A day set aside to celebrate those bastions of good music, free thinking, old school traditions and snarky, know it all record store clerks!
As a former snarky, know it all record store clerk, I cannot stress enough how important this day is to our very way of life! Maybe I'm stuck in the dark ages and indeed, record stores are going away, but I LOVE walking into a record store. No matter what town, what state, you're bound to find something awesome, something bizarre and something a little bit of both. I guarantee it.
And they're getting hard to find. Like an endangered species, record stores are being forced into extinction by digital media and big conglomerates. Even the bands themselves, those who owe their very existence to these little shops are making exclusive deals with places like Wal-Mart and Target.
Forget that noise. Who can walk into a friggin Wal-Mart and find a new artist they love playing over the intercom and commiserate with a fellow shopper over the crappiness of the newest (Your second favorite band here) album. In my experience, all you leave with when you shop at Wal-Mart is a few more grey hairs a weird funk from that other shopper and the newest Hannah Montana CD.
I had planned this to be a really heartfelt plea to support your local businesses, both music and book stores, because they really are something special, but I'm a little frazzled tonight and it will likely look very rambling come morning. So instead, I'll just tell you about two awesome record stores that are still going strong and could use your patronage.
Rockin' Rudy's in Missoula Montana.
This is a record store that, at times, makes you forget it's a record store. Whether by design or for survival, they've managed to morph into a store so full of unique and amazing gifts, both gorgeous and kitschy that I know people that shop there regularly that don't own a CD player. They're fiercely independent and know how to become a bastion of super cool in a town that's already pretty damn cool.
Budget Tapes and Records in Pocatello, Idaho.
This is the store. The one that made my collection of music balloon to the thousands, that introduced me to hundreds of awesome little bands. Lined in wood that still hold the smells of the incense burned throughout its 25+ years of existence, this little shop has CDs, DVDs, audio equipment, gifts... It's pretty damn sweet. My father in law, a crazy hippie and very cool guy has run it since the beginning and though times have gotten hard, he still loves that place, adding services like film to DVD transfers and A/V supplies in an attempt to keep the shop breathing. I hope he does. It's one of the few left, and it's special.
And I'm not just saying that because I met my wife thanks to that store.
So please, pull aside twenty bucks on Saturday and search out that little hole in the wall record shop in your town and support them. They should be doing some sorts of specials that day. I know Budget has everything 25% off and is featuring Record Day exclusives from bands.
Let's keep the music playing.
I sent off my first query letter tonight. Hence the frazzlement.