Why Record Stores (and Record Store Day) Matters

posted by Tom on November 22, 2012 at 1:13 pm
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This year’s Record Store Day coincides with Black Friday, the mostly incomprehensible superstorm of shopping that follows Thanksgiving.

It’s the right time of year for the event, which is marked by limited-edition releases and live performances. Because there’s nothing like walking into a record store to trigger feelings of deep gratitude for the musical bounty that we have at our fingertips (and, alas, can sometimes take for granted) every day.

The event prompts an annual ritual of hand-writing and opinion-slinging about the importance of record stores. Here's my two centavos:

Record stores matter for the same reason great radio matters: Because regardless of how well informed you are or how many coolhunters you follow on the Internet, there’s nothing like the experience of encountering unfamiliar music that you didn’t seek out or ask for. In public. Amongst people with big ears and crazy tastes who are, like you, in search of the next obsession. In a makeshift shrine that holds sounds you know by heart and sounds from faraway galaxies. Go there not just to buy your wifty aunt the new James Taylor, but to come face to face with the astonishing and the innocent. Go there to be yanked away from the acts that have been pre-approved by the members of your tribe. Go to be challenged. And uplifted.

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Comments:

#1 from philstutt, Agonda, Goa -on holiday, smirk - 12/12/2012 7:27

It is depressing that anyone has to write an article like this.  Of course record stores matter.when I was younger, in the 60s, I lived in the local record shop on Saturdays .I must admit that I have succumbed to internet buying these days, but I still feel guilty.  On the other hand coming across a good second hand record store when in a new town is just so wonderful.

Great site by the way.

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