Record Store Days (book review)

Record Store Days – From Vinyl to Digital and Back Again – Gary Calamar and Phil Gallo (Sterling) – book review –

The Internet has turned our home computers into a music library, with almost every known song available at the touch of a button.  But, that convenience comes at a price: music shopping is now a very private affair.  Not so long ago, the only way to get music was from a local record store.

While browsing in the shop, you might see something else you want, notice an item on the wall, hear cool music over the speakers, or talk with a clerk; all factors that might expose you to music you haven’t heard.

Record Store Days acts as both a history of music in retail and a tribute to those stores that are still fighting the good fight.  Extensive research was done on the pioneering record stores and the unique tactics they used to make their stores great.  Supplementing the text are dozens of testimonials from musicians of all sorts, all singing the praises of the independent music store.  In addition, the authors have unearthed numerous photographs of many of the legendary stores of the past, some featuring some very famous customers (Elvis, Paul McCartney, Talking Heads).

The central focus of the book is the record store as the hub of the music community, where like-minded listeners come together to share tastes and stories, something that simply can’t be done with Itunes.  Record Store Days is a nice memento to any music fan that ever enjoyed combing dusty bins of albums, looking for that rare find.  And, for those listeners who grew up in the mp3 age, it gives many reasons to get out and hunt down the few remaining cool stores for the total music experience.