This blog has been, and always will be, about live music. But, one of my favorite pastimes has always been spending a spare hour or two sifting through the bins at record stores like the Tower Records where I grew up in New Jersey, or places like Kim's and Academy Records after I moved into the city. These stores were the gateway that opened wide the world of music to me, letting me know who and what I should bother seeing when they came to town.
Tower, of course, is no more, and shops like Academy are barely hanging on, buoyed by a relatively-recent online presence which allows them to peddle their wares far beyond 18th Street. But, let's face it: most people who get their music online these days aren't buying CD's. They're downloading. And, a lot of them don't even pay. Or, if they do, they'll burn CD's for their friends.
Well, tomorrow, you can show your support for your local record store at the first annual Record Store Day, where bands will be spinning their favorite records at shops all across the country. Here in New York, the epicenter will be Other Music on E. 4th St., which will have on hand The Black Keys, Grizzly Bear, Deerhunter and Interpol, among others. While you're there, you can pick up some discounted CD's and vinyl, as well as special editions by bands like Vampire Weekend and Built To Spill. Go - and leave the iPod at home.