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Worship some vinyl
April 19, 2008 5:58 PM   Subscribe

Today is Record Store Day!
What is it about music? It is Love and Passion channeled through a medium that cuts across and through actual definition straight to your soul whether you love Blues, Reggae, Country, Punk Rock, or Quawwali music, your favorite artists take you places you could otherwise never go - and that place is often a place of love and inspiration. - Marc Weinstein

Watch videos and read quotes about RSD from tons of artists, or find a record store near you and go flip through some crates tonight.
posted by carsonb (38 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
what's a record?

/just kidding
posted by HuronBob at 6:05 PM on April 19, 2008


sifting through racks at an indie record shop > clicking iTMS/Amazon links or scrolling through torrent sites or whatever > being totally ignored by employees at chain music stores
posted by Mikey-San at 6:10 PM on April 19, 2008


I thought today was national hang out day. So I had my sheets in the wind, I didn't realize I was supposed to be two sheets to the wind hanging out in a record store.
posted by humanfont at 6:14 PM on April 19, 2008


What a great way to announce to the world that you're on your last legs!
posted by Captaintripps at 6:19 PM on April 19, 2008


I almost forgot:

Damn the man, save the Empire!

I totally wanted to be Lucas when I was in high school.
posted by Mikey-San at 6:19 PM on April 19, 2008


Got a fat bag of sampler CDs from Milwaukee's Atomic Records that look to have at least a couple tracks worthwhile; the free PBR station was not yet assembled when I visited. I'm not sure which would have been worth more, the can of PBR or the swag bag.

Still, a good day to be at a local record store.
posted by pokermonk at 6:23 PM on April 19, 2008


The official Record Store Day 12" vinyl includes such hip acts as John Mayer, P.O.D. and Run-D.M.C. Meanwhile, the CD samplers include labels like Asthmatic Kitty, Matador and Sub Pop (that particular one includes a birthday card that you are asked to fill out and send back to Sub Pop in honor of their 20 years.) So, that's kinda funny.
posted by pokermonk at 6:29 PM on April 19, 2008


Record Store Reviews.
posted by dobbs at 6:29 PM on April 19, 2008


Well, I missed it, I guess, but here's a belated shout-out to stores like Twist and Shout here in Denver where I've been buying records and CDs for thirty years.

I'm of the get-off-my lawn generation, I guess. When I was 15, when I was 25, I listened to music nonstop: LPs.

I spent many years playing live music.

Now, at 55, I buy CDs. Not many. I bought a lot ten years ago. I listen to music closely, at home, and have little interest in building up an iTunes library. I have plenty of music in my life, live and recorded.

But, yeah, the 20th Century music scene was built on the Record Store. Props to y'all. I remember trudging through the slush to buy my first record: I Want To Hold Your Hand. And even before buying it, I was consumer-cynical enough (at 11) to be surprised that they would put their number two hit (I Saw Her Standing There) on the B side. I had thought they would issue their two #1 hits on two 45's with throwaway hits on the B sides.

Anyway, the story about the demise of the record store has been with us for years; the demise of the newspaper has been more recent. Although I will be reading newspapers with coffee and CD's till I die, my daughter (just 16) will most definitely not be living that relaxed lifestyle. Of course, being relaxed is more of a 55-year old concept than a 16-yr. old concept.

Praise libraries, bookstores, and record stores. Notwithstanding the tenuousness of their future, they have been responsible for the explosion of literary and musical intelligence in the last hundred years: don't be too quick to dismiss them to the dustbin.
posted by kozad at 6:32 PM on April 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


Punk ain't no religious cult
Punk means thinking for yourself
You ain't hardcore when you spike your hair
If a jock still lives inside your head

My favorite vinyl.
posted by Huck500 at 7:05 PM on April 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


I have great memories of spending hours and hours in a great indie record store (which I would link to, if they had a fucking website. Jesus Christ, Jimmy. It's 2008). Jimmy's place is still in business, and I was in there a few weeks ago.

But its purpose, and what kept it in business, was that it was a locus for local musicians, scenesters, suburban-wanna-bes, and all the druggy detritus that was the local music scene Back In The Day.

Now, I'm not sure how relevant that is.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 7:23 PM on April 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


sifting through racks at an indie record shop

What's so great about sifting through records? All you can do is buy the ones with the cool covers... it's a singularly uninformative experience.
posted by smackfu at 7:31 PM on April 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


I feel so ancient when I discuss buing CDs with peopel who no longer do it, which is just about everyone these days. Like my dad... he's all about rhapsody or napster or something like that.
posted by Artw at 8:04 PM on April 19, 2008


Dog bite
On my leg
Not right
Supposed to beg
Dog bite
On my leg
Not right
Supposed to beg
Daily to the filling station
Underwater navigation


Running out of shelf space for the vinyl- two crates of recent acquisitions sitting on my studio floor waiting to be sorted. At some point it's more of an illness than a hobby.
posted by squalor at 8:08 PM on April 19, 2008


I'm not going into the esoteric vinyl realm:

But: if you love just a few artists; you are old school. Like: in the old days: there would just be a few masters your would adore. You would buy their records. A good business model, a good model for music distribution.

Whatsamatta with that?
posted by kozad at 9:02 PM on April 19, 2008


I went and picked up Rain Dogs today, which I have been meaning to do for a while. They had some balloons out but I missed the swag.

I own a video rental store, so, you know, the feeling of spiralling toward obsolescence is familiar to me; I kind of have to support them.
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 9:06 PM on April 19, 2008


I don't think we'll see the complete death of the record store any time soon. Big box music departments, yes.

Wired ran a pretty good article a while back about how vinyl will be the final nail in the coffin of cds, and I agree with the idea. There will always be a market (however small compared to digital) for people who want a high-quality physical copy, and vinyl is the clear format choice for that.
posted by Roman Graves at 9:07 PM on April 19, 2008


I don't get it. What's the big deal about vinyl?
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:16 PM on April 19, 2008


I don't think we'll see the complete death of the record store any time soon.

I think it'll follow exactly the fate of the independent bookstore. The vast majority of those closed. Those that were able to survive grew stronger, by virtue of great locations, building stronger community relations, providing more services/experiences, offering top-notch, knowledgeable service, and engaging in cooperative branding and marketing efforts (Booksense) kind of like what Record Store Day is doing. The few record stores that do survive will be the amazing exceptions, and people will make their pilgramages.

The record store I grew up with is doing a land-office business, but is probably going to close this year. Not because they aren't doing well (they are) but because the owners are getting older and want to retire, and no one wants to take over a low-margin business with an uncertain future, and the building they own has grown far more valuable than the sale of the business and building together. Factors other than digitization, such as gentrification, have been important in the demise of the record store, too.
posted by Miko at 9:21 PM on April 19, 2008


I like the idea of vinyl killing the CD. And after that 78rpm wax pressings will come back and kill off the vinyl. And once that's done we'll all switch over to phonograph cylinders, and eventually we'll end up all standing around the piano singing Daft Punk hits.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 9:28 PM on April 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


I Need That Record! trailer
posted by carsonb at 9:29 PM on April 19, 2008


Here in the Niagara Falls, Ontario area, we once had Poptones - a very cool shop run by an extremely laid-back, dreadlocked guy with great taste (yo, Frank). Incense always burning, a black cat sleeping on the counter next to the register, and bins and bins of lovely vinyl.

T'was no Psychic TV or zoviet-france down at the mall.
posted by davebush at 9:39 PM on April 19, 2008


I don't get it. What's the big deal about vinyl?

/Puts down book, takes off reading spectacles, puts little Pope Guilty on his knee and says:

Son, when I was your age, I cleaned the stems and seeds outta my pot on my copy of Allman Brothers Band at Fillmore East. Now you can try doing that with your iPod, but lemme tell you something: ain't gonna work. Now you just run along now, and go download something.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:03 PM on April 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


I guess today would be a good day, then, to watch High Fidelity, an entertaining little flick.

So go ahead, put on some old sad bastard music, see if I care....
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:10 PM on April 19, 2008


I stopped by my local record store this afternoon to hang out for a bit - and although there was some hanging out going on, there was no actual commerce.
I wish I had the resources to purchase CD's I don't really need, just to keep one of my favorite places open.
posted by readery at 10:13 PM on April 19, 2008


After making that High Fidelity link, I started nosing around, and this deleted scene is fun.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:29 PM on April 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


And tangentially may I propose that instead of talking about "albums" or "CDs" or "mp3s", we start talking about records again?

"Record" is short for "recording" and so encompasses all formats. Note also that it applies equally well to single songs as to sets of songs.

"Hey, I saw Band XYZ and they played their new record."

"I just downloaded the new Radiohead record."

"At Cool Record Store, I bought a great old Ella Fitzgerald record."

It works, people. Get on board.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 11:02 PM on April 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


I just ripped a record from this record -it's record quality!
posted by Artw at 11:29 PM on April 19, 2008


now why does National Hangout Day have to be Apr. 19th?
Can't we just combine it with 4/20 - y'know, to conserve productivity?
posted by mannequito at 12:49 AM on April 20, 2008


I don't get it. What's the big deal about vinyl?

I'm not an audiophile, so don't expect fancy technical terms.

When I noticed people amassing vinyl collections (even though they don't actually listen to them, cause that's what hipster idiots do), I asked myself the same question. So I went out and bought a couple of records and one of those cheap all-in-one retro units. I plugged it in and put on some Springsteen...and wasn't very impressed. Sure it sounded good, better than an mp3, and it did have a certain depth that CDs don't have...but it wasn't nothing to get all up in arms about.

Every now and again I'd pick up some vinyl but didn't play it too often, but I kept thinking I must be missing something. So I went out and dropped some cash on a real turntable and real speakers. I hooked it all up and put on Born to Run and it fuckin' assaulted me. It was like really hearing the album for the first time. It sounded full, warm, real. It wasn't just that I could hear detailed sound, I could hear the depth and scope of the detail like never before. Like listening in 3-D.

That's the big deal about vinyl to me.
posted by Roman Graves at 11:14 AM on April 20, 2008 [2 favorites]


So I went out and dropped some cash on a real turntable and real speakers. I hooked it all up and put on Born to Run and it fuckin' assaulted me. It was like really hearing the album for the first time. It sounded full, warm, real. It wasn't just that I could hear detailed sound, I could hear the depth and scope of the detail like never before. Like listening in 3-D.

Did you also hook up a CD player to the aforementioned speakers?
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:23 AM on April 20, 2008


Did you also hook up a CD player to the aforementioned speakers?

I have since then, and a cassette player. I think we've all heard CDs played on quality speakers anyway, so no I wasn't missing something. Of course I'm not saying CDs sound bad, just not the same.
posted by Roman Graves at 11:49 AM on April 20, 2008


Whenever this old argument about digital vs. analog sound crops up, I'm reminded that the ears need education. They need time and careful listening experience in order to really hear. To really discern (and thereby enjoy) relatively subtle differences in audio quality. The tastebuds of a master sommelier are more refined and discerning than yours, the sense of smell of a master perfumier is more highly developed than yours. The ears of a professional mastering engineer are more discerning, more educated than yours.

Granted, these are extreme examples, but I use them to illustrate my basic point: there are degrees of hearing appreciation and cognizance, just as there are degrees and various levels of cognizance in other types of sensory experience.

Now, if your ears haven't developed to the point of being able to discern any qualitative difference between vinyl and CD, you should probably be aware that it's not because there isn't any difference, but rather because you personally are unable to hear it. It's quite likely, by the same token, that you may be unable to distinguish between cheaper and more expensive varieties of wine or whisky.

Anyway, as regards audio, if you can't tell any difference, it's probably a blessing... many mp3s are essentially free for the downloading, CDs are cheaper and much more readily available than vinyl, and, hey, ignorance is bliss!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:08 PM on April 20, 2008


Hell, I can't even tell the difference between 128kps and 320kps mp3s.

I am assured by audiophiles that this is roughly like being unable to tell the difference between Smithwick's and Miller's.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:50 PM on April 20, 2008


Well, there you go, PG! No problem! :)
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:58 PM on April 20, 2008


I, for example, have never (to the best of my recollection) sampled either Smithwick's or Miller's. Those are ales, I'm assuming?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:00 PM on April 20, 2008


Smithwick's is a really good, really tasty ale. Miller (as in "Genuine Draft" or "Lite") is piss.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:16 PM on April 20, 2008


Hah! Didn't make the Miller connection, as in Miller Lite. I figured "Miller's" was some obscure English brew available in only 4 or 5 pubs in Manchester or something.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:16 PM on April 20, 2008


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