Saturday, April 18, 2009

Record Store Day

Just wanted to put a reminder out there that today is the second annual Record Store Day! Over a thousand independent record retailers across America and in 17 other countries have joined together today to celebrate, many featuring discounts and live music.

A lot of us remember having a favorite record store back when we were younger, a place to hear cool new sounds, get the latest music news and recommendations from the clerks who seemed hip to almost everything, and hang out with folks who were into the music just like you were. Independent stores have been on the decline over the last decade - the music industry has been in a long-term slump, and the current generation of listeners get more and more of their music from internet downloads. Over 2000 independent stores continue to hang in there, though, and many of them are thriving as music fans continue to find that such stores provide a wide selection and an community experience that just can't be found online or at a big-box retailer.

Today would be an excellent day to check out one of the independent record stores in your area. The Record Store Day website has a list of participating stores throughout the country, with descriptions of the special events many are featuring. As with books, I feel that there will always be recorded music in some physical form, whether it's vinyl, CD's or some other configuration. In many cases the sound quality is superior to that of downloads; also there's that unique feeling of something tangible, something that you can hold in your hand and say it's yours.