Tomorrow is Record Store Day, a special occasion to celebrate local record shops, and the seemingly Teflon vinyl format.
There’s a lot of noise about why vinyl is still en vogue, whether it is the undying physicality of the medium – those liner notes and photographs, the human need to hold a piece of the artist or admire a collection in totality, the uncompressed purity and fidelity of raw analogue sound, or just the intrinsic visual and aural artistry of dropping needle onto a wax cylinder.
The record store is no different. For a long time, it enjoyed an unparalleled reputation as a defining temple of cool, a vast library of street credibility spilling over with crucial music you had never heard, and couldn’t afford, or had heard and couldn’t afford to live without. People of all types flocked there to learn and discern, to hear music, and talk about music, and buy music. Like the beloved video rental shops of days gone by, recently the Record Store has taken on an almost ethereal place in the hearts and minds of many, and that is why Record Store Day is so essential.
In honor of Record Store Day, here are a few nostalgic TV spots from beloved Record Store chains no longer with us.
Discus, Music World, A&A, Sam The Record Man, Tower, Cheapies, Flipside: How many people found the vinyls or cassettes or CDs that soundtracked their lives there?
Peter Dunn’s Vinyl Museum was a true Toronto oddity, a place full of the most incredible selection of wax, but also dotted with bizarre paraphernalia, including records covered in bible verse (apparently these were the ones Peter did not like). Sadly it was closed in the late 1990s, but to this day you can still find many records with Peter Dunn Vinyl Museum slip covers floating around good thrift stores.
Speaking of thrift stores, the granddaddy of great record shopping and more important amazing discoveries, to this day, remains Goodwill. As Macklemore gnomically states, “one man’s trash that’s another man’s come up”:
While for many the idea of music existing as a physical object has been abandoned, and a fully digital musical caboodle selected and downloaded from a virtual store has been cheerfully embraced, it is encouraging to see the interest in Record Store Day. And as the digital waves break, so will follow the analogue undertow.
Happy Record Store Day!