Monday, April 21, 2014

Rant #1,190: A Day For the Record

I trust that everything went well with everyone during the Easter holiday.

Other than my allergies kicking in high gear, it went well for myself and my family.

We had a somewhat relaxing weekend. We even went to the movies to see the new "Captain America" film, which, sadly, I cannot recommend. It was not as good as the original, but lots of people are seeing it, so it does not matter. It is a hit.

Anyway, on Saturday, my wife and I visited our local record store on "Record Store Day," an annual celebration that highlights the virtues of local, independent record stores.

With the big guys--Tower Records, Virgin Records--out of business, the local record stores are it right now, and they must, and deserve to be, supported.

And yes, I said record. These stores sell CDs, but their prime focus is used and new records.

And yes, I said new records, because vinyl is very, very much alive in this age of digital downloads.

We went to our local record store, and the place was mobbed with people looking for the specials that were available during that special day, vinyl releases that probably aren't on CD or available digitally.

The great thing is that most of the people there were college age through probably their mid 30s, which made my wife and I old codgers, but that was fine with me.

If the kids still like vinyl, then vinyl is alive.

Look, I am not knocking CDs. They provide us with our music in a compact form, easy to handle, easy to listen to in our cars.

But it is kind of vanilla. The sounds are too perfect, and to me, that is not the spirit of rock and roll.

And digital files are great too, especially for listening when you want to, however you want to.

But it is not vinyl. Vinyl remains the top way to listen to music, in particular, rock and roll, and that is why I still buy vinyl, both used and new.

On Saturday, my wife and I bought several albums and singles to add to our collection. One of the prizes that we got is called "The Magic of Judy Garland," which is a six-record boxed set of all her hits, both live and in studio. We got it relatively cheap, and to show you what a modern guy I am, I already transferred all the tracks over digitally so my wife can listen to the set in her car at her leisure.

My birthday is coming up, so she also bought me some stuff, which I have yet to see.

I got stuff I honestly wasn't looking for, which is why I love to go shopping in our local record store. You simply do not know what you'll find there on any given day.

I bought singles by the Beatles, David Bowie, Lou Christie, Len Barry, Flo and Eddie, and a few others, a couple of cheap LPs, and that was that.

I did not even look at the specials--although I was interested in "The Wizard of Oz" re-release--because there was too much of a line of people waiting to go through the specials--and perhaps I will go back soon, just to see them in a more relaxed setting, when things aren't as crazy there as they were on Saturday.

It was fun, and since the record store I went to donates a certain amount of proceeds of that day to a charity of its choice, it made everything even better.

Record Day made the weekend for me, and to have my wife there really made it extra special. She likes records too, not to the level that I do, but she also grew up during the time that vinyl was king, and to be honest, hard habits are difficult to break.

Maybe when I go back, I can get her that "Wizard of Oz" record, if it is still there.

We will see, but I will always go back on Record Store Day.

There really is nothing like it!

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