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Get out and celebrate the 10th anniversary of Record Store Day this Saturday

This Saturday, record collectors and record stores alike will rejoice in celebration of the 10th annual Record Store Day.

Record Store Day started out to celebrate the vibrant culture surrounding independent record stores around the world. Since then, artists of varying popularity have put out exclusive content to get people to make a stop at their local record shop. This special day has led to all kinds of cool and highly anticipated records being put out every year, some so exciting and exclusive that people will show up long before opening hours and wait in line to be the first to get their hands on the new vinyl.

Some of the more anticipated releases for this year include live albums from Grateful Dead, moe. and Jimi Hendrix, a previously unreleased 15-minute recording from Pink Floyd and a 12-inch pressing of Spoon’s latest single, “Hot Thoughts,” which is limited to 2000 copies. Past years have seen a 10th anniversary edition of The White Stripes’ “Elephant,” a live recording from The Cramps, a picture disk of the soundtrack for “The Force Awakens” and even a compilation of Madonna’s hits.

The holiday has received some criticism from collectors who get frustrated by constant reissues of albums on colored or shaped vinyl instead of just putting out new content. However, the creators of Record Store Day are encouraging artists to steer away from this trend, and that seems to be the case for this year’s releases.

Despite the history of criticism, the holiday has almost single-handedly brought back the concept of buying and collecting records, breathing life into the once disappearing concept of the local record store. It has collected so much widespread attention that the day is tied with Christmas for accruing the biggest record sales of the year.

Record Store Day was started to specifically bring attention and support to independent record stores, as suggested by the title, but record labels are the ones that really benefit. The two concepts sort of go hand-in-hand, and Record Store Day helps to let both thrive. Media coverage surrounding the holiday tends to focus on the big-name releases to look forward to, but out of the steadily growing number of releases put out every year, three out of four of them are put out by indie labels.

Sales have thrived in indie record stores since the establishment of Record Store Day, but this is only exclusive to the holiday. Once it’s over, the stores return to their normal sales and go back to struggling financially. Music stores need our business every day of the year to survive and be able to still exist and participate in Record Store Day every year.

I have worked at a music store, and I know firsthand that the employees are some of the most passionate people in the music industry. They are usually in touch with the local indie music scene, and will play independent bands’ music in the store while people shop, as well as spread the word about them to anyone interested in discovering new music. Indie record stores are truly the lifeblood of the indie music scene.

This Saturday, if you take the time to visit a record store and capitalize on the exclusive releases, be sure to keep the store in mind for the future, and maybe pay them a casual visit every now and then. It really goes a long way, for the stores and artists alike.

Jenny Bourque is a freshman English and textual studies major. Her column appears weekly in Pulp. You can email her at jabourqu@syr.edu.

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