Saturday, April 21 marks the fifth annual Record Store Day. The holiday celebrated in the United States and abroad came about as an idea in 2007 to celebrate music and bring awareness to independent record shops and help boost vinyl record sales. Since its inception, Record Store Day has grown exponentially among record shops, including Santa Barbara’s own Warbler Records & Goods.
“We love the notion of Record Store Day. We think encouraging people to visit actual record stores and interact with other music fans is pretty awesome- way better than shopping online,” Warbler Records Owner Kurt Legler said.
Record Store Day entails a global event where participating retailers offer exclusive vinyl and CD releases from an eclectic group of artists and bands as well as hold meet and greets and special in-store performances. Among the giant selection of special releases offered on this day are vinyls from higher profile acts like Bruce Springsteen, Katy Perry and Florence + The Machine along with indie darlings Lana Del Rey, Foster the People and Arcade Fire. Breaking and entering bands like The Civil Wars, Walk the Moon, Childish Gambino, and many other artists are also issuing releases for this day, though the selection will vary with each record store.
“We’ll have The Wools playing around 4 p.m., as well as lots of Record Store Day exclusive releases for sale as well as giveaways and prizes,” Legler said about Warbler Records’ involvement with the music holiday.
While CDs are still sold on Record Store Day, the emphasis of the event is the vinyl record. Until Adele released her wildly successful “21” record, album sales were on an overall decline since 2004. The British songstress brought up sales by 1.4 percent according to Nielson SoundScan, a music sales tracker. With album sales down in the dumps, vinyl records have surprisingly been on the rise, increasing by an astounding 294 percent in sales since 2007. Last year, music industry magazine Billboard listed Record Store Day as one of the factors behind the spike in vinyl sales.
Legler explained Warbler Records’ affinity for the vinyl record.
“We’re in love with vinyl and think it’s simply the best format. We also love the collector and interactive aspect of vinyl. Vinyl can be a cherished object for a music fan, and playing records is in a sense a kind of ritual,” he said.
Numbers aside, Record Store Day is all about the music enthusiast browsing their local record shop every third Saturday of April for those special vinyl and CD releases along with other promotional material musicians and bands choose to put out that day. The holiday helps independent record stores stay relevant among the growing digitization of music on websites like iTunes and Amazon.
“The ease of listening to music on the web has made music consumers forget how to appreciate sound and fidelity. It’s great to see that bands and labels are willing to come together and put together these unique releases to support the survival of independent record stores,” Legler said.
For more information on participating retailers and an extensive list of the exclusive vinyl releases, check out Record Store Day’s official website at www.recordstoreday.com
Warbler Records & Goods is located at 131 East De La Guerra Street Santa Barbara, CA 93101.