Celebrate Record Store Day The Digital Way

The first thing I thought when I read about Record Store Day (today, April 21) was “hmm…maybe I can download the new Esperanza Spalding jazz CD  I saw last week at Starbucks from Amazon.com.”


After a lifetime in and around the music industry; my first thoughts on “Record Store Day” were about digital downloads and coffee shops-which pretty much explains why there needs to be a special day to promote music sales at actual record stores.

Or, maybe not. It depends on whether you believe there is value in supporting neighborhood merchants; being part of a physical community of music lovers; and buying music recorded on solid objects such as vinyl discs and plastic CD’s.

While I’m still very attached to my CD collection; when it comes to new music;  I generally prefer to either “rent” it through my subscription to streaming service  Rhapsody.com  (still my hands down favorite), or listen to it on  what I consider to be the best-of-the-best  free internet radio site, Pandora.com.

I’ve also discovered the joys of a great subscription internet radio service; Sirius-XM. Most people think it’s just for cars; but they’ve branched out a lot over the past few years, and it is now even available on mobile phones

All that keeps me in sync with current digital music trends, but woefully out of step with the vast majority of music consumers, who have made  iTunes the multi-billion dollar gift that keeps on giving…to Apple.

But the promoters of Record Store Day want to remind us of the special experience of hanging around in a shop, sifting through bins of music, and sharing the experience of music discovery with like-minded souls and (sometimes) snarky sales people. 

So, how about browsing through actual stacks of records at an actual brick and mortar record store today? Bonus points if you also buy a DVD of  “High Fidelity“, featuring John Cusack and Jack Black in the best record-store centric movie of all time.

Maybe you’ll find a vintage copy of “Framtpton Comes Alive“, Frank Zappa’s “Hot Rats“, or Miles Davis “Kind Of Blue“.

Or, maybe you’ll indulge your guilty pop obsession with some new tunes from teen dream Justin Bieber. Go ahead. I won’t judge.



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