Friday, April 17, 2009

Save Your Local Record Store

Growing up, I spent more time in record stores than virtually any other retail establishment. Heading to the mall? Straight to the record store. Looking for a late-night place to hang? The record store. Looking for something to do over the weekend? You get the idea.

It's still stunning to me how quickly the music retail space has disappeared. Tower Records, gone; Virgin Megastore, about the disappear. The Wherehouse? History. And L.A. indie music shops, like Aron's and Rhino? All gone.

Thankfully, a handful survive. Amoeba Records -- actually a relatively recent addition to the scene -- continues, as do other locals like Rockaway in Silver Lake.

I recently spent some time at Rockaway -- the first time in a while that I had a spare moment to go CD shopping. Once upon a time, I hit the music stores several times a week. But you get older. Your time becomes limited. And you miss out on joys like that.

So it was quite a treat last Friday when Evan and Maria both took a nap... and I found myself with some actual time to hit the store. It all came back to me -- that sense of discovery as you pursue through stacks; losing track of time as I painstakingly looked at track listings and covers.

I hate to think of a time when the record store completely disappears. So do the folks at the annual Record Store Day, which is taking place this weekend.

Record Store Day, which takes place this Saturday, April 18, is sponsored by the Music Monitor Network, the Coalition of Independent Music Stores (CIMS), Alliance of Independent Media Stores (AIMS) and Newbury and sponsored this year by NARM (National Association of Recording Merchandisers).


Premiere artists from practically every corner of the musical spectrum have chosen to celebrate with in-store signings and performances. Among them, the Eagles Of Death Metal, whose Jesse “Boots Electric” Hughes will play official Record Store Day Ambassador and who are slated for an in-store set at Rhino Records in Claremont, CA, releasing their acclaimed album Heart On on vinyl. The Breeders’ Kim and Kelly Deal will rock Shake It in Cincinnati, as will Chris Cornell and The Bad Plus at Electric Fetus in Minneapolis, Ra Ra Riot at Flat Black and Circular, East Lansing, MI (acoustic set), The Toadies at Silver Platters, Bellevue, WA, Scott Ian from Anthrax will make an appearance at Hollywood’s Amoeba Music, Manchester Orchestra at Criminal Records, Atlanta, GA, The Bouncing Souls at Generation Records, NYC and the fantastic list goes on. All confirmed in-stores are listed on

You may have also realized that Record Store Day falls smack in the middle of Coachella. The world-renowned music festival set to take place on April 17-19 in Indio, California, has chosen Record Store Day to run the event’s popular on-site record store, with management provided by popular Southwest-based indie retailer, Zia Record Exchange. The on-site Coachella store, previously operated by Virgin, is noted for its high profile foot traffic and good vibe and will host a number of in-store signings from various performing artists including, The Airborne Toxic Event, Noah And The Whale, Silversun Pickups, Franz Ferdinand, Steve Aoki, Electric Touch, Bob Mould, Booker T., Peter Bjorn & John, The Gaslight Anthem, The Kills, Amanda Palmer and others being confirmed all the time (Mastodon, Superchunk and Dhani Harrison being the most recent additions)

Good news for people who love to shop for CDs while suffering from heat stroke!

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