If you do nothing else today, do try and get to pass some money across a counter to a real living human being and received some recorded music in return. I know it’s really easy to do the old one-click on the laptop, or even on the phone, but let’s just resist this time and experience the much more satisfying alternative.
It’s annual Record Store Day, and by golly it’s grown in the last few years. There is now a really good website – find it here – with an international search so no matter where you are in the world, you can find if there is an independent record shop near you.
As I live near Birmingham, in the UK, here are the two shops you will find on the Record Store Day search:
There is The Diskery, which is so old school it doesn’t have a website, and then there is my personal favourite, Polar Bear.
Polar Bear is in York Road in Kings Heath, and Steve and Nathan provide a warm welcome, interesting things on the store hi-fi, loads of tempting CDs and vinyl in the racks, and loads more if you ask for advice and recommendations. There is a good jazz section, but there is lots more, with a special leaning to alt-rock and nuevo folk. The second-hand classical section also throws up a few surprises.
It’s the kind of shop where complete strangers enthuse to you about what they’ve just been listening to, and, once you’ve made your purchases – and you will make them – why not pop along to Cherry Reds, a lovely little cafe and bar for an organic beer and a snack.