Tech & Interactive
I’m in Amoeba Records off of Sunset boulevard in Los Angeles, running my hands along the wise, graying liver spots of a record cover that is older than I am. The letters are worn; the album has forgotten its full name. I take it home and sit by its side, waiting for its black ridges to tell me the stories they need to.
I’m in a small town in Wisconsin as I move across the country into a new adult life; one eye on the bulging Penske and one on a copy of Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill. I rub the technicolor case against my thumbs as if it’s a lamp, as if suddenly, 1995 will reappear; I’ll be standing at my 6th grade locker, innocent and invincible again.
I’m in my father’s basement after a 2011 flood streaked Joni’s blue face with new tears. I mourn the rippled, pixelated icon, transferring it like a transplanted heart into a clean bin.
I buy music on itunes almost every single day. I love the convenience, and I love being able to lust / attain immediately. Streaming and downloads are the future of the music industry, undoubtedly. Most people are too busy to tolerate the unknown of investing in an album or band they haven’t previewed in some fashion.
To all of you who still believe in the mystery, the little guy, the underdog, the feel and smell of a paper sleeve, the sound of dragging your nail across the binding ridges of a new CD, the electric snicker of a worn needle: I applaud you. Please don’t change, or at least not too quickly.
And, if I may, I’d like to task you with occasionally pulling a friend or two to your local, independent record store. Just force them to have one grand, happy experience. (Saturday, April 21st, aka Record Store Day is a great day to get kickin’ on this.)
If you don’t know where to find a local record store, you can use the handy new app by The Vinyl District. With an expanding worldwide database formed via music enthusiasts, user submissions, etc., this free app (iPhone and Android) uses a geo-location system to find the nearest record store and guide you to it. Also via the app, you can check in, share purchases on FB / Twitter, and participate in discussion boards to interact with other music lovers.
And, if you care, do your part to make sure this list is up to date. If your favorite local store isn’t mentioned, you can email its name, address and website to email@example.com to see it added! Find out more and download the app here.
Lastly, if you have a great, personal story about a local record store, please post it below! I’d love to gather these stories together to do some type of series surrounding Record Store Day!