BY: SUZEL GONZALEZ
In a world where purchasing a favorite song or album is just a few clicks of the mouse away, there can be a tendency to forget the more tangible music purchasing alternatives. For most music listeners CDs and records are now a thing of the past and with that consumer shift independent record stores that survive off of those sales are now struggling to stay in business. This may not seem like much of a loss to those who see online music shopping as a cheaper, efficient and much more convenient alternative to the record store, but it is important remember that a few elements of music have been put aside for those who shop online. Things like record art and liner notes are the most visible components that are absent from online music shopping, but there are so many more, less visible, aspects that are also lost. The atmosphere of surrounding oneself with music and searching for that perfect album is fading. As is the excitement of purchasing, holding and perhaps even smelling the physical album.
Yes, of course there are people that are fanatically loyal to their local record store and they are primarily the reason that not all record stores have gone extinct. But this small group of people still hanging on to music’s past is not enough to keep these stores around. These stores are slowly vanishing, disappearing right before the world’s eyes and the generations to come are likely to never have the opportunity to step foot into a record store.
However since 2008 there is a new ray of hope in the form of Record Store Day. This annual event, which occurs the third Saturday of April, is a collaboration between the music world and local independent record stores to save the atmosphere and arts that revolve around music.
Record Store Day gives people an incentive to want to get off the couch and experience an older, wonderful way to obtain music. Many artists in the United States and various countries across the globe help bring people into stores by releasing exclusive Record Store Day vinyl, CDs, and various other promotional products. As if that was not incentive enough, festivities for the day often include special in store appearances and performances from artists, cook-outs, parades, DJs and much more. Some independent record stores like Long Beach’s own Fingerprints have taken this one day event a step further and have extended it to a whole month.
April 20th is the official date of this year’s Record Store Day. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to participate and support independent record stores and perhaps some favorite artists. For more information about exclusive items, events, locations and performances for Record Store Day 2013 visit the website.