Editorial: For the Records (Stores)

As someone pursuing a career in music, I have a pretty big stake in the state of record stores and the music industry at large. But even if I didn’t, I would still be spending my Saturday afternoon browsing Seattle’s fine collection of local independently-owned record shops.

Yes, I realize I can access essentially any music in existence from the comfort of my own bed via the Internet, but here’s the thing: there is nothing quite like the experience of walking into a record shop, browsing their eclectic library of dreamy pop ballads, crusty punk anthems and beboppin’ jazz standards.

As a musician, these places are my home away from home—these are the places I go to when I am lonely, lost or looking for inspiration. And the sad and terrifying truth is that these records stores are quickly disappearing.

Record Store Day (which this year falls on Saturday, April 18) is an annual event which celebrates locally-owned record stores and reminds music fans why we should be supporting these businesses all year round. The yearly festivities typically include live performances, exclusive vinyl and CD releases, meet and greets with artists, and a slew of other musical happenings.

But aside from the promotional products, Record Store Day is also a time for the community to come together—to connect with one another and to connect with the music we love in a much more fulfilling way than we ever can on the Internet. And you don’t even have to attend Record Store Day to get this mystical music experience—just walk into any local record shop any day of the year and start actually listening.

Maggie Molloy
A&E Editor