Monday, April 20, 2009

Who Needs Earth Day When There’s Record Store Day?!?

Although many independent and mainstream music stores have closed over the years due to a decline in CD sales and general economic turbulence, there are those shops that have dug in their heels in the face of an increasingly technology-driven music industry. These survivors took part in the second annual Record Store Day, held this past Saturday (April 18) in stores all across the nation.

For those unfamiliar, Record Store Day is celebrated yearly on the third Saturday of April. On this fine day, the country’s independently owned record stores to come together with artists to celebrate the dazzling dance of music and commerce. This year, top acts like Franz Ferdinand, Erykah Badu and Ani DiFranco all gathered to pay homage to their hometown record stores while others like Bruce Springsteen, The Smiths and Modest Mouse offered limited special-edition vinyl releases for the occasion. As music junkies, we get pretty psyched about this “holiday,” so we figured we'd give you a little recap on how things went down in the District.

DC staples such as CD Warehouse, Crooked Beat Records, Melody Record Shop and Smash! all opened their doors to throngs of music fans who lined up hours before opening to get their hands on exclusive releases from their favorite artists. Melody Records, for instance, offered limited-edition seven-inches from the likes of Green Day and Jane’s Addiction, as well as reissues (although if you weren’t there early enough you could forget about those). Other treats included goodie bags filled with indie samplers, gift certificates, posters and discounted CDs.

Despite the success of Record Store Day, it’s still tough out there for music sellers. Just a couple of weeks ago it was announced that DC staple DJ Hut (known for their extremely awesome vinyl collections) will be closing its brick-and–mortar shop at the end of this month to become a strictly online record store. This trend has become all-too familiar to music fans these days.

On the upside, reports are suggesting that because of Record Store Day (and all of those cool exclusive releases) traffic and sales volume this year will eclipse the previous event. Which is very good news for independent retail owners (and musicians). Who says Christmas only comes once a year?

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