Record stores in Normal are vying for vinyl sales on the annual Record Store Day taking place this Saturday.
Record Store Day is a worldwide event that has celebrated the culture surrounding independent record stores since 2008, according to their website.
The town of Normal is home to two independent record stores: Waiting Room Records and North Street Records. Both are on North Street with only Graham Crackers Comics sandwiched between them.
Waiting Room Records considers the day an opportunity to highlight the value of independent record stores, and invites the community to join in.
“It’s a big celebration of the shops, employees, and the community of people that support independent record stores all year long,” said Waiting Room Records Marketing Director Brianne Murphy.
Aside from new vinyl releases, Record Store Day festivities often have included live performances, meet and greets, and even cook-outs. Overall, there is an emphasis on keeping a community together.
“Indie shops serve as a gathering space for people to connect with fellow music lovers and artists, find music they enjoy, and further develop and define their music preferences,” said Murphy.
Pearl Jam will serve as the ambassador for Record Store Day this year. Past musicians in this ceremonial role have included Dave Grohl, Chuck D, Ozzy Osbourne and others.
A picture disc (vinyl record with an image on it) of the Bohemian Rhapsody soundtrack will be released on the day as well as vinyl releases by artists old and new.
People like to support stores that keep physically formatted music alive, according to Waiting Room.
“Vinyl is unique in that it offers an engaging listening experience on an analog format with ritualistic characteristics,” said Murphy. “It increases the saliency of the music to the listener.”
The format has seen a resurgence with a younger demographic over the years.
“They’re fun to listen to,” said college student Bennet Piscopo. “It has a really nice sound quality that you don’t get when listening to Spotify or iTunes.”