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Plight of Indie Record Stores Explored in New Documentary

last shop standing, record store day 2013

As Record Store Day (April 20) gets closer, exclusive releases are being teased. Now, the organizers behind the annual analog holiday have announced their pick for the Official Film of Record Store Day 2013: Last Shop Standing – the Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of the Independent Record Shop.

Directed by Pip Piper and based on Graham Johnson’s book of the same name, Last Shop Standing tracks (as its title suggests) the feast and fallow years of independent record stores (primarily in the U.K.), as well as “the influence of the chart, the underhand deals, the demise of vinyl, and rise of the CD,” according to a press release.

Last Shop Standing is a great window into the minds of record store people and artists who share a passion for music,” Michael Kurtz, the newly knighted co-founder of Record Store Day, said in a statement. “It’s just plain cool and anyone who supports record stores, or worked in a record store, or supports their local record store, will really enjoy it. Record Store Day is proud to make it our official film for 2013.”

The documentary features talking head segments from more than 20 shop owners, several music industry leaders, and a number of musicians, including Johnny Marr, Billy Bragg, Paul Weller, Richard Hawley, and more. Up top is the movie’s trailer, which packs in cameos from all of the aforementioned artists as they wax nostalgic about a time before mp3s and streaming services. The preview also sneaks in a few dispiriting facts — in the 1980s, there were more than 2,200 independent record shops in the U.K., but by 2009 there were only 269 stores left.

Last Shop Standing has been screening in the U.K. for the last four months, and this spring the doc will make its U.S. debut. The week before Record Store Day, participating stores across the country will offer screenings of Last Shop Standing in their communities. Then, on April 20, a deluxe edition of the film, stuffed with 20 minutes of extras and outtakes, will be available on DVD.

Last Shop Standing is more than just a film about collecting records,” Johnny Marr said in a statement. “It’s about passions, and people caring about what they love. It is a story about records, and some other very important things.” Well said.