Record Store Day: An Op-Ed
By Danya Artimisi
To some, Record Store Day means just another day. It’s an event for which they may or may not know about based on the algorithms within their electronic device. It’s just another day devoted to promoting local business in an effort to sell product. So, let’s take a look at what it means to the open minds, the lonely, the burdened, the lost, the seekers, the fixers, the confused, the trapped, the lovers, and the breathers.
Record Store Day became a “thing” around 2008. It started in the U.S. and has gone global. How and why? Music is a universal language. It is anchored in every culture. From the primitive societies and indigenous tribes to the privileged babies taken to mommy-and-me brunches by their nannies. The commonality across this spectrum is simple. The human brain’s response to music.
Record Store Day celebrates music. It celebrates an artist’s fervent effort toward sharing their gift to the world. An artist experiences every emotion from the initial idea for a piece to forever. The inspiration that triggers the idea, the hope associated with imagining the final product and it’s success, the confusion felt when something is “not quite right”, the frustration for how long it takes to get it right, the group dynamics, every single road block, the sleep deprivation, the stress. I could go on for days, as you and I both know that anything involved with baring your soul runs the the gamut of emotions that sometimes can make or break a person. Therefore, a person is willing to sacrifice themselves for their art.*
Record Store Day is about self care; self love. You subconsciously surround yourself with like-minded individuals. There is a sense of community, a time of reverence. It’s a day devoted to music that inadvertently brings different cultures together in a time in which we’ve not seen this much division in our lives.**
If you are able to take in the experience of Record Store Day today, take a minute, find your center, breathe that moment in and really feel how much love surrounds you at that very moment. It’s an unconditional love that doesn’t care who you are, what you’ve done, how you think, or what you feel. It doesn’t discriminate based on level of intelligence, age, socioeconomic status, and on and on. It’s love and it will be there for you on your best days and your darkest hours. If you’re like me, it may be the bell at your grave site or saturating the air at the moment your child breathes their first breath.
So, get out. Go to the record store. Notice the smell. Notice the expressions on the faces of our fellow humans. Notice the feeling in your body and the natural expression on your face. Notice the exchanges between you and fellow patrons. Show gratitude to those who keep the record store alive despite the best efforts of streaming and downloads to stop this little, but mighty engine.
*Some just do it for the pu$$y and that’s okay. You do you. And do it unapologetically.
**Before you start heaving historical facts, I’m 42 years old.