KNAC.com is reporting that April 19, 2008 will be celebrated as Record Store Day, to honor the independently ownedÂ record stores across the land – an endangered species, unfortunately.Â Supposedly there will beÂ special events at participating stores etc. – you can read the full article HERE
Now if I can wax poetic a moment, I recall with fond memories the independent stores I knew and loved growing up;Â The Headquarters in New Carlisle, Ohio -Â Dingleberries & Renaissance Records (RIP) inÂ DaytonÂ -Â LMG, Von’sÂ and JL Records in West Lafayette, Indiana – Magnolia Thunderpussy, Used Kids, Ace in the HoleÂ & The Record ConnectionÂ in Columbus and the mighty Amoeba records that I wandered through in San Fran a few years back.Â If you’re lucky enough to live near an Amoeba records, you’re lucky indeed.
There was always some ‘dude’ who hung out in these stores – wasn’t on the payroll – hell, probably wasn’t on ANY payroll anywhere, who’d start up a conversation with you and next thing you know you’d lost an hour talking about Slayer or White Zombie or what an asshole such and such a singer was.Â And this ‘dude’ always had an albumÂ he said you should hear, or some band to come check out at [INSERT SHITHOLE HERE] on a Tuesday night.Â Usually you were suspicious that he mainly was looking toÂ bum a beerÂ – and maybe some smokes.
Still, the incense laden air of these places, the funky black light posters, the wall of t-shirts, the unbelievably weird jewelry and most of all, the thumping blast of some strange band you’ve never heard before coming across the speakers from every direction.Â Aaah, it was like. . . heaven.
You never knew what you would find, or as I see it, what would find YOU.Â Some of my favorite albums, and even CD’s, were not the purchases I went to the store to get.Â Instead, I impulse bought.Â Â Not the same experience on Amazon.Â
And it’s not the same in the clinically anti-bacterial Best Buy or Target or GOD FORBID – Wal-Mart.Â Those places are more like charnel houses of Pop, shrines to marketing and dumping grounds for the drivel that comes out of your radio.Â Â
The Independent store isÂ possibly an experience my kids may not get to have – and certainly a faint dream that their kids ever would.Â Ongoing technology has it’s victims, and I’m still a big fan of what the digital world can bring us.Â It only saddens me that this common meeting place, where you could find and converse withÂ fans like yourself – people with similar interests & attitudes, has been replaced by chat rooms, message boardsÂ and yes, blogs.Â And instead of finding some rare ‘treasure’ buried deep in the bins in aÂ dark backroom – you’re the one buried as you’re trampled in the aisles of Brand X cd’s (and washers, and TV’s, and feminine hygiene products etc.).Â You getÂ boxed-inÂ by rack upon rack (or page upon page in I-tunes) of uninspired, cookie cutter bands-du-jour while only seeking something with heart, something worth actually hearing.Â Â Something YOU could tell people to go out and listen to.
Hey, come to think of it, I guess that sorta makes me the modern day equivalent of that ‘dude’.Â