÄôs only downloads and vinyl.âÄù

As Dave Hoenack, current owner of HymieâÄôs, was forced to move the record store in the spring of last year due to flooding damage, members of Buffalo Moon helped move much of the equipment out of the old location. Schmitz and others gathered to support the new HymieâÄôs location and the huge library of records.

âÄúDigital media has become essentially worthless,âÄù Hoenack said. âÄúAfter the Mayan apocalypse, you can still play 78s on a wind-up player.âÄù

While Hoenack acknowledges any forthcoming day of reckoning may not be worrisome, he explains the vinyl movement in terms of the CDâÄôs increasing triviality. New pressings of records even come with free digital downloads of the songs in addition to the physical album.

Even the Library of Congress still catalogs current music through traditional means of recording, vintage 78-rpm records. For Hoenack and many others, the permanence and tangibility of records signify continued life among listeners. Even with the resurgence of cassette tapes among local labels, 78s will undoubtedly continue to be appreciated.

Technological advances in music may have made listening to music increasingly alienating, but purists at HymieâÄôs seek a communal setting in purchasing albums. Neighborhood businesses and other artists all support the eventâÄôs mission as well. Vinyl Afterlife, a group of artists committed to reusing old and broken records, as well as paintersâÄô collective Rogue Citizen will attend the block party.

Hoenack sought to organize another local event to bolster pride in independent music events, first inspired by the West Bank Bedlam TheatreâÄôs community approach to music and plays

Following BedlamâÄôs closure, Hoenack and his wife decided to raise expectations for Record Store Day, as a result of the outpouring of positive energy from the community he witnessed.

âÄúThere arenâÄôt enough big events,âÄù said Hoenack. âÄúAnd a lot of them turn into these things that become corporate monoliths.âÄù

HymieâÄôs, the absolute antithesis of the corporate world, sets out to make the event family friendly, free and fun. Influenced by birthday parties of a friend, Hoenack even promises a giant inflatable castle for the celebration. Unlike that particular party, no Dead Kennedys cover band is set to play (yet).

In support of one of the best record stores in the country, local businesses and patrons continue to ensure the success of places like HymieâÄôs.

More importantly, these people contribute in ways Hoenack cannot. âÄúI could not afford to do it, but Mike Fratallone, who owns the FratalloneâÄôs Ace Hardware across the street, is graciously renting the giant inflatable castle.âÄù