Today is Record Store Day, as is every third saturday of April. Today, we celebrate (independent) record stores, which, let’s face it, are still awesome.
While I recognize the fact that CDs and vinyl are ofter available cheaper online—for me, nothing beats walking into an record store, browse around a bit, and walk out with some new music. Instant gratification.
And yes, I know, digital music, mp3 and the like, that’s even easier and cheaper still when you just download what you want. But years ago I’ve come to realize that I want the whole experience. Some files on a hard drive mean nothing to me. There’s things I downloaded months ago because I wanted to check ’em out, which I still haven’t listened to. But that Daniël Lohues record I bought in the best record store in town? — Which isn’t a big deal when you’re only opposition is a Free Record Store, but I digress — well, I played that to bits. After I digitalized it myself. I’m weird like that.
In the village where I grew up—back in the day, when record players were still a common part of your stereo installation and the internet was a thing of the future—there were no record stores. The two nearest towns each had a few, but it wasn’t until I discovered the crummy little stores, tucked away in odd corners, often just beyond the main shopping sections that I realized how great they can be. There I found things that I read about in OOR’s Pop Encyclopedia but I never thought I’d find. Like Meat Loaf’s infamous Motown soul record, Stoney & Meatloaf. In those kind of shops the seed for my collection was laid. (I dread the day I have to haul all those CDs and LPs to a new apartment. And then there’s books. I’m just old-fashioned, I guess.)
So, if you got some time today, go to your favorite record store and give the people there a big hug, buy some stuff, and then go home and enjoy the music.
Update: Just got back from Velvet Amersfoort. In the twelve years I visit the store, I don’t think I’ve never seen as many people in there as today. I was told that this morning when Spinvis played his instore, people had to stand outside in the street. I would’ve been there but wasn’t, as I had to wait on a delivery. I did get to see The Voice of Holland’s Erwin Nyhoff and Tommy Ebbens and one of the Small Town Villains, which I need to check out some more.
- Seen live
- Tommy Ebben & Matthijs Barnhoorn + Erwin Nyhoff, instore at Velvet Amersfoort, on Record Store Day april 21st, 2012