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Watch Anthony Albanese Quote Grinderman, Tom Waits & Chuck Berry In Parliament

Written by Tom Williams on March 30, 2017

Federal Member for Grayndler, Anthony Albanese (aka DJ Albo), has used a parliamentary speech to promote Record Store Day 2017 while quoting the likes of music legends Grinderman, Tom Waits and the late Chuck Berry.

DJ Albo spoke in parliament on Tuesday, after he was announced as an official ambassador for Record Store Day 2017. Beginning his speech, he told parliament, “Saturday, 22nd April will see the celebration of the 10th international Record Store Day. This was established to highlight the cultural and economic importance of record stores in an era of online shopping, file sharing and downloads.”

DJ Albo then went on to read quotes from Chuck Berry, Grinderman, Tom Waits and novelist Nick Hornby about the importance of record stores, and even managed to squeeze in a reference to R.E.M..

“In 2017, you can download or stream the latest song by your favourite artist without leaving your lounge chair,” DJ Albo said.

“But you don’t get the experience of seeking it out in a record store, thereby opening yourself to a world of music you might never have heard. You do not hear that song on a full album with a collection of tracks chosen by the performer to be heard in a particular order. You don’t get to feel the CD or record in your hands, read the liner notes, admire the pictures and artwork.”

Watch his full speech to parliament below, alongside the full transcript.

Anthony Albanese ‘Record Store Day’ Parliamentary Speech (28/03/17)

Saturday, 22nd April will see the celebration of the 10th international Record Store Day. This was established to highlight the cultural and economic importance of record stores in an era of online shopping, file sharing and downloads.

In Australia, more than 180 independent record stores will mark the event with live music, DJ performances and other in-store activities, as well as fundraising for various charities.

We all know independent record stores are important in our communities as small businesses, generating economic activity and providing jobs, but the importance of independent record stores extends well beyond economics. It goes to our culture, to our lived experience and the way we understand and engage with the world. That’s because, in the words of the late, great Chuck Berry:

‘Music is an important part of our culture and record stores play a vital part in keeping the power of music alive.’

We’ve all spent time in record stores, maybe looking for something specific or maybe just thumbing through the racks, killing time. In 2017, you can download or stream the latest song by your favourite artist without leaving your lounge chair. But you don’t get the experience of seeking it out in a record store, thereby opening yourself to a world of music you might never have heard. You do not hear that song on a full album with a collection of tracks chosen by the performer to be heard in a particular order. You don’t get to feel the CD or record in your hands, read the liner notes, admire the pictures and artwork.

Grinderman, a side project of Australian singer Nick Cave, put this concept this way:

‘Do yourself a tremendous favour and go to a record store today. The relatively mild exertion of getting off your fat, computer-shackled [backside] and venturing out to find the object of your desire, the thrill of moving through actual space and time, through row upon row of records, and the tactile ecstasy of fondling the quested treasure — all this will augment and enrich the mental associations the music invokes in you for the rest of your life.’

The record store subculture is perfectly described in Nick Hornby’s awesome novel and subsequent film High Fidelity:

‘Record stores bring people together. Back in the late 1970s, two young men were browsing in a record store in the US state of Georgia and stopped to chat: Michael Stipe and budding guitarist Peter Buck, became friends and went on to form R.E.M.’

Independent record music stores are critical to the music industry and to our communities. You won’t find many recordings of local emerging bands in your cities in the big chain stores, but you will find them in independent record stores. I am proud to be an ambassador for Record Store Day on April 22.

As Tom Waits said of music stores:

‘Folks who work here are professors. Don’t replace all the knowers with guessers. Keep ’em open – they’re the ears of the town.’

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