Independent record stores, once the bastion of music purchasing in the U.S., are hoping you'll show them a little love this weekend.
Saturday's nationwide Record Store Day will link about 300 stores with special promotions and events in an attempt to remind music buyers that they're still out there, offering a more extensive and interesting selection than big-box retailers such as Best Buy and Wal-Mart and better customer service than iTunes and other downloading sites.
"I think a lot of people don't know there are any record stores left," notes Mike Rome of Street Corner Music in Beverly Hills. "If you look at the tri-county area, people don't live near one. There's not one around every corner anymore like there used to be. So we want to give people a sense of where we are.
Street Corner will be observing the day with different local DJs spinning every hour, a turntable raffle, free drinks and a 33 1/3 discount on used vinyl and CDs.
In Utica, Rock-A-Billy's (8411 Hall Road) will feature performances by national hard rock bands Stick To Your Guns, Winds Of Plague and As Blood Runs Black along with several local groups, giveaways and special prices. Record Time in Roseville (27360 Gratiot Ave.), which closed its Ferndale location last month, is having a one-day sale along with giveaways and performances by the local bands Grayling and Monkey Jacket. Ann Arbor's Tally Hall is playing a set at 1:30 p.m. at Dearborn Music, 22000 Michigan Ave.
"We're basically just having fun celebrating the 'record store,' " says Record Time owner Mike Himes. "It has been and still is very vital to music fans, something real and human and a great part of the music experience."
Record Store Day was organized by the Alliance of Independent Media Stores, the Coalition of Independent Music Stores and other organizations and small chains. Several top-name acts will be performing or signing autographs at various stores, including Metallica at Rasputin Music and DVDs in Berkeley, Calif., while R.E.M., Death Cab For Cutie, the Black Keys and Built to Spill are releasing special vinyl singles that will be sold exclusively at the independent stores on Saturday.
More information is available at www.recordstoreday.com.
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