So, you’re kind of losing your mind. Each day of quarantine you’ve attempted to use that new meditation app that everyone’s been talking about, bountiful banana breads and other sweets have been baked, and grocery stores are still low on toilet paper. What can keep you sane during this strange time we’re all living in?
One beautiful thing about this halt in normality is that musicians, record stores, and record labels have banded together to shout from the screens of cell phones and laptops, “MUSIC ISN’T DEAD!” The hashtag, #musiclives is trending on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok. It seems that every day, artists are creating new songs, curating quarantine-themed playlists, live-streaming shows, and holding digital music festivals. Just this past weekend on April 19th, Lady Gaga curated a massive live-streamed concert produced by Global Citizen called,“One World: Together At Home” that has been touted as the largest gathering of major artists since 1985’s “Live Aid”.
On April 16th, Burger Records released an epic 7-volume digital series, QUARANTUNES which features over 140 different artists with all songs written and recorded over the past few weeks in quarantine. In fact, three Ship To Shore artists, Candy John, John Brennan, and Stella Emmett have released new work for this compilation (find Candy John on Volume 4, John Brennan on Volume 5, and Stella Emmett on Volume 6). Listen to'QUARANTUNES' now on BANDCAMP.
PSST… Keep an eye out for Ship To Shore curated digital playlists in the upcoming weeks!
What about physical media you say? It is indeed a hard time for record stores. Although music lovers will disagree, running a record shop is not considered an “essential” job in many places at this point in the pandemic.
Fortunately, there are still plenty of great record stores still shipping out vinyl, cassettes and other analogue lovin’ goods. Here are some of our favorites:
Light In The Attic Records from Seattle, Washington boasts a simple mission:put out great music, wherever it may be found, however it may sound. LITA is still shipping out orders with free domestic (USA) shipping over $75 and 20% off storewide, excluding recent releases.Visit their site here for more information.
Blackscreen Records is a record label based in Cologne, Germany that focuses on high quality vinyl releases of video game soundtracks. Black Screen is still accepting orders on their online store, though shipping may be slightly delayed and may take up to 2 weeks. Due to restrictions of their carriers DHL and Deutsche Post, they’ll be holding shipments to the following countries until further notice: Australia, Canada, China, Japan, New Zealand, USA and more. Visit their site here for more information.
Debug Recordsspecializes in video game tracks and covers on vinyl. Debug isexpected to begin shipping recordsin Mid to Late-April and ask customers to allow flexibility with shipping estimates.Visit their site here for more information.
Yetee Records publishes video game soundtracks and collaborates with VGM adjacent musicians to publish vinyl records, cassette tapes, flexi-discs and more! Yetee is still shipping off orders but note that shipping could be delayed in the future. They’ve adapted their operations to safeguard their staff and customers with workplace social distancing, extra disinfecting of stations, and have placed mandatory work-from-home restrictions on some of their staff.Visit their site here for more information.
Fangamer is a small video game merchandise company based in Tucson, Arizona with one goal: to celebrate their favorite games with products they actually want to own. Fangamer is still fulfilling orders and has taken many precautions such as only allowingtwo people to work in their mailroom at a time to pack and ship orders.Visit their site here for more information.
14 Records is all killer, no filler! Though this highly curated shop based in Dallas, Texas with 5000+ near mint LPs has closed its doors due to mandatory government orders, owner Bucks Burnett is personally shipping custom orders through a text-based want list via 214-790-5991.Follow Bucks here for more information.
Although the music industry has no doubt been devastated by this crisis, we must remember that music has survived MANY pandemics dating as far back as the Plague of Justinian from the Byzantine Empire. So, turn on that live-stream, listen to that quarantine compilation and if you have the means, support the artists and record stores you love in any way you possibly can. Together, we’ll keep music alive!
- Aimee Kuge