Not to critique the official Record Store Day, which I believe in and think is a fine DIY (though clearly some corporate blood money has been laundered through it, but that’s show biz!) movement. I became a man (OK, a elitist snot) in independent record stores. Starting in my gauzy youth at Earport in Fairfield where I purchased my first LP with my own money (‘The Grand Illusion’ by Styx. I was young.) I would go through the endless used LP’s looking at the covers, the titles, the artists, all while heady music played above me and cheap incense filled my virgin senses with images of rolling vans of rockers heading toward the sea shore: abandoned beaches white with frost.
I would judge records by there covers, as is the way of youth. It brought me to my first real Band love, Mott The Hoople via ‘Mott Live’ with its immensely creepy marionettes clapping and big ass H guitar that Ian worked in those glammy days. I saw the cover and it connected synapse in me from horror movies to ghost stories to comic books to the just sprouting seeds of raw lust. It was e;electric and almost instantaneous. I understood not the future, but the steps into a possible future.
Then it was Secret Sounds, Platters Plus, Brass City Records. Pilgrimages each. And multitudes of them. My tastes subtly change and I find myself shopping in sections I had never considered before. I started in Hard Rock but then Metal. Then folk. Blues. Hardcore. Punk. New Wave. And into the genre non specific place I come from now. Little treasure await those who go looking. That’s not only the larger idea of life, but the smaller concept of why records matter.
Records aren’t just history. The right records record YOUR history. Your first. Your worst purchase. Your best friends record that will always bring you back to them, whether they exist on this plane any longer or not. The first record you dedicated to a lover. The last record you ever need hear again.
Record are photos we were to distracted to take, to joyous to require, to sad to bother.
So I put forth this: Every Day Is Record Store Day.
You don’t need a logo to know where to go. The opportunities are all around you. Everybody is selling units. Your friends and their friends. Your town and city. Your state and the neighboring states. Amazon. Bandcamp.
Everyday you reach out beyond your collection to find some new shade to add is Record Store Day. Every time you hear something stream and write it down…or buy it immediately…is Record Store Day. Every Spotify playlist is a path to a larger purchase. Not financially, of course: Spotify is the devil. But you invest your time in something someone else took their time to make.
You need music. If you don’t, this is the wrong blog. Cause your author needs music.
We need not live out our best years nostalgic for the cheap vinyl bins of history. Everything you want (with the exception of Van Morrison) awaits you. And if your on a fence about a record, go on YouTube.
This blog is a celebration of a feeling. Its Tuesday and today the new Mountain Goats record is released. It’s awaiting me in my download folder, seductive, cruel, but deeply desired.
Today is my Record Store Day. And it’s yours too. If you want it.