Record Store Day brings vinyl to the MP3 generation - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Record Store Day brings vinyl to the MP3 generation

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Saturday is your chance to score rare vinyl during the fifth annual Record Store Day. (Source: Flickr/Criminal_Aurora) Saturday is your chance to score rare vinyl during the fifth annual Record Store Day. (Source: Flickr/Criminal_Aurora)
You can find a full list of participating stores at www.recordstoreday.com. (Source: Record Store Day) You can find a full list of participating stores at www.recordstoreday.com. (Source: Record Store Day)

(RNN) - For those who prefer black and white to color movies, film to digital cameras and the warmth of vinyl to the slick MP3, comes a day built exclusively for your old (or perhaps hipster) soul - Record Store Day.

Saturday marks the fifth annual day dedicated to those round discs that spin and play music (No, not CDs).

The goal? To celebrate the culture of - and drive traffic to - small independent music shops that are becoming increasingly rare in today's digital, "download music in your pajamas with the click of a button" world.

"What I really want is for people to enjoy themselves, and either remind themselves or learn for the first time how great a place [a record store] is," said Carrie Colliton, a Record Store Day organizer.

Those who make the trek to their local store can expect to unearth buried treasure of all sorts - rare and sought-after vinyl, both old and new. Titles and quantities vary by store and many are only available on Record Store Day.

And it's not just a day for indie-cred caliber artists.  

Anberlin, Arcade Fire, Bruno Mars, Sara Bareilles, The Civil Wars and Switchfoot are just a few of the headline acts putting out limited-edition releases for this year's event. 

Eric Levin, a Record Store Day organizer and owner of Criminal Records in Atlanta, says the participation of big acts - and the growing popularity of the event - "speaks to the ubiquity" of vinyl.

"[It's] the fact that parents are bringing in kids and maybe showing them LPs for the first time or vice versa," he said. "We're all scratching our heads saying, 'It can't be as big as last year,' but it always is. [Stores] have reported it's their busiest sales day."

In what may be old school music's version of Black Friday, people lined up and camped outside of Criminal Records Friday night in anticipation.

"Everything about it gets bigger and bigger, the interest, the number of people who come to the website to find a store. At one point, we hit 50,000 visitors a day [on the site] and that's higher than our first Record Store Day total," Colliton said.

More than 700 stores in the U.S. will participate. Internationally, that spikes to 1,800-2,000 stores.

In addition to scoring some rare finds, fans in many cities will be treated to in-store performances. Dierks Bentley will bring his Nashville swagger to Seattle's Easy Street Records on Saturday.

"He's a big supporter of records stores. He realizes what Seattle has meant to the world as far as music goes. He gets it," said Matt Vaughan, owner of Easy Street. "Some stores might not want to have such a big event, but I felt this is an opportunity that can't be passed up."

And while sales of tangible music may be giving way to the less tangible digital MP3, the nostalgia of vinyl seems to have a magnetic pull on music fans that is timeless.

"Twenty five years ago, when I first opened my store, it was all vinyl. Later people brought in their record collections, unloading them for dimes so they could get this thing called the CD. Then here we are doing the opposite of that today, people trading in their CD's, not caring at all and wanting this highly sought-after vinyl," Vaughan said.

For a list of titles and participating locations, visit www.recordstoreday.com.

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