one for the record stores

Although I’m fully aware that the audio quality of the compressed music on CDs is little better than that of MP3s, and I do my fair share of downloading, I still love going to the physical record store — an independently owned joint that might even sell real vinyl — as opposed to the big box store, where the staff wear matching polo shirts and wouldn’t know the Black Keys from Black Dice.
Even though I don’t collect records, I find something soothing about browsing the aisles of CDs, checking up on the latest from my favorite artists, and taking a look at “staff favorites.” Half of the fun is looking over other people’s shoulders to see what they’re picking up. It’s a made-up competition of eccentricity. I have self-consciously cradled Christina Aguilera’s new double album in one hand while quickly picking up Beirut in order to rebalance my cred.
Then, there is that moment at checkout, when the cashier looks over my selections and nods or even voices his or her approval, perhaps even going to far as to make a suggestion about something else I might like.
For all of these reasons, I salute April 19, 2008, aka Record Store Day, celebrating independent record stores across the nation.

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