We’re a county of nearly a million people who pride ourselves on having the best of everything. The one thing we’re missing, though: an independently run, down-to-earth record store whose sole business is selling music. You know, those record-lined holes-in-the wall where you walk in, hum a tune, and the clerk will tell you the song, the album it’s on, and when and where it was recorded. And their absence is never more evident than on the third Saturday of April with the celebration of Record Store Day—a day filled with limited-release albums and in-store performances from the industry’s greats.
Metallica officially helped kick off the annual event in 2008 with a performance at Rasputin Music in San Francisco. The event has only grown since, with New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg even announcing that Record Store Day would officially be recognized as a citywide event in 2009. Last year, nearly 400 artists—ranging from the Misfits to Paul McCartney—released records to nearly 1,700 record stores worldwide.
So, without the luxury of having a participating record store in the County, what are your options to get one of these limited-release albums (with some artists releasing as few as 300 copies)? Your first option is to travel. But the closest participating stores are Harmony Records (30 min drive from White Plains; 1625 Unionport Rd, Bronx, NY 718-792-4070), Records-N-Stuff (30 min drive; 66 Westchester Sq, Bronx, NY 718-822-9446), or Johnny’s (45 min drive; 45 Tokeneke Rd, Darien, CT 203-655-0157).
The other option is to buy the albums at a much higher-than-normal price on eBay. Last year, a copy of the 12-inch, liquid-filled (yes, liquid-filled!) pressing of Jack White’s “Sixteen Saltines” was put on eBay for $3,499.99. Another buzzed-about release, Phish’s triple-LP version of Junta, went for $330. Even punk-rock releases were going for astronomical prices. A clear vinyl version of the Misfits’ Walk Among Us went for $195, while another seller was asking $250 for Social Distortion’s Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes double LP.
So, while we may have access to a plethora of world-class restaurants, live music venues, and museums, we music lovers will just have to make due without our own independent record store on April 20.