Record store day
Record Store Day is the 3rd Saturday of every April. Spread the record store love xxx
Just like the giant pandas and the baleen whales, it appeared that independently owned record shops were an endangered breed – but they’re making a strong comeback!
The people who work in record shops are living, breathing Spotify playlist grand viziers, full of new music recommendations they just know you’re going to love. The record shops are filled with warmth, love for the music and (sometimes, if you’re lucky) a gorgeously musty smell, even if it’s just in one spot near the back.
As Amanda Palmer says, “you can’t get that feeling sitting behind your computer, ever”.
Whilst the pandas and whales have countless organisations doing their bit to save them, who is campaigning for the indie stores? Well, the people behind Record Store Day are!
The original idea came from a guy called Chris Brown (no, not that Chris Brown), and Record Store Day was founded in 2007 by a group of people in an attempt to “show respect for the music that you’ve dedicated your careers and lives to, and help it from becoming nothing more than disposable digital data” (so says Jack White).
The aim of Record Store Day – which always takes place on the third Saturday every April – is to bring all independent record shops together to celebrate a strong love of music, especially in its physical form. There are often special releases and meet-and-greets with artists, and other events such as parades and musical barbecues. Try to imagine your dream party and it’ll be probably be happening in one of the several hundred record stores that take part. The Record Store Day website always has a list of participating stores, and offers and promotions to make you want more.
Follow #RecordStoreDay on Twitter for more info.
I am a particular supporter of this special day since one of my favourite record stores, the fantastically named Criminal Records, had to be closed down a few years ago. This was the shop where I bought my first Dresden Dolls album, my first Polyphonic Spree album – the records that I couldn’t find in HMV and were to turn my life upside-down.
Nothing beats browsing real, physical records in a real, physical shop. Admiring the artwork you hold in front of you for the first time, running your finger down the back cover examining the track listing, breathing in that new record smell (or is that just what I do?) – it’s all part of the music buying experience. You can’t get that from a couple of clicks on iTunes.
And what about the challenge of finding that dream song? It’s so easy to download tracks now, the thrill of finding the record you’ve been after for ages has been lost. Do you know how long it took me to track down a copy of Grandmaster Gareth’s ‘Party Sounds’? Yes, I could have downloaded it in less than five minutes. But I just didn’t wanna.
To quote Spoon from the credits of their latest album: “BUYING RECORDS IN RECORD STORES IS COOL”.
Oh yeah, and you can’t make a sleeveface without a record…