Appleton’s Exclusive Company celebrates National Record Store Day with Cory Chisel

Tom Pilcher

Appleton’s independent record
store, The Exclusive Company,
took part in a national celebration
of independently owned record
stores everywhere last Saturday,
March 17, dubbed “Record Store
Day.” Besides the slew of new, limited-
edition vinyl and CDs released
in celebration of the day, the highlight
of the day was an in-store
performance from rising indie/
folk star and Appleton native Cory
In the scheme of things, Record
Store Day hasn’t been around long
– the creators only came up with
the idea in 2007, and the first
actual celebration happened April
19, 2008. However, the positive
reception of the day has been massive,
and now, every third Saturday
in April, independent stores across
the country celebrate with huge
discounts, free gifts and in-store
With countless other ways to
get music, be it from huge corporate
stores like Best Buy or Borders
or Internet outlets like iTunes
or Amazon, Record Store Day is
special because it celebrates the
stores that carry more than “Top
40″ releases, that hire employees
because of their knowledge and
love for music and that create a
real sense of community because
they aren’t owned by an out-ofstate
By clicking over to Record Store
Day’s website, one truly gets a
sense of the event’s scale: one page
features quotes from artists ranging
from Paul McCartney and Bruce
Springsteen to Colin Meloy and
Neko Case about the importance
of independently owned stores in
their lives and why Record Store
Day is such a great way to celebrate
these stores.
Walking down the crowded
aisles of The Exclusive Company
last weekend also helped reinforce
how important Record Store
Day is to bands of all sizes. Rock
superstar band Weezer released a
special version of its new album,
and indie stalwarts R.E.M. even
released a previously out-of-print
EP in celebration of the day.
Besides these huge names,
numerous other bands including
Ted Leo & the Pharmacists,
Bon Iver, Sharon Jones & the Dap-
Kings, Yeasayer and Buddy Guy
graced the new releases section of
The Exclusive Company.
Though I ended up buying
Modest Mouse’s “The Moon and
Antarctica” and Ted Leo’s new 7″,
I was really looking for a limited
edition vinyl copy of The Hold
Steady’s newest album “Heaven
is Whenever.” The album doesn’t
come out until next month, but
they released 600 hand-numbered
vinyl copies for Record Store Day.
However, the real highlight of
the day was an in-store performance
by Cory Chisel, who said
he had already been back to the
store three times that day to buy
records. This was my second time
seeing Chisel perform, the first
being last term at UW-Madison
with his full band. His solo acoustic
set far surpassed my expectations
for the performance.
Maybe it was because it was
a hometown show in the record
store where he bought his first
CDs, maybe it was because I was
unwittingly standing right next to
his mom and the rest of his family
from Appleton or maybe it
was because of a little girl that
Cory knew who danced next to
him while he played, but whatever
it was, I couldn’t stop smiling
throughout the entire set.
Chisel didn’t hit a wrong note
the whole time, and he sounded
strong and confident throughout
his set of songs culled largely from
his 2009 release, “Death Won’t
Send a Letter.” However, the true
power of his performance came
in the way that it united the various
elements of Record Store Day.
Listening to Chisel play in the
store where he bought “the first
records that got [him] in trouble,”
surrounded by family, friends and
music lovers young and old was
truly a special experience, and
it reinforced Record Store Day’s
emphasis on community.
So, do yourself a favor and buy
your next record at The Exclusive
Company, located at 770 W.
Northland Ave., Appleton, a mere
ten-minute drive from campus.
And if you want to hear Chisel
play, his next performance will
be Friday May 7 in the Chapel.
More information and tickets can
be found at http://www.corychisel.