Today is Record Store Day, which was created three years ago to celebrate the unique culture surrounding the independent record store—with parties, cook-outs, special vinyl releases, and events with artists throughout the United States and around the world.
Although the overwhelming majority of my music library exists within my computer, I still buy at least three or four vinyl records a month. I cherish the experience of walking into the store, making small-talk with the owner, and flipping through the rows of records before making up my mind. There's something incredibly satisfying about removing the shrink wrap and diving into the liner notes; what surpasses that pleasure is that first crackle of the needle as it drops onto the vinyl and into its grooves.
Here are a few choice quotes from some high profile fans of Record Store Day.
Now I'm feeling eager to trot down to Echo Park's Origami Records and start exploring. Find a participating record store near you, here.
The cool record store. It is where you can talk to people who are like you. They look like you, think like you and, most tellingly like the same music as you—the only comparable experience these days would probably be an art museum—an actual place where you can stand and simply be surrounded by your heroes.
—Wayne Coyne, The Flaming Lips
I have watched independent record stores evaporate all over America and Europe. That's why I go into as many as I can and buy records whenever possible. If we lose the independent record store, we lose big. Every time you buy your records at one of these places, it's a blow to the empire.
Yes, yes, I know. It's easier to download music, and probably cheaper. But what's playing on your favourite download store when you walk into it? Nothing, that's what. Who are you going to meet in there? Nobody. Where are the notice boards offering flatshares and vacant slots in bands destined for superstardom? Who's going to tell you to stop listening to that and start listening to this? Go ahead and save yourself a couple of quid. The saving will cost you a career, a set of cool friends, musical taste and, eventually, your soul. Record stores can't save your life. But they can give you a better one.
—Nick Hornby, author of High Fidelity