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Record Store Day: Your opportunity to declare your love for music

Get back in the groove

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My father's record collection is vast and intimidating. For years, he worked as a clerk at Peaches Records & Tapes, quick to nab up everything he could and get all High Fidelity with the rotating cast of record store devotees. Growing up, I never owned a record. In my early teens, however, my genetic makeup evolved and I suddenly had a desire to fill my brain with esoterica (and push out useless things like math or what my elementary school teachers looked like).

The first record I picked up from the discount bin was Abbey Road - or so I thought. I was so concerned with carefully removing the vinyl from its sleeve and pretentiously blowing off the dust that I failed to notice that it was someone who had mistakenly put Paul McCartney's Ram into the Abbey Road sleeve. Not only was this my first record, it was also my first comeuppance for being a snob. I was such a brat about getting what I thought was a lame McCartney solo album that it took sensible friends talking me into actually listening to the damn thing for me to realize how great Ram is.

There's a whole world of music out there.

It's in this spirit that Record Store Day exists. This is a holiday devoted to encouraging music fans to leave their bubble of predictable downloads and entering a world where the skip button doesn't exist. To browse through the shelves upon shelves of lovingly pressed vinyl, immaculately illustrated covers, essential liner notes, and magically enlivened grooves. Record stores have been threatening to disappear for years, but they've survived through the gauntlet of CD's and evil Pandora. In the past few years, records have even begun to regain some of their old popularity.

So, when Saturday comes around and it's time for you to fill your arms with vinyl, where should you go? Well, if you're in Nashville and you're not watching Jack White attempt to set the record for recording the fastest studio-to-store single, then I don't know what to tell you.

But, if you're in the South Sound, here are stores that are participating (the founders of Record Store Day take their shit seriously, so they ask that stores sign a pledge that basically vows that they'll uphold the values of the holiday and not pull dick moves like holding back exclusive product for online sale or marking up releases; I will be highlighting local stores that have signed the pledge):

In Tacoma, your options for pledge-signed stores are Hi-Voltage Records and Rocket Records. No surprise, there. These two fine record haunts have been essential oases in Tacoma's music scene for a long time. Hi-Voltage posted a partial list of all of the Record Store Day exclusive releases they so far know they'll be getting, and it's both incomplete and completely staggering. Vintage re-releases, one-off collaborations, limited-run 7" vinyl, unreleased live albums - it's almost too much.

Down in Olympia, Rainy Day Record Company is the place to be. As usual, though, with Record Store Day, it's advisable to get to whichever store you choose as early as possible. There will be lines out the door, and much of what is being nabbed up will never see the light of day again. These are unique records, and they favor the bold and the dedicated. Review the staggering list of exclusive releases on and put a list together so you know what to look for.

Sound too nerdy? It is. Let Record Store Day be your opportunity to gush over music, to write it embarrassing love letters, to spend more money than you intended on it, to bring it home with you and spin it on the turntable before delicately alphabetizing it. The world is full of music just waiting to be found.

RECORD STORE DAY, Saturday, April 19, locally includes Disc Connection, Hi-Voltage Records, House of Records, Phantom City Records, Rocket Records, Rainy Day Records,


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