April is the month to celebrate your local record stores.

turntable_recordstore
A vintage Thorens turntable spinning Idle Moments by Grant Green. Photo by Greg Weber.

The first thing that hit me when I stepped in the door on the house tour was the music. It was jazz, and it was perfect for a cloudy, chilly day in November. In a minute, I was standing in front of a spinning turntable.

The album the homeowner had put on, its jacket propped on the shelf next to the turntable, was Idle Moments by Grant Green. I had never heard of the album or artist, but I made a note to track down both on my streaming service.

“Streaming service.” Seems so sterile next to something you can touch and see right in front of you. And that is exactly what Record Store Day is all about – a chance to celebrate music you can see and touch, music encoded on grooved vinyl and encased in cardboard jackets; music you can hold in your hands and buy from someone you know. And in particular, Record Store Day, which was marked April 16, celebrates the independent record stores on street corners across the country, little places (and sometimes big) that were endangered a few years ago but have come roaring back. Most of them deal in CDs and even cassettes as well, but it is the LP (new and used) that is the hallmark of the record shop. Sales of vinyl  records have soared by 1,300 percent over the last 10 years after languishing on life support for 15 years – first booted from the home entertainment system by the CD before the iPod took a swing and finally streaming services attempted the coup de grâce.

But vinyl kept spinning, hitting sales of 13 million units in 2014 after having sunk to 300,000 in 1993, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.

And the reason is not so hard to understand.

“In an increasingly digital age, vinyl records can provide a deeper, tactile connection to music that resonates with some of the biggest fans,”  RIAA’s Josh Friedlander told CNBC. Half of the buyers are reported to be under 25, which is reflected in the top two selling LPs of 2015 – 25 by Adele and 1989 by Taylor Swift. But the next two bestsellers were Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd and Abbey Road by the Beatles, which were released in 1973 and ’69, respectively.

I eventually tracked down Grant Green and now play his stuff all the time, though, sadly, through my iPhone. I am starting to think about picking up a turntable and buying a few LPs. Maybe I will stop in soon to Kiam Records in my hometown of Nyack, New York, and buy an album, even though I have no way to play it. Yet.

A place for your audio gear: We offer a wide assortment of credenzas, shelving systems and consoles to hold your receiver, tape deck, CD and DVD player and, of course, that new turntable.

April is the month to celebrate record stores.
Record Store Day, held each April, celebrates the nearly 1,400 independent record stores across the U.S., and thousands more around the world. Local events include in-store performances, free refreshments, promotions and many other locally specific activities.

Following are a few of our favorite independent shops, and a few classics.

CALIFORNIA
Atomic Records – Los Angeles
Records – Santa Barbara
Amoeba Music – San Francisco, Berkeley and Los Angeles
Aquarius Records – San Francisco
Rooky Ricardo’s – San Francisco
Streetlight Records – San Francisco
Boo Boo Records – San Luis Obispo

COLORADO
Twist & Shout – Denver

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Crooked Beat Records – Washington

FLORIDA
Sweat Records – Miami

GEORGIA
Wuxtry Records – Decatur, Athens

ILLINOIS
Dave’s Records – Chicago
Dusty Groove – Chicago
Laurie’s Planet of Sound – Chicago
Reckless Records – Chicago

MARYLAND
Sound Garden – Baltimore

MINNESOTA
Electic Fetus – Duluth, Minneapolis
Treehouse Records – Minneapolis

MASSACHUSETTS
In Your Ear – Boston, Cambridge
Pitchfork Records & Stereo – Concord

NEW YORK
Academy Annex – Brooklyn
Halcyon – Brooklyn
Permanent Records
 – Brooklyn
Record Grouch – Brooklyn
Other Music – East Village
Clockwork Records – Hastings-on-Hudson
Kiam Records – Nyack

NEW JERSEY
Princeton Record Exchange – Princeton

NORTH CAROLINA
Lunch Box Records – Charlotte

OREGON
Mississippi Records – Portland
Jackpot Records
 – Portland

TENNESSEE
Grimey’s New & Preloved Music – Nashville

TEXAS
Waterloo Records – Austin
Good Records – Dallas
Cactus Music
 – Houston

WASHINGTON
Bop Street Records – Seattle
Easy Street – Seattle
Sonic Boom Records – Seattle