With sales of iPods reaching a plateau and a growing dissatisfaction with inorganic means of acquiring music finally plaguing a technologically hungover populace, independent record stores the country over are mobilizing under the banner of Record Store Day, celebrating this Saturday, April 19. Nationwide, the events are piling up: Metallica, Steve Earle and Jello Biafra are doing in-stores; bands like Vampire Weekend, R.E.M. and Built to Spill are offering exclusive releases; and hundreds of musicians are lending their praise to the idea. Designed to remind that independent record stores provide the type of communal experience, customer service and one-on-one help that no "personalized" Amazon.com recommendation list could ever duplicate, Record Store Day is also a chance to take advantage of free live music, killer sales and free giveaways at the North Bay's best record stores.
The Last Record Store in Santa Rosa hosts the live music of Triclops (featuring former members of Victims Family) starting at 2pm, and will offer $1 off everything in the store all day long ("Except dollar records!" clarifies co-owner Hoyt Wilhelm). The Last Record Store also has special Record Store Day sampler LPs to give away, as well as exclusive Record Store Day CD and DVD samplers. The party continues on Sunday, April 20, with Weinland and Low-Five performing at 2pm. . . .
Over in Sebastopol, Incredible Records has the live music of Shat, featuring former members of the Coma Lilies at 5pm, and who knows, the Haxaw Ditch Dwellers just might stomp out some spontaneous jug-band tunes on the sidewalk, as is their thing. . . . Though technically owned by a national chain, Backdoor Disc and Tape in Cotati gets in on the indie action with live performances all day by Something Terrible, Soggy Biscuit, Linda Ferro, East Coast Kids, Haley Hill, Deep C, Violated Existence, John Emery and former American Idol hopeful Tami Gosnell. Used titles are "buy one, get one free," and select new titles will be priced at $10. The Sonoma County Roller Derby team even makes an appearance. . . .
Mill Valley Music, owned by Gary Scheuenstuhl, who worked at Village Music for 25 years, will offer 30 percent off all used product and 20 percent off all new product. . . . Bedrock Music and Red Devil Records in San Rafael have nothing planned at press time, but that's no reason not to swing by. . . .
A complete schedule of nationwide Record Store Day festivities, as well as uplifting quotes from Bruce Springsteen, Tom Waits, Paul McCartney and many, many others about the need for the independent record store can be found online at www.recordstoreday.com.