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Apr 17 / Elizabeth DiNovella

Record Store Day

Poster at MadCity Music X

April 18 marks Record Store Day. I’m looking forward to strolling down to MadCity Music Exchange, my local independent record store. Dave Zero, owner of MadCity, is planning on giving away lots of free stuff—CDs, vinyl—and I’m guessing some local musicians will play in the store, too.

Record Store Day is happening allover. Hundreds of independently-owned music stores are celebrating their unique place in our communities.

There is a certain beauty to the local music store. It supports local artists and local artists supports it. But what I like most is that Dave Zero always steers me in the right direction. “Have you checked out this Sharon Jones album?” he asked me last year. I hadn’t. When I got home, I played it over and over and over.

MySpace has made tons of music available online, but it’s overwhelming for me. Yes, bloggers can make recommendations. Or even dig out long lost vinyl LPs. That’s not my style though. I’d rather drop by MadCity and see what Dave suggests.

I love the physicality of a record store. It’s a place where dozens of genres share the same space. I can buy Pavarotti’s arias and ?uestlove’s beats. Record stores—the good ones at least—contain multitudes.

Record stores are a place of discovery. I make a point of checking out local music stores (or shacks) when I’m traveling. And I’ll never forget album shopping in Venice Beach. I found London Calling by The Clash and Horses by Patti Smith. Even though it was the 1990s, the music sounded fresh to me.

Finding music is part of growing up. I realized this a few days ago when my fifteen-year-old niece came to visit. She had fun looking around MadCity Music Exchange. I bought her PJ Harvey’s Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea. (And I sent her home with a copy of London Calling.)

I could’ve sent her the MP3, but I took her to the record store instead. “Record stores keep the human social contact alive. It brings people together,” says Ziggy Marley. “Without the independent record stores the community breaks down with everyone sitting in front of their computers.”

So on Saturday, turn off the computer and walk or bike down to your nearest record store. They’ll been giving away cool, exclusive releases made especially for Record Store Day. You might find something new.

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