Record Store Day 2012: Keep independent Twin Cities shops open

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Photo By Erik Hess
With the musical madness of Record Store Day about to sweep over the Twin Cities and the rest of the country once again on Saturday, it seems like an opportune time to celebrate the many outstanding options within both Minneapolis and St. Paul to shop for our music. As Record Store Day thankfully continues to gain momentum each year, and the limited-edition, RSD-exclusive releases grow ever more tempting, our local shops continue to plan larger and larger music events that only add to the festivities. 

But we shouldn't just support them one day out of the year, either, as we've all sadly witnessed many excellent record stores being forced to close up shop over the years. For those who work in downtown Minneapolis, Target has unfortunately become the only place to buy music in the immediate vicinity.

Long gone are the halcyon days of Let It Be and Northern Lights, beloved downtown Minneapolis record stores selling tons of great music and hosting some pretty amazing in-store performances. Also, many long-lasting friendships were hatched there, as well.

For there is a definite community to be found within the walls of an independent record shop, and that is precisely what all of us music fans should be celebrating not only on Record Store Day on Saturday, but every other day of the year. One can't imagine the Twin Cities without a thriving batch of record stores that are there to unify all of us in our love of tangible, physical music.

Plus, there just seems to be something inherently therapeutic in flipping through stacks of records and (to a lesser extent) CDs. There's a sense of tranquility that seems to flow through any given record shop that causes time to move just a bit slower than the typically hectic world outside (a point that is regrettably also true for anyone working a long shift within those same shops).

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Photo By Erik Hess

So, as you hardcore music fans begin to assemble your must have Record Store Day releases leading up to Saturday (and stake out your place in line), be thankful that you have so many different independent music shops in the area to try and track that limited-edition RSD vinyl down. There are plenty of other cities in this country where their only music options are big box retailers, and we should all never allow that to happen here.

So consider this just a friendly reminder to all you music lovers out there, that those same record shops that will most assuredly be packed with patrons on Saturday are most likely also open for business the following day as well. Viva la vinyl!

Click here for a partial list of the independent record stores in Minnesota taking part in Record Store Day.



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