Record Store Day Cometh

I know it’s over a month until Record Store Day descends from on high and graces us with all the exclusive ear candy we can handle. But since the list has been officially posted, I can’t help but write about. Whether you’re wanting a classic reissue, a contemporary rarity, or a first ever on vinyl release, Record Store Day has some wax for you.

But that’s not what I’m writing about today. I want to write about the event, the coming into the store and experiencing the analog warmth that the record loving community has. And the bands that will be playing. Mostly I want to write about the bands. This year, Mills Record Company will be hosting 20+ bands on two stages in the new building. From electronic pop to hip hop, from experimental drones to METAL, from industrial to surf rock, every genre Kansas City has to offer will be represented. Over the next month, I’m going to post previews of the bands and all the exciting stuff that will be happening on April 16th.

El Rey-Tones will be playing. The band is truly a Kansas City treasure. Their psychedelic surf rock is warm and inviting. With melodies that stay stuck in your head for days, El Rey-Tones writes songs that are simultaneously saccharine and taut. Listening to the band’s music is like time-tripping back to the tube-warmed 60s. El Rey-Tones takes the best parts of 60s psy-pop and refines it. Surfy without trying, catchy without being cloying, the quartet makes music that is perfect for the stage. No matter what the band plays, their fuzzed over riffs will create the perfect atmosphere for Record Store Day.

Youth Pool will also be playing. The quartet is one of my favorites. Sounding like a more immediate Wild Nothing or Ariel Pink’s Haunted Grafiti, Youth Pool makes music that is heady without trying and visceral with an acute self-awareness. Under their gauzy leads and riffs, a driving rhythm section keeps things balanced. Not too slow and not too quick, Youth Pool finds the sweet spot that makes music simultaneously upbeat and melancholy. Combining their ability to craft brilliant songs with a stage show that is energetic and fun, the band is a force all Kansas Citians should know.

Another musician I’m incredibly excited about is Aaron Alexander. The young rapper blends jazz and hip hop that is as ¬†fresh as it is traditional. The Kansas City rhyme-smith has a confidence on mic that is infectious. Even as he backflips through his lyrical gymnastics, Aaron Alexander has a presence that not only sets him apart from his peers but gives an energy to his stage performance. Aaron Alexander’s flows mix the viscerality of Lil Wayne, Kendrick Lamar, and The Roots with a self-reflexivity that is hard to create in any genre. The combination makes his music incredibly intense.

These three acts will be joined by so many more. Whether you come for Record Store Day exclusives or free performances by some of the most exciting emerging and established local musicians or both, Mills Record Company’s Record Store Day event will be a party of the year.

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