We Got The Beats Record Store will press an actual record in the store on April 18th as part of the worldwide annual Record Store Day celebration – and you could be on it!
One of the special limited releases coming out this year for RSD is a 7-inch picture disc featuring a-ha’s iconic ’80s hit “Take On Me.” So, We Got The Beats is holding an “a-ha-off.” Visit the store any day between now and RSD and audition by singing a portion of “Take On Me” (to include the high note!) A video of your audition will be posted online, and people will vote for three finalists. Each finalist will automatically win the limited RSD a-ha record, and will be entered into the finals to take place at 6 p.m. at the store on April 18.
At the finals, every singer or band may perform a portion of either the original version or a new interpretation of the song, and audience applause will determine the winner, who will then immediately record their version onto a 7-inch record in the store, with everyone else in the room also appearing on the record as “the audience.” The winner gets to keep that record, and a copy will be made to hang in the store.
We Got The Beats is the only LGBT-owned, operated, and focused record and CD store in the area, now in its fifth year after a major expansion, located at 5130 N. Federal Hwy in Fort Lauderdale.
Record Store Day is a worldwide annual event, now in its ninth year, widely credited with helping spur the recent vinyl revival. Each year, about 400 limited edition special releases come out and are only distributed through independent record stores. This year’s releases include a Bee Gees extended version record and a long out of print Joan Rivers CD. There is a full list at recordstoreday.com.
I talked with We Got the Beats store owner Anthony Cicalese about their fifth anniversary, the store’s expansion and the special contest in honor of World Record Day.
Congratulations on your anniversary! Why do you think your store appeals to the community the way it does?
Very often, the music that we hold in high regard is very often marginalized by mainstream or independent kinds of stores. That’s been my experience and that’s been a lot of people’s experiences. So people come in to the store, and they ask for Whitney Houston, and they are expecting us not to have any of her albums, or maybe one…we have the whole gamut. I can tell you about Whitney Houston, and Donna Summer, and Junior Vasquez’s step-by-step arena anthem remix. I can tell you all about these artists because I was there, and I love them. There’s a big value in presenting the store in that way.
Tell us about the store and its expansion.
We’re not your daddy’s record store. Many mom-and-pop record stores start out with the vantage points of The Beatles and Pearl Jam and fan out from there. We start from the vantage points of Donna Summer and Mariah Carey. For the first four years, we didn’t even have a rock department. It’s the direct opposite of what I was used to seeing in record stores. So in my store, I wanted to give people like me who like dance music and R&B and similar styles a priority. Once you enter the store there is a big disco section. I’ve always loved disco. We also have an ’80s section. The people who love those genres of music love our store because we don’t marginalize and ridicule those people for enjoying their favorite music. As a kid, I know I felt that way. Here, it’s a safe space, free from judgment.
Why do you feel it’s important to participate in Record Store Day?
It’s been, in my opinion, at least partially responsible for the vinyl revival, which is undeniable. If you look up the statistics, sales of CDs and mp3s are down but vinyls are up 30% year to year. CDs are outselling vinyls by a long shot when you’re looking at the big picture, but in the local stores, tons more vinyls are being sold over CDs. Record Store Day is bringing vinyls back into the mainstream.