Saturday, March 24, 2012

Record Store Day

 It's time once again for the annual celebration of the independent record store. Record Store Day started back in 2007 as way for independently owned and operated record stores to celebrate their love and passion for music and record collecting. The idea was for musicians, record store proprietors, music lovers and record collectors to all come together in a festive atmosphere for a day of live performances, special limited releases and meet-and-greet sessions. For decades the independent record store has served as the backbone for the music industry. But over the last 30 or so years, these outlets have seen their share of hardships. The advent of  CD's  was supposed to be the next great vestibule of retail hope for independent stores in their battle against the growing number of corporately owned record chains like Music Plus, Wherehouse Records, Tower Records, Peaches, Record Bar, Sam Goody's, Musicland and Camelot. But the digital based format upon which the CD's content is based, only manifested itself into something greater, eventually leading to the extinction of those "big box" corporate giants. At the same time this digital file format proliferated the biggest shift in musical distribution with birth of the file sharing innovator 'Napster'. Napster was fueled by the youth culture. Low income college students with no cash to buy CD's but equipped with a computer and an internet connection (funded by mommy and daddy for "study purposes"), were now able to digitize their existing music collections and share them with friends free of charge. Thus cutting out the middle man, record company  and ultimately the record retailer. Now we have MP3's, iPods, iPads, iTunes, computers and a variety of MP3 players, so convenient  access to the music we want is just a finger tip away. Through all this, the independent record retailer has survived. Maybe not all of them, but a lot have. 700 Stores world wide will participate in this years Record Store Day.

 Being an avid music lover, former record retailer and a record collector for even longer than I have been a better beer revolutionist, I could go on and on about trials an tribulations of the independent record store owner. So I will spare you the long diatribe and ask that if you love music, new independent artists and musicians and the 78, 45 & 33 1/3 RPM vinyl record, that on April 21st you visit your local independent record merchant, by a record, cd, dvd or book and support Record Store Day.  Cheers! 

For more information on Record Store Day a list of participating stores in your
area, limited releases and events  visit: Record Store Day 2012

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