There’s something special about vinyl records – and it’s not just the way the music sounds; it’s the record stores that sell them. These brick-and-mortar small businesses bring customers in their community together around a shared love of music. On April 22, record stores around the world will fill with new music and veteran fans for the 10th annual Record Store Day celebration.
Although technology has greatly diversified the way that music lovers consume content, vinyl record sales have grown in recent years, reaching a 25-year high in 2016. The renewed success of vinyl is a testament to the brick-and-mortar record stores that line Main Street. Each year, Record Store Day celebrates these stores and the impact they have on the industry and their communities.
This year’s Record Store Day celebration will feature exclusive releases and festive events at indie record stores from coast to coast. Here’s a glimpse of what to expect at some of the country’s most iconic music shops:
Amoeba Music – San Francisco, California
With stores in Berkeley, Hollywood and San Francisco, Amoeba Music is a California institution through and through. In fact, Amoeba Music’s work on behalf of the community and the environment rivals its vast music collection. By donating a portion of each year’s profits to the Rainforest Action Network, the indie music business has helped to save more than one million acres of tropical rainforest. In anticipation of this year’s Record Store Day, Amoeba Music is offering a catalog of Record Store Day releases from years past online.
Criminal Records – Atlanta, Georgia
Located in Atlanta’s eclectic Little Five Points neighborhood, Criminal Records has been hailed as a “mecca for Atlanta music lovers.” The store sells new and used records, as well as CDs, DVDs and even cassettes. Plus, a local/regional section at the front of the store pays homage to the vibrant Atlanta music scene. Co-owner Eric Levin also co-founded Record Store Day, so the store’s celebration will likely be top-notch.
My Mind’s Eye – Lakewood, Ohio
The Record Store Day celebration at My Mind’s Eye is sure to be a head-banger. That’s because My Mind’s Eye is known, particularly in the Cleveland area, for its connection to metal and punk music. According to Thrillist, My Mind’s Eye even gave birth to such bands as Ringworm and Nine Inch Nails. Even if you’re not into the metal scene, chances are you’ll find something unique worth listening to at this store, which prides itself on stocking records that “others don’t care about.”
Sweat Records – Miami, Florida
This music haven in Miami’s Little Haiti neighborhood is more than a place to buy and sell records. Home to an impressive inventory of music, Sweat Records also bills itself as a vegan-friendly coffee shop and all-ages event space. In honor of the 10th annual Record Store Day, Sweat Records will host a party at its next-door-neighbor, Churchill’s Pub.
Waterloo Records – Austin, Texas
Established in 1982, Waterloo Records has solidified a place in vinyl record history. The indie record store also has a place in buy local history, as it participated in a groundbreaking study by Civic Economics back in 2003 that revealed the power of independent businesses. According to the study, for every $100 spent at Waterloo Records, $30 went back to the local economy. That was compared to a return of just $9 for every $100 spent down the street at a national chain. Nowadays, Waterloo Records hosts in-store events on a regular basis for its devoted, music loving fans, with Record Store Day as no exception.
No matter what genre or decade you prefer, there’s something for every music-lover on Record Store Day. It’s the success of celebrations like these and the indie record stores that host them that keeps vinyl sales growing year after year. They keep our local economies strong and our soundtracks diverse. For more information about Record Store Day, visit www.recordstoreday.com.