God bless Record Store Day

Today is Record Store Day.

It’s a marketing gimmick meant to get people to buy music at real stores instead of just downloading it from iTunes — in part by offering special releases on vinyl.

Vinyl is what hipsters call records, and some of them swear that despite the pops and skips and scratches that it sounds a lot better, a lot warmer, than CDs, and don’t get them started on how much better vinyl sounds than MP3s.

Record Store Day, then, isn’t meant for people like me.

I don’t have a record player. My taste in music is all over the board — I like everything from classic country to vintage soul to Sinatra and Thievery Corporation — but I don’t think my tastes are better than yours. I think CDs are better than vinyl, and while I can tell the difference between the sound of a CD and an MP3, I don’t think it matters.

I’m still a sucker for used record stores, but as soon as I get a CD, usually I rip it and treat the CD itself as a backup.

But I still like Record Store Day.

I like the idea of small businesses getting together and doing something to fight back against big chain stores and technology.

Too many people just lap up whatever pap is placed before them, so I like knowing that people still care about something, whether it’s vinyl records or the music that’s embedded on that vinyl.

So, Record Store Day isn’t for people like me. God bless it, anyway.

20 thoughts on “God bless Record Store Day

  1. My husband has some sort of magic process for converting records into a digital format. He has enjoyed capturing his vinyl past, and still shops for records now and then.

    1. I still have a lot of vinyl records, and I thought about getting one of those turntables that helps you convert them to MP3s, but, honestly, most of those records, I wouldn’t listen to now, anyway.

  2. Are there still record stores about?? I do have a 1950’s RCA Victor cabinet style record player radio combo and I love it. I got some old vinyl of Cuban cocktail music and for me, it’s a bit like cooking from scratch (no pun intended) vs. eating take out. But I am not a purist. I drive a Toyota Prius hybrid car and I suppose that is a reflection of my approach to technology. . . I like the old mixed with the new. Perhaps record store day will disappear with the generation that remembers the unveiling of MTV.

    1. I love Cuban music, too, but, honestly, don’t you hate getting up and flipping the record over after 5 songs, and doesn’t it bother you that every time you play one of those old records, every time the needle rides one of those jagged grooves around the disc, you’re scraping a little of the sound away?

      P.S. Is MTV still on?

  3. Never heard of it.

    I worked in a record shop around age 20. I still have a record player from an old component system in like new condition, can’t recall if I used it at all. I’d moved my collection over to CD at the time when I got it. Why get one? I still *had* albums then, even if in storage. It’s in the attic space above the tack room in the new barn. Maybe if the mice haven’t got in it, it’ll be worth something as a museum piece one day.

    Prolly not!

      1. Vinyl’s actually been the one aspect of the music industry that’s been gaining shares in recent years. A lot of people prefer vinyl now not for snobby “it sounds better” reasons, but because it brings back some ceremony to the music. With iTunes and mp3 shuffles having now made the “album,” as a collection of songs, dead, vinyl causes people to sit and listen to music. Listening to music becomes an event, rather than just being background noise.

  4. According to my brief research MTV existed from 1981 to 2010 when it was rebranded. I detest cable and haven’t had it for 10 years so I am not conversant in the latest programming. The only time playing records was a problem for me was when my children were little as their dancing caused unpleasant skipping. 🙂

  5. I still have a box of vinyl in our closet although we no longer have a turntable to play them on.

    I like the fact that I don’t have to turn a CD over to play more songs.

    When the kids move out this summer so is the cable. We just don’t have the time either and why pay for something that I hardly ever use.

  6. There is stuff in those local record places that will never see shelf space in places like Barnes and Noble.

    I hope those local and used places will always be around.

    And here is the part where I say something that undoes the last sentence – have you looked at swap a cd? I have been finding some really good stuff there.

    1. I agree. I love record stores, especially used record stores, but my favorite one closed a few months ago. The last time I went there, I was one of the youngest guys in the room.

  7. I too have a big box of vinyl in the closet, and a turntable in the attic. Can’t bear to part with either, but never seem to get them out to play. Some day after I’m dead our kids will be clearing out the house and say “what’s this stuff?”

    1. My 11-year-old has already asked me that question, but she was talking about all my CDs, and she’s right. They do take up a lot of space, and it is a hassle to get up and pop in a new one every 70 minutes. (Man, I’ve gotten lazy!)

  8. I still have my albums, but haven’t heard them for a while (and you’re right…many of them I probably wouldn’t listen to now!). When Jim and I moved in together 2 1/2 years ago, I brought my turntable with me, but he already had one, so mine never got hooked up! I still don’t know how to use his massive stereo system…sigh…

    I make do with playing CDs on my computer with its crappy little speakers…


    1. Usually, I don’t listen to CDs or even MP3s. I just use Pandora. It’s useless if you’re looking for a specific song, but if you’re looking for music to play while you work or do stuff around the house, you can’t beat it.

  9. I don’t buy any vinyl anymore either- and rarely full albums even, itunes has just allowed me to disvocer so much more music, however I have developed some sort of musical ADD I suppose…you don’t get a whole arc, a story of an album like you did in the old days…however, I think it is very important to support the mom and pop stores… so yeah, I support Record Store Day and usually venture out to a few to check out a few bands and the vibe etc.

    1. Thanks for coming by, I Made You a Mixtape! I’m the same way when it comes to listening to an album from start to finish, but albums that hang together from start to finish are rare. Used to, you’d get an album, and there’d be 2 or 3 great songs, 2 or 3 OK songs and a lot of filler. So, maybe, just maybe, the digital marketplace will create an incentive for artists to stop wasting time on filler. OK, probably not, but wouldn’t that be great?

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