By KEN KOLASINSKI
So did you get out there and do your part to keep vinyl alive?
For the uninitiated Saturday was Record Store Day, which has quickly become an event that seems to rejuvenate not just interest in buying music, but just interest in music in general.
Each year more artists get involved and each year what each artist will released garners more publicity.
Judging by the record store Liam and I paid a visit to Saturday morning, this was another successful installment on a near perfect morning. The past few years I had to settle for sifting through the aftermath of the initial sales explosion after doors first opened due to commitments to Liam’s early soccer career, but this year we got a taste of the good-natured frenzy.
The thing that pleased me most, compared to the last time I was there for a Record Store Day opening — and I ranted about it in this column — was that I didn’t see anyone scooping up vinyl solely for the purpose of turning around to resell it somewhere else.
I saw nothing but that delight you see on a music collector’s face when they’ve come up with a good find. I saw people showing each other what they’d found, excitedly pointing something out on the back of a record cover.
And I saw plenty of patient girlfriends and boyfriends, along for the ride, indulging their partner’s hobby and holding a growing stack of items.
What did I get?
There wasn’t really anything released this year that grabbed my attention or demanded to be added to my collection. I think what brought me to the store this year was the same thing that’s compelled me to go in year’s past.
Yeah, you can always go to a record store, even if the numbers are dwindling, but for one day there’s this celebratory feeling, this camaraderie in the aisle and excitement in the air. Your average day in a record store doesn’t usually involve small groups of people lingering after their purchases, discussing what they purchased and talking music.
I hate to sound like that cranky old man who is constantly saying “In my day…!!!” but there’s also that throwback feel to when I first started buying albums and how I would get into conversations with the people who worked in long gone record stores with names I can’t recall, but can remember clearly what musicians and LPs were discussed.
I’ve lamented it here plenty of times. I don’t care how many recommendations iTunes or Amazon gives me, there’s nothing like someone in a record store sharing with you a little of the music that inspires them. There’s nothing like wandering the aisles and taking in the visuals of album covers, the experience of interacting with the physical instead of just clicking on things on a screen.
Liam’s not quite sure what to make of the whole thing. He understands what records are in a sense, I’ve showed him the whole turntable stereo set up. But the whole excitement and frenetic energy is a little harder for him to grasp. He always looks like he’s searching for the cause of all the commotion without eve finding anything.
Even if he doesn’t fully understand what the excursion means to me, he does make the most of it, pointing out some of the faces he recognizes on album and single covers for me and offering me potential purchases because they look “cool.”
Hey, even if it’s just for one day, it’s fun to experience how “cool” it is to be in a vibrant record store.
Even if I didn’t buy anything.
Ken Kolasinski is a regular contributor to Ticket.