BREAKING DOWN THE WALLS: Make every day Record Store Day

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First Posted: 4/14/2014

Another year, and another Record Store Day. Last year, I wrote about the importance of supporting your local record store year-round, but alas we sit here today after the closing of another Gallery of Sound (this time in downtown Wilkes-Barre) and anticipate the day that was made to bring focus on the importance of physical music. It is as if we live in a world of Shakespearean irony rather than reality.
This year, the music gods have brought us a series of good limited edition records for Record Store Day, which is this Saturday, April 19. In my favorites corner, Dinosaur Jr. have a split with The Cure as well as a limited 7-inch box set and book. But while we can speculate how great J. Mascis’ tone will be on the record, I think there are bigger fish to fry.
I read an interview with Dave Rat, famed live sound engineer, where he discussed how the recent failures of the record industry have put more of an emphasis on live music, ushering in a new “live” era. While this is in part true and may ease some people’s fears, this is written from the perspective of a musician, but mainly a fan, who lives in an area where all facets of music seem to constantly struggle.
It is, and always will be, cool and fun to go out and see crowds at a record store and score some limited records, but that can never surpass the importance of finding a record that will change your outlook on life or being in awe of a band that puts all of their energy into a live performance. While Record Store Day will be a hit as always, in order to adapt to meet the challenges in-between, there needs to be more than just one day of support.
For another year, we have one less record store and still no all-ages venue, but what we do have is a great local music scene that continues to grow and change. While it is always easy to be cynical and assume that the best times of music have come and gone, I find it promising that with every year I see new faces at shows and new bands forming. Our local landscape has made it possible for people to have a hand in and help build a scene that is known across the world.
We should not look at this time as post-apocalyptic, but rather we should look for ways to continue the change. This can start with checking out new bands at Record Store Day and continue by checking out a new band at a show. We are still fortunate to have these great establishments in our backyard as well as a scene to support it, but we need do more than just offer support for one day.
Local Record Store Day events:
Embassy Vinyl (352 Adams Ave., Scranton) is opening at 10 a.m. and will feature performances by Cody Searl, Give Us Your Bones, and Eye on Attraction, starting at 1 p.m.
Gallery of Sound (186 Mundy St., Wilkes-Barre) is opening at 9 a.m. and will host a meet and greet with Taking Back Sunday and The Used at noon, followed by performances by Crobot, Leroy Justice, Gentleman East, Abstract Peoples, and Three Imaginary Boys, starting at 2 p.m. Gallery of Sound has two other locations in the Fashion Mall in Dickson City and the Laurel Mall Strip Center No. 3 in Hazleton also opening at 9 a.m.
Musical Energi (24 S. Main St., Wilkes-Barre) will open in its new location (in the old Gallery of Sound) at 9 a.m. and feature performances by DubSavage, Buck Knife, and Mock Sun, starting at 2 p.m. Kali Ma and the Garland of Arms will have ‘Holy Drone’ available for presale.
Wayne‘s World (2611 Memorial Hwy., Dallas) is opening at noon and will offer 50 percent off all pre-owned records and movies, and customers will receive a free $5 record gift card with any purchase of a record or a choice of a free CD sampler or incense with any regular purchase.