As you scour your local record stores for your wish list favorites during tomorrow’s Record Store Day, keep your eyes peeled for a 12” bright purple vinyl. It’s KEXP’s first-ever offering for Record Store Day, a collaboration with Seattle-based label Sub Pop Records and local hip-hop group Shabazz Palaces, limited to only 2,000 copies.
Back in June 2011, Shabazz Palaces stopped by KEXP’s studios for a jaw-dropping performance (check out the video above). Kevin Cole, one of KEXP’s hosts, had the idea to release the performance as a single for Record Store Day. “It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for years,” says Cole. From Record Store Day’s inception five years ago, Cole thought participating would be a great fit for the station. “It just made sense for us, as our mission is to enrich people’s lives by championing music discovery and helping people discover new music.”
KEXP, formerly public radio station KCMU, is celebrating its fortieth anniversary this year and is deeply embedded in the local community. “We’re a public radio station, we create all this content, but we’re part of an ecosystem of this music culture that needs to support each other,” says Cole. When picking a label for a Record Store Day collaboration, Cole says that the choice to keep it local was easy. “Anything we can do to help independent record stores is good for the artists and its good for the labels, and it really helps to cultivate a vibrant music scene,” he says.
Photo by Dave Lichterman.