Beginning in 2008, Record Store Day has been celebrated each year on the third Saturday of April. This year it falls on April 18 and audiophiles around the world will come out in droves to support independent, local businesses and snap up vintage vinyl treasures and shiny new special releases. Official ambassadors of the event have included Iggy Pop, Ozzy Osbourne, Jack White, and this year, none other than Dave Grohl himself.
So what’s up with this love of vinyl anyway? Wasn’t it supposed to go away with the advent of newer technologies like the 8-track, cassette tape, compact disc and MP3? Why in the world would this particular analogue technology from 1948 not only survive, but in fact thrive, well into the digital age? It seems the answer depends on whom you ask. Some people describe a feeling of nostalgia that ties into happy memories from a simpler time. There is also that tangible quality that comes with possessing a physical object with bold cover art that can be seen up close and turned over in your hands. Others talk about the thrill of the chase as they spend untold hours mining for gold through stacks of records in the basement of a local shop. In a fast-paced world where music is usually served up as radio hits or downloadable singles, an album slows everything down. Each song is part of a greater story, with a side A and side B. It requires you to invest yourself in the experience. It isn’t disposable. It crackles and pops like lightening in a bottle. It is perfectly imperfect.