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Record Store Day!

The fifth annual Record Store Day will be taking place this Saturday at independent record stores in Cincinnati. More than 200 vinyl records, including LPs, 10-inches, and 45s, will be on sale that day. Every year Record Store grows larger, with more to choose from and a broader selection as well. By itself, Record Store Day is something worth celebrating, as it pays homage to what’s pretty much the coolest thing Western civilization ever invented, but its impact goes way beyond a single day – it helps stoke interest in vinyl in general, which is a lot hotter than anyone dreamed it would be five years ago. In a society where Generic rules here’s something that actually has personality…I think of it as the craft beer of the music world.

So where to go? For starters, Shake-It Records in Northside is opening early that day (9:00 AM). Expect a line and a crowd…but you can get up early one Saturday a year and fight the crowd, can’t ya? Everybody’s Records in Pleasant Ridge is also celebrating the event; their day includes live music performances from 1 pm to 6 pm. I actually don’t know it Mole’s Record Exchange is planning to do anything – I’ll have to check with them.

I could go on for hours about how happy I am that vinyl is making a comeback, but I’ll try to limit my thoughts because once I really get going on this subject I notice that people nod off…First of all, I’ll say that I think the comeback is real; it’s got legs. I was there when the CD began its meteoric rise…and I’m witnessing its crash. I don’t have anything against the format, but I do have something against the corporate mindset that, for artificial reasons, eliminated a medium that was so much a part of our culture that it seemed absurd to just snuff it. I responded by becoming a vinyl patriot more than I had ever been before. In ten years I bought about two CDs and ten thousand records. Now most of those are gone, but I still have a few things to listen to. People have asked me, what album that you own is closest to your heart? That answer changes regularly, but lately here there’s been that particularly intrigues me. Take a look:

Obviously this record is a masterpiece. Even simply conceiving it is an act of genius. It may well be my favorite record, and I say that even though I have never actually played it. Let me explain: it’s not that I’m afraid the record would disappoint me in any way; I’m sure it wouldn’t. But I’m afraid that once I heard it I’d feel so disdainful toward all my other records that I’d simply say the heck with it and get rid all of all of them. If you click this image, it will expand, and you’ll be able to see that, for this particular record label – it’s called Fax – the number is 1001. To think that, by the time they released their first record, they had already created a timeless wonder. Perhaps they stopped there, or perhaps they went on to create…I can only imagine…

You can see why I love records.