Record Store Day!

17 Apr

As many of you may know, today was the third annual Record Store Day.  A celebration of indie record stores everywhere and the vital role they play in the spread of both good tunes and good cheer as well as a show of appreciation for their place within the community.  For most music lovers, the record stores of our youth continue to hold a special place in our hearts.  For me Albums on the Hill, a small shop near the college campus of my hometown of Boulder, Colorado, will forever be “my store.”  The owner Andy, saw my love of music and would set me up with a pair of headphones and a rare recording or a band he thought I should hear and and was quick to put in a special order if my musical fascinations went outside the inventory of his small shop.  Shy teenager that I was I was rarely spotted around town without my heaphones on, yet everytime I walked into Andy’s shop I would dutifully pause my music and remove the apparatus from my ears, a humble sign of respect and a willingness to hear what was already playing in that musty basement.

Growing up in Boulder, a fiercely independent town, there were numerous record stores, headshops and local hangouts like coffee shops.  I think the word plethora would in fact be an accurate description.  But by the time I graduated high school there list was shrinking drastically, and today – of all those great record stores I would run off to after school – only Albums on the Hill remains. Every time I go back I get worried it’ll be the last time I get to visit that shop.

Here in NYC, I went to Generation Records, a smallish shop on thompson street with a penchant for hardcore and wonderfully snobby clerks, the store was packed as I had never seen it before.  It was a pretty great feeling.  Beer was served in plastic cups, a rotating lineup of bands were playing downstairs and it was nearly impossible to move around.  I managed to get away with a small but mighty haul of vinyl that I am currently in the process of listening to.

If you missed this day of thanks don’t fret.  The record stores participating this year will (almost) all be open tomorrow, and I would highly encourage a visit to them while you still can.  The world of digital music is not one to fear, but we would be remiss if we lost these amazing places of community and discovery.

Happy Record Store Day!

My picks of the day in case you’re curious, were:

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