Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Asheville record store celebrates anniversary with 3-day festival

Asheville's Harvest Records celebrates its ten year anniversary with Transfigurations II - a three day multi-venue festival featuring the Clean, Mudhoney, Lee Fields & the Expressions and others August 28, 29 and 30. Ten years may not seem like a long time, but today record stores are like celebrity marriages. Too few- even longstanding ones - survive.

When I started college my only career goal was to work at a record store and write about music (check). I worked at two Charlotte stores (four if you count all of our locations) throughout the nineties. Our stores struggled with the rise of big box media giants like Best Buy and Media Play, who have since either collapsed or reduced the sale of music due to digital distribution. Asheville's Harvest Records opened in 2004 and has thrived as part of the city's arts community selling used and new CDs and vinyl much like Charlotte's only surviving record stores Lunchbox and Manifest (the latter is now owned by the FYE chain).

So a decade is in fact a big deal. Hence three days of great national and regional acts. Thursday and Friday the store sponsors individual shows at area venues and Saturday is the full outdoor festival. Thursday the Grey Eagle hosts the Sadies, Sonny & the Sunsets, and EDJ while Pete Swanson, Container, Profligate, and Bitchin Bajas play the Mothlight. Individual tickets are $15-$18 and $12-$15, respectively.

Mudhoney and Axxa/Abraxas headline Grey Eagle Friday ($20-$25). Moon Duo, Disappears, and Nest Egg are stationed at the Mothlight ($15-$18).

Saturday's lineup includes 18 bands performing on three stages at Blannahassett Island in Marshall. Tickets are $45-$60. Acts are the Clean, Lee Fields & the Expressions, Michael Hurley, Reigning Sound, Angel Olsen, Mount Eerie, Endless Boogie, Steve Gunn, Little Wings, Bassholes, Hiss Golden Messenger, Kevin Morby, Quilt, William Tyler, Sir Richard Bishop, Fountainsun, Wooden Wand, and Dylan Golden Aycock. Set times are TBA. Tickets can be purchased here. Learn more about Harvest and the festival here.