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The Record Store Day

Q: What's this Record Store Day thing we keep hearing about?

A: That would be one of the greatest days of the year, dear reader. Well, it is to me. Dunno if I mentioned this at any point in the past year or not, but I'm kind of a big music nerd, and that nerdroticism extends to and beyond vinyl, though the vinyl adoration is a substantially significant part of that. I'm not so much a collector as I am an audiophile (I care less about limited editions and more about which ones just sound the best), though I do have a sweet spot for alternatively colored pressings.

But I digress. For those of us in love with vinyl records, Record Store Day - which comes once a year, in the spring - might as well be one of the primary holidays, right up there with Halloween & Christmas. It's a blissful celebration of all things records, observed by record shops all around the world with live music performances, special album releases, raffles, listening parties, and so on. So, how and when did this become a thing?

Per, "Record Store Day was conceived in 2007 at a gathering of independent record store owners and employees as a way to celebrate and spread the word about the unique culture surrounding nearly 1400 independently owned record stores in the US and thousands of similar stores internationally." So, not only it just a ton of fun for people who appreciate music, but participating in the festivities by visiting your local record shops helps to support local businesses. This means you're not just indulging in auditory delights, but you're doing something great for the community! How altruistic!

If you'll allow me a slight detour here, I think it's worth touching on a question lots of people have surrounding vinyl records and their recent resurgence in the marketplace. After all, it wasn't too long ago that CD's ruled the music media roost, at least in terms of physical media ('member the days before iPods and Spotify?), and the popularity of vinyl record albums had faded to virtually nothing 2 whole media generations prior, just before cassettes (not to mention the blip that was the 8-track).

So, what the hell happened? Why the flip? Well, the answer to that can vary depending on who you ask, but the main reasons seem to come down to the character of the audio and the packaging. Throw in some nostalgia for a bygone era, and you have all the ingredients you need for this kind of thing to happen. You'll note, though, that I refer to the character of the audio format, as opposed to audio quality. That's because quality can be measured in different ways, while character is more specific and, in my opinion, more accurately addresses the variance.

Vinyl records are an analog format and sound warmer, whereas CD's are obviously digital and tend to offer more consistent clarity without the need for quite as much upkeep. Personally, I love both but have come to favor vinyl. To nutshell it, the sound of a quality vinyl record just caresses my ears in a way that melts my butter, and what more could an audiophile ask for?

Congratulations, you now know all you need to be prepped and ready for Record Store Day 2025! Wondering why in the blue hell I waited until after Record Store Day 2024 (which was just last weekend) to write this? Blame the publisher. That's right. I didn't get this question from her until midday today, so any complaints you might have can be directed straight to her. Sorry, boss lady, but you've gotta stay on top of these things.


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