Vinyl's Big Holiday: Record Store Day

Shops around SoCal -- and beyond -- will feature in-store concerts, specials, more.

Your knowledge of lyrics is laudable. Your acumen about the subtext of deep-cut songs is astounding. And your scholar-like grasp of a popular band's history, from various member changes to subtle style shifts, could serve as the basis for a university seminar.

But who to share all of this big-brain'd music info with nowadays, live and in person? The owner of your local record store, is the short and complete answer. 

For the venerable, vinyl-filled corner shop isn't just a place to find some fresh tunes; it has long been a place of community, of the sharing of enthusiasms, a spot to rave about new discoveries and long-loved groups.

Want to honor your local shop and its continuing legacy as both a place that sells recording music and a place for fans to connect? Saturday, April 16 is Record Store Day, an annual occasion that both trumpets these enduring and important businesses while giving customers some sweet reasons to stop by.

Or perhaps we mean "suh-weeeet," which has long been one of the terms unleashed upon hearing a truly epic song. Record stores across the land, including several around Southern California, will offer deals and live performances, all in celebration of a shop that has not gone away, even in this digital-everything age.

And thank goodness. Where else could we buy, in person, a hip-hop CD from 1996, a vintage iron-on patch from 1972, and that poster we had on our wall back in '88? 

Of course, record stores aren't all about looking to the past. Many a ballyhooed band still releases vinyl versions of their albums, and the occasional CD and cassette tape, if they're especially enamored of the technologies that once reigned supreme.

Some 2016 highlights? Metallica has been named the ambassador of this Record Store Day go-around (they're appearing at Rasputin Music in Berkeley, in honor of the holiday). A few stores are doing all-day dance parties. And Amoeba Records has a full slate of specials and happenings, with bunches of limited releases and some starry DJ sets (Fred Armisen of "Portlandia" will be at the turntables, yep).

What's your store? What will it be up to on April 16? And have you ever found a better place to share your passion for early '80s New Wave-Metal? Record stores remain vital hubs in our art-loving communities, for their merchandise, yes, in part, but because they are always the go-to place for shooting the breeze on your most-favorite-ever bands.

Time to celebrate.

Angrum Kay contributed to this report.

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