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BASS: Record Store Day celbrates indie stores, vinyl culture
Today, hundreds of independently-owned music stores around America will participate in Record Store Day to celebrate the culture and unique place they occupy both in their local communities and nationally. In the San Francisco Bay Area, stores like Amoeba Records and Rasputin Music are going to be bustling as they play host to live music acts and promotional giveaways.

"Independent record stores are a vital source of the ever-changing cool. They respond to the street faster than the chains can. They help us telegraph to each other, what we should be telling our friends and neighbors about, and what’s about to take off, or, no longer hot," said guitarist Joe Satriani, who was in San Francisco this week making a radio station appearance.
Special events at all participating indie stores are happening, and merchants are providing customers with goodie bags that promote new formats, new releases, and exciting information on music, theatrical, and gaming releases, said Record Store Day organizers in a press release.
Indie record stores are falling off the map much like their bookstore counterparts, as more consumers buy music online or at major chains. One product that has helped indie record stores survive is the resurgence of vinyl records.
Electronic music such as House, Trance and Drum & Bass are among the genres that have kept vinyl records in rotation since the '90s even as more people buy music digitally because most DJs still work vinyl into their sets.
That’s because DJs have hundreds of records that they pack into their traveling cases, and many DJs prefer buying at local indies. Large chains often don’t know what artists and tracks are desired at nightclubs and electronic music subcultures. In contrast, indies such as Amoeba have local music buyers who ask DJs what producers' work they want.
On Saturday (April 18, 2009) indie record stores nationwide have promotions ranging from goodie bags, enter-to-win promotional offers, partnerships on marketing campaigns, a special one-day sale campaign, in-store appearances, fun events, and information/samples of new formats.
Locally, Amoeba has several music acts playing at its San Francisco, Berkeley and Los Angeles locations, including Kylee of Loquat, Jonathan "Yoni" Wolf and DJ Babu, among others. Amoeba’s also giving away a debut turntable package, a stack of vinyl records of choice and a $100 gift certificate.
Rasputin last year kicked off the first Record Store Day with local metal band Metallica at its San Francisco shop.
"Musical trends are confirmed at the local independent record store, by you and me," added Satriani.
"Hanging out, listening to something you’ve never heard before, being enlightened by the staff, getting into something new, finding that old recording you've been searching for, having your local band's newest offering stocked right next to major label stuff -- it all happens at the local indie shop. Why would we want to do away with all that?"


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