Record Store Day: Why You Should Care

Believe it or not, record stores still function in this digital day and age. On top of that, this Saturday is Record Store Day, or "Time to Give a Shit About Record Stores." While record stores are a debatable topic, a day that celebrates music in an orderly fashion is okay by me, even if it competes with one of the year's biggest outdoor music festivals. Steve Jansen just gave us five reasons to get your ass out to a record store on Saturday, which serves as plenty of justifiable reason. In all honesty, who doesn't love a chance to get some sweet deals on some music while also having the chance to see some cool in-store performances? That is what Saturday is all about, and you can have a moderate amount of fun at your local record store -- even in this economy.

The Valley has a pretty eclectic array of record stores top satiate that need to grab a cool button or fancy poster to go along with that fresh, new CD you've been craving. They are putting on an impressive slate of events for Saturday, including live performances and special sales. The following list highlights the more recognizable stores in the Phoenix Metro area:

Stinkweeds - 12 W Camelback Rd Phoenix

Hoodlums - 6434 S. McClintock, Tempe

Zia Records - 105 W University Dr, Tempe
                       1940 W Chandler Blvd # 5, Chandler
                       1940 W Indian School Rd # 1, Phoenix

Revolver Records - 4214 N. 7th Ave, Phoenix

Tracks in Wax -
4741 N Central Ave, Phoenix

Grandiose Records & Gear
104 E. Pierce St, Phoenix

Eastside Records - 217 W University Dr, Tempe (Of course, there is no website for Eastside. Why would a business want to have a working website, anyway? That would be silly!)

Record Store Day has its own website, chronicling the day's record store events across the country. It's refreshing to see artists still support record stores as such, even though they are a dying breed (Virgin, Tower).

While it sucks to see record stores fall by the wayside as such, I can't sit on a soapbox and scold everyone for not going out and buying an actual CD, having not gone and bought one in quite some time. iTunes' music store has managed to ravage the independent record store, even though I detest the format in which they offer their music (low quality 128 kbps AAC files). Amazon, Wal Mart and other online retailers offer songs in different quality formats, thus making it painfully easy to obtain new music. While it's not quite the same as buying the CD, complete with jewel case and liner notes, it's also not as clunky and wasteful as buying the CD itself.

Record Store Day isn't about CDs -- well, not entirely. It is about the artists that give us music and the stores that allow us to find new music and browse their aisles for hours in the search of that great new album. Maybe we need some incense or a fancy new patch for our denim jacket while in search of new tunes, and who better to provide all of these goods -- all in one place, mind you -- than your local record store.

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Michael Lopez