Today is Record Store Day in the United States and 17 other countries worldwide. According to the website, “This is the one day that all of the independently owned record stores come together with the artists to celebrate that art of music.” There are over 700 stories participating this year, so there’s probably one near you. There will be live music, DJs, and special vinyl and CD releases available at most of them, so get out there and give these businesses some much-needed support. I will be doing my celebrating at Vintage Vinyl in Fords, NJ, where they’ll have live sets by Willie Nile, Titus Andronicus, and others throughout the day.
To commemorate the occasion, I’ve decided to begin a new column for Popdose, and I’m calling it Cratedigger. As you may know, I’ve been doing CD reviews, live reviews, and even a few obituaries in the year-plus that I’ve been here, but I’ve never had a regular, titled column. So this is my shot at the bigs.
As a music writer, I get more CDs than I could ever want sent to me at no charge. I am blessed. So, awhile back, I started to think about what I was going to do with the money that I used to spend on CDs. At first I didn’t even consider vinyl, because I had a turntable that I’d had since the ’70s, and it never worked properly. But after my girlfriend Nikki told me I could have the one she was keeping under her bed, I grabbed it and I haven’t looked back since. I’ve been hunting for used vinyl at stores, shows, flea markets, and garage sales.
While I know a little bit about music, I don’t pretend to know anything about vinyl in terms of value, and frankly, I don’t much care. I’m after the music, and if the disc is in decent shape, the cover is in half-decent shape, and the price is right, I’m going to take it home. I seldom buy anything new, but if I can find a classic disc that’s still sealed, why not? Anyway, you won’t be finding my records on eBay, and I won’t be giving you much insight into what’s a collector’s item and what’s not. I guess if I collect it, that makes it a collector’s item for me.
Cratedigger will be an evolving thing. I’m hoping to write about at least one record every week, together with a list of everything that I’ve purchased that week, and I may even give one record from my want list in case you run across a copy.
Thanks for reading Popdose. We hope you like the new design as much as we do. Part of the beauty of this site is that there’s almost always something new, and I’m pleased to be a part of that. As always, feel free to comment on what you read, pro, con, or indifferent. We welcome your input.
I would be remiss if I failed to mention Village Records in South Orange, NJ. I spent many hours in the store, which was on the second floor about Village Camera, and was owned first by Alan Heyman, and then by Billy Carroll. Village Music has been gone for years now, but it is the record store of my memories. I hung out there until they gave me a job. I don’t even know if they paid me at first. Why would they? I was happy to do it for nothing, just to be there. Such is the magic of the independent record store.
Now get out there and visit your local record store, hear some music, and buy some vinyl.