Record Store Day celebrates
the culture and value of independent stores
Rarely a week went by during my teenage and early adult years when I didn't
spend a considerable amount of time and money at locally-owned, independent
record stores Music Circuit, Peeple's Music and later, Archives Records and
Tapes, all of which were conveniently located near one another in Des Moines.
Like other devoted music fans, I relished the search for records, tapes,
CDs and posters by my favorite artists. Yet my greatest discoveries were
kernels of knowledge (often found in liner notes, or by talking to store
employees) and volumes of new music... the kind that you could not find at
the mall or a big box store.
Looking back, the time that I spent at independent record stores was part
of my early education as a listener, musician and music critic. It not only
fed my voracious appetite for music, but it reminded me to keep my ears and
eyes wide open — a lesson that sticks with me today.
Fortunately, despite changes in music formats and intense competition from
the Internet and big retail, independent shops like Zzz, Wayback and Red
Rooster Records exist in Des Moines today. Their presence provides discerning
music fans an alternative to the homogenized way in which most music today
is produced and sold. So to help celebrate the unique culture surrounding
those and approximately 1,500 other independently owned record stores across
the country, the fourth annual Record Store Day will be held Saturday, April