For a dozen years now independent record stores have held an event that celebrates those of us that still purchase physical media. With oodles of exclusive or early bird items the spring event has emerged as an international event, with regional differences showcasing different releases to a disparate community of aficionados. At its heart it’s a celebration of music, an ability to highlight releases that otherwise may not have the attention to warrant pressing. At its worse it’s a glutinous gold rush, with flippers and charlatans relying upon scarcity to drive up prices and gorge those just looking for some tracks to add to their collection.
Despite all the inherent madness of the day – long line ups start the day before in some markets – it’s at its heart a great opportunity to meet up with fellow addicts. Time spent in queue results in some great conversations, and finding what has driven others to be equally ridiculous is always amusing.
This year there are once again hundreds of selections that will be sprinkled throughout an even greater number of stores. Not every title will make it up here to Canada, nor will every store get the title you might desire. While the hunt is certainly fun, and the ability to pick up some nice surprises the main draw, it’s really an opportunity to give a little bit of your cash to those stores still flying the retail flag in the face of massive e-commerce interests. As cynical as it’s easy to be about such retail therapy, having a constellation of decent record stores is as definitive a sign of a healthy urban environment as making sure there are great restaurants and decent places to watch films.
In preparation for next Saturday’s big sale, here are ten titles I’ll be wanting to pick up. Happy hunting!
Be sure to enter our contest for an ability to win a $50 gift card from Kops Records, one of those fantastic independent record stores you should be visiting on April 13, 2019 and any other time of year!