For the Records | Solid State

For the Records

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In case you hadn't heard, tomorrow (Saturday) is Record Store Day. And just what the hell is that? Glad you asked!

A "record store" — a.k.a. Ye Olde Musique Shoppe — is where people used to purchase their music before Steve Jobs made most physical platforms for listening to recorded music, such as CDs, 8-track cassette tapes and wax cylinders, obsolete. Reco …

What's that? Oh, you meant what the hell is Record Store Day. My bad.

Record Store Day is a pretty awesome celebration of independent record stores, which, in case you hadn't heard, have been in a pretty bad way since, well … since the advent of the iPod. Literally thousands of indie record shops around the country have closed in recent years as music consumers focus their attention (and money) toward online marketplaces such as iTunes. And, of course, just straight up ripping shit off. Ah, the glorious time of enlightenment that is the Internet age!

Despite the hard times facing the industry, in certain pockets of the country record stores are actually thriving. Or, at least not completely going belly up. One of those pockets is Burlington, where not only have two longstanding shops (Pure Pop and Downtown Discs) weathered the storm, a third store, Burlington Records, actually opened its doors last year. Even more amazingly, said doors stayed open. Although in fairness, BR's sister store, Riverwalk Records in Montpelier, was consolidated into the Burlington location last May. Still, how many new stores do you think opened nationwide last year?

(Answer: I dunno. But not many, dammit. And if anyone else did open one, they must have read this article that, amazingly, exists. Ah, the Internet!)

Anyway, the point is that Record Store Day is an international holiday of sorts, dedicated to celebrating those bold few indie shops who have managed to survive, despite all reasonable odds to the contrary. And it's a lot of fun. Nationwide, scads of new and special releases are planned to coincide with the day. Most stores will host special in-store performances as well.

In the 05401 — I call it that now — Burlington Records will feature live DJ sets from the crew at my alma mater, The Lab. Meanwhile, the old purple lady, Pure Pop, will host Grace Potter and (a few of) the Nocturnals. They'll give an acoustic performance in addition to signing copies of a new live EP available only on Record Store Day. Nifty.

For more on Record Store Day, we turn now to our chief gypsy-punk correspondent, Eugene Hutz of Gogol Bordello, in this video that I totally sniped from the Pure Pop website — which you should check out for more specifics about RSD. Eugene …


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