While a lot of local music fans might feel like "Record Store Day" is hardly worth celebrating in a year that saw the death of Atomic Records, there are still a handful of shops vending vinyl and CDs in town.
Among them is The Exclusive Company -- an independent Wisconsin chain -- with a location on Farwell and Brady managed by local musician Terry Hackbarth, who plays in The Nice Outfit.
Hackbarth and his store have created "Buzzcity," a 15-song sampler of some of the best original, home-grown Milwaukee music, to celebrate Record Store Day, Saturday, April 18.
Proceeds from the disc benefit WMSE 91.7.
Hackbarth says the CD grew out of a love for local music.
"(It's) basically to call attention to many things that are important to myself and the store," he says, listing, "record stores, records and CDs still exist, local music and support of college radio."
The disc is available for sale at The Exclusive Company and as an incentive to make a donation during the upcoming WMSE pledge drive.
Among the bands on the disc are Quinn Scharber & the ..., Heathrow, The Migty Deerlick, Invade Rome, Plexi 3, Pezzettino and The Candliers.
In addition to the CD, The Exclusive Company shops on the East Side and in the Greenfield Fashion Center will host performances by local musicians on Record Store Day.
All of the bands listed above are slated to play the Farwell Avenue shop, along with a host of others. White Wrench Conservatory, IfIHadAHiFi, 1956, Brief Candles and The Wildbirds are among the many bands announced for the Greenfield shop.
The first Record Store Day was celebrated nationally last year.
Hackbarth says that despite the closing of the long-lived and beloved Atomic Records, Record Store Day isn't already a thing of the past.
"I hope not ... this is only the second one. If anything, I think the downward spiral has somewhat leveled off and we are left with many passionate music fans that still like physical product to take home. I think getting more, younger people out is important for our future. Not many kids know the joy of countless hours spent combing through record bins and shooting the sh*it with the record store clerk, that you and I did."
And, he says, The Exclusive Company hasn't suffered like many retailers have lately.
"The Exclusive Company is in a pretty good place now and have weathered the storm many independent stores were unable to," he says.
"Despite the popular misconception, The Exclusive Company is about as independent as it gets. Even though we have multiple locations, each store is different in flavor and has their own buyers that reflect the community that each store is in. Our sales were actually up last year. It is sad though that East Side of Milwaukee could no longer sustain us and Atomic, though."
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.