Mark your calendars music lovers! Record Store Day returns on April 20th for its seventh year. The concept was founded in 2007 as a celebration of the unique culture surrounding over 700 independently owned record stores in the USA, and hundreds of similar stores internationally.
Select artists are set to make apperances at record stores around the US. On Record Store Day in 2009, I met rock band Shinedown at J&R Music World in NY. I'll never forget the moment I got to give lead singer Brent Smith a huge thank you for all he's done for me. Events like these are chances for us fans to say what we need to say to the voices that help us get through another day with their music.
This year's Record Store Day has bands excited as well. Garbage took some time out of their busy touring schedule to make a video talking about what Record Store Day means to them in honor of the big day!
The band also plans to release a special limited edition 10" vinyl of Patti Smith's "Because The Night" with former tourmates the Screaming Females. The 10" will also include a remix and a Garbage b-side.
When asked about the importance of Record Store Day, singer Shirley Manson stated:
"Someone wanted to know, someone asked the question: Why is Record Store Day so important?
Well, there are a myriad of reasons why RSD is important, not just to me as a musician but as a member of a society that is becoming increasingly more regulated and homogenized to within an inch of our lives.
Are we, such wild creatures as we are, soon to be forced into such uniform lives that we all eat the same things, listen to the same things, read the same things, think and do the same things? Or do we fight to hold on to our individuality, our identity, our independent spirits, thoughts and ideas?
RSD champions the idea of small business versus the sprawling corporate beast that invades every corner of our towns, our cities and our countries around the world. It celebrates the notion that music is precious and sacred and still of worth even though it may fail to "research" well or accrue large amounts of radio "spins".
It dares to suggest that music can and will engender excitement, passion and salvation despite never being attached to an international brand or a globally recognized pop star known only by their first name.
It's a day that honours the mystery, the romance and the dying art of record making. A day that celebrates the notion that something as seemingly insignificant as a song or a piece of music can stand up against something very big and powerful. And it promotes the belief that time spent exploring a small, lovingly curated record store, discovering artists, music and ideas can arm you against anything that ever threatens to overwhelm or engulf you.
In a world like ours, where we live increasingly isolated lives behind the lonely glow of our computer screens, RSD reminds us all that an independent record store is worth protecting and fighting for. They are a haven and a harbour for all curious and wandering souls.
We need them. Let's love them. And keep them."
On April 20th, support your local record store and buy independent! Ignore iTunes and anything digital for one day and get back to your original roots. Record stores are far and few these days and we need to keep the spirit of physical copies of music alive.