How Record Store Day contributed to the vinyl relapse for this music obsessive | Arts & Culture | Spokane | Interior of the Pacific Northwest
Record Store Day is coming this Saturday. Again.
You’ll be forgiven if it seems like this celebration of independent record stores and special music releases happens every other month. When the pandemic hit, RSD did switch to a several-times-a-year effort to sell juice in stores instead of the annual parties that often involved live bands, beer, and swag, depending on your record store of choice.
When the first Record Store Day took place in 2008, the re-emergence of vinyl records was in its infancy. Now the vinyl trend has meant that the few surviving record factories are struggling to keep up with orders, and labels and independent artists are often stuck behind a million copies of Taylor Swift’s latest due to be released. wax, or the umpteenth iteration of Fleetwood Mac’s Rumors So Wal-Mart has enough stock for baby boomers and Gen-Xers returning to the vinyl fan fold, as well as their wax-loving kids. Adele had the best-selling vinyl album of 2021 with 30and teen star Olivia Rodrigo had second best with Sour. There are probably cross-buyers of both, but I imagine parents and kids hitting the record store together, both leaving with a 12-inch piece of jewelry to throw on their separate turntables at home.
As I write this, I’m listening to the latest Los Lobos album, Indigenous sons, on vinyl. It’s only notable because Los Lobos just won the Grammy for Best American Album for this Los Angeles-themed set of tracks (you really should check it out), and because there’s a few years ago, in these same pages, I wrote that I would never give up increasing my CD collection and joining the vinyl craze.
I’I’m old enough to have had a vinyl collection since I was a child, I bought music before CDs became fashionable. I gave my nephew about 250 records when I moved to Spokane, having already dumped my little-used turntable from my home stereo system (which is now, technically, a home theater system). I kept a few for sentimental reasons (my mom’s original Elvis debut, my dad’s Jonathan Winters comedy album, my copy of Guns ‘n’ Roses’ appetite for destruction with the very offensive original cover art). My nephew quickly sold the rest – he is much smarter than me.
About five years later, however, I started having the vinyl itch again. I fought it, remembering the amount of space recordings consumed in small homes and how a scratch can ruin an otherwise excellent listening experience. The forces conspired to break down my defenses. Learning that turntables could play through Bluetooth speakers was a big selling point for me. The range of brightly colored vinyl also helped (“Ooh, that Fishbone album is YellowAnd as with all things when you’re passionate about music, having the right friends to evangelize the wonders of modern vinyl has been a big influence.
I bought a cheap Bluetooth turntable almost three years ago and gave myself a few rules to control myself (and my budget). I told myself that I would not buy vinyl albums of which I already have CD versions or albums that I have already given away. I told myself that I wouldn’t buy vinyl that cost more than $20 (laughable, I know), and that I would only buy albums that I considered ice-cold classics, albums that I would definitely listen to for still. No flavor of the month vinyl here.
I broke all those rules, of course, and the collection grew to the point where I wondered how to fit in more vinyl-dedicated shelf space in the house without getting rid of feng shui.
Record Store Day has been part of my record buying relapse, thanks to reissues of old favorites and live albums from bands I love like Cheap Trick, the Verlaines and Fontaines DC So despite my repeated efforts to limit my vinyl consumption, you will probably see me in a record store on Saturday to discover Nick Cave’s new live. Or the Devo reissue. Or Donna Summer’s picture disc. Or the Weyes Blood blue vinyl. Or… ♦
RECORD STORE DAY LOCATIONS
1610 N. Monroe Street
TOTAL TRASH RECORDS AND SOUND
1601 Pacific Ave West.
1927 W. Northwest Blvd.
TO GO! RECORDS
635 W. Garland Ave.
THE LONG EAR
1620 N. Government Way, Coeur d’Alene