Saturday is Record Store Day, that hallowed annual event when record stores say, “Hey! Remember us?” Vinylheads line up at the coolest stores (Jack White’s Third Man Records is popping up a poolside shop in Palm Springs, Calif.) for special releases.
Not a frothing new-vinyl purist? That’s fine. If you’re cheap like me, browsing the used crates at local haunts like Smash!, Crooked Beat and the glorious Joe’s Record Paradise can be rewarding any day. I once scored a copy of Michael Jackson’s 1979 “Off the Wall,” above, which opens into a gatefold poster of him in an Afro, a bowtie and glowing socks, for a buck at Amoeba Music in Los Angeles.
Vinyl is fun. People used to pack up the best of their collections in snappy travel boxes and party, taking turns flipping the discs over. They’d talk about music and trade wish lists. Your roommate’s iPhone stuck in a dock just leaves something lacking.
I celebrated Record Store Day early on a recent pillaging trip to my dad’s basement. I don’t play the discs I took often, but I remember us dancing to them in our living room when I was tiny. Sometimes, he’d even let me flip the record myself.