BREAKING DOWN THE WALLS: Support record stores Saturday, and every day

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First Posted: 4/15/2013 4:58:00 PM

It seems silly to devote only day a year to certain holidays. Obviously, you should love your mother and father every day, you should respect the Earth and all its inhabitants every day, and yes, you should support your local record store every day.

Record Store Day has been one of my favorite holidays for the last couple of years. For one Saturday in April every year, bands and labels do something special just to celebrate one of the greatest American institutions of them all – the local record store. We have limited color 7-inches and LPs, reissues, splits, new records, B-sides – you name it, and it will be available on Record Store Day. RSD not only happens locally but reaches all around the globe. People come together to support one thing, and that “thing” is buying records and supporting local record stores.

We are extremely fortunate to have a chain of local record stores in our area. I can’t count the amount of places I have traveled to on tour where kids have to resort to buying records at large chains that cannot stock the special interests of its minority customers. Not that there is anything wrong with buying a record where you also buy your toilet paper, but it just seems right to buy a record from a shop that specializes in bringing the joy of music right to you.

The great thing about Record Store Day is not only are you able to buy releases from the likes of Bob Dylan and Ringo Starr, but that you can also find releases from smaller and even local bands. Last year, Scranton natives The Menzingers’ album “Chamberlain Waits” was released on sn ice-cool blue vinyl, and this year, Title Fight has a split 7-inch coming out just in time for the holiday on limited red vinyl.

At times, I think about Record Store Day and my thoughts go from excitement to worry. Roughly a decade ago, digital music changed the face of the music industry. Today, when someone hears a song, they don’t have to buy a tape, record, or CD – they can just download the song (legally or illegally, your pick) and never set foot in a record store. Yes, this is convenient, but he or she won’t have the opportunity to peruse the aisles looking for other records that may peak their interest or even meet people interested in the same music as them.

While the thoughts of an ever-changing music world are more than enough to get my head spinning, something like Record Store Day keeps me grounded. Maybe things will never go back to the way they used to be, but that doesn’t mean that we have to prepare for the death of the music industry. Instead, we should find joy in days like Record Store Day, which celebrates the past, present, and future of music.

If you need any recommendations, I would suggest one of the Revelation Records RSD releases of the year: the Slipknot 7-inch on orange. Not that Slipknot, but an older band of the same name. This Slipknot is from New York City and formed five years before the famed Iowa metal act. This is a very odd selection from the Rev catalog, but nonetheless an integral part of the label’s discography.

And for those who want to support the occasion but don’t own a record player or collect records, there’s good news. Gallery of Sound (186 Mundy St., Wilkes-Barre) is having great local bands such as Grey Zine, These Elk Forever, and Petal playing throughout the day. Support Record Store Day 2013.