Thanks to a perfect storm of trendy nostalgia, the desire to stay physical in a digital world, and the fact that they just sound better, vinyl records have avoided extinction to become, in ever-widening circles, de rigueur again.
If you or your parents threw away all your choicest vinyl, a great time to replenish your supply is this Saturday, April 16, when Record Store Day is being celebrated.
Not every town has a record store anymore, and not every record store participates in Record Store Day (here’s a list of participating stores). But if you live where there’s a participating shop, you’ll find a bunch of titles that are exclusive. Limited editions, limited releases, and special regional LPs will be released—everything from an A-Ha and David Bowie special releases to material that’s actually new in 2016.
Besides the ability to buy special edition records, stores are in full-party mode, likely playing something similar to the Monday Morning Tape from “High Fidelity,” but on a Saturday. In Chicago, for example, some stores are selling 25¢ 45s, taking requests, and doing karaoke all day. Hundreds of record stores are participating worldwide, including an impressive 25 shops in Seattle alone.
The success of vinyl isn’t because of a special day of course. But the day gives the movement a boost, and it provides help–and hopefully, some actual money–to up-and-coming indie bands who don’t benefit from the distribution of major label.