A quick heads-up to all my wonderful readers out there: next Saturday, April 21st is Record Store Day, a day dedicated – as the name should make clear – to supporting record stores throughout the world.
(A few essential notes on terminology: a “record” is a group of songs performed by an artist(s) and traditionally recorded on some form of tangible material, such as a vinyl album, a tape cassette, a CD, and – if any have actually survived being dropped once – an 8-track; a “store” is a physical space made out of and cordoned off from other physical spaces by some physical material(s), rhapsodically called brick-and-mortar, inside of which wares, such as “records,” traditionally have been sold.)
If you’ve ever been in a record store you know what sort of person hangs out in such places: there’s the general population looking for general stuff, sure, but you’re always guaranteed that there’ll be an underbelly of artists, generally musicians though all types are to be found, who will be drawn to some oddball Swedish psychedelic banjo recordings and who will hopefully interact with those sounds, apply them to their own craft, and use them as a basis for making new sounds, their own sounds, which you and I will hopefully someday enjoy. Ergo, why we support Record Store Day
I know it could be easy to view this day as nothing more than avaricious commercialism attempting to cloak its shameful head under some nostalgic, kitschy or “buy-local” garb. That very well may be, but on this one I’m not only putting aside my usual disdain for BUY BUY BUY, but I’m going one further and actually encouraging you, dear reader, to take this day for what it is: a chance to support local providers of music. If that involves buying something—great; if all you do is stop in, listen to some tunes and flip through some stacks—great also.
I know it’s an increasingly digital world and in some ways we’re all watching the dinosaurs gasp their last breaths after the meteorites have hit; I really hope I’m not coming off as a Luddite (I do love my iPod). Still, if you’re like me and enjoy having some material object in your hand (or on your turntable), then be cool and go on down to your local store and check out the shelves.
As an added bonus—April 21st is also my birthday, and if you’re hip enough to get yourself into a record store on that day, then why not make things really great and pick something up for me???
(Check out this link for more information about Record Store Day, including special releases and how to find the nearest participating store.)