Friday, April 16, 2010

Hey Audiophiles -- Record Store Day April 17th

The third annual Record Store Day will celebrate independent stores across the country with appearances by bands, new releases and deals to be had at your local audiophile hangout. Them Cooked Vulture's Josh Homme is serving as the official Ambassador with a band issued special 10" vinyl record full of unreleased music. I'm more excited about getting my hands on a new Blur song after seven years to honor the day. Over 150 special releases are expected-- from Damon Albarn's other band The Gorillaz, to LCD Soundsystem, Muse, Modest Mouse, The Flaming Lips, Bruce Springsteen, The Rolling Stones and even John Lennon. Plus, there are scheduled appearances by The Smashing Pumpkins, Alice in Chains and others listed on the website

Call me old fashioned, but I still like to buy CDs. And waiting three days for Amazon or some other online source to deliver them to my doorstep just doesn't cut it. Going into a store, you have the opportunity to browse through other bands and pick up a compilation or new band you wouldn't otherwise. My husband works in NYC right by where the Virgin Megastore used to be downtown and I would always stop there on a visit to see him. I could also easily give him a list of things to pick up like he was stopping by a grocery store on his way home. I'd grab at the purchases like a kid with candy, unwrapping them eagerly to pour over the album art, lyrics and liner notes.

I have shopped Johnny's in Darien, CT over the years but when I called for a latest release recently the five copies were already out the door before I could get there. However going there is always a treat, especially when John Konrad is there you can leisurely talk music and listen to recommendations -- I was introduced to my fav band Spoon thanks to him. I just found out about Sally's in Westport by Googling record stores in the area. Sally White has been in business 25 years and took my name, noting what I was looking for even though I didn't find it (another new release sold out). But she promises to call me when the next item on my list comes in, priceless.

Buying songs online is one thing but when purchasing an entire CD it leaves me wanting. It may be economic and even ecologically correct with no packaging involved but I feel like I'm missing something. When I'm listening to a new release I have to keep glancing at my computer or ipod to see what track is playing. Also, having a CD in your hand takes me back to listening to vinyl and perusing a record cover as it spins, a handy a point of reference. And it's so easy to throw a CD in your car's stereo system and go, no wires needed to plug in and find a playlist off an ipod. Actually, my favorite way to listen to a CD for the first time is in the car (when I'm not driving of course) so I can read along with the lyrics. There's just something about music filling up a car as it's traveling that brings sweet bliss. Music can go anywhere with you now, just be sure to visit your local record store for your fill now and then.