Media, like religion, has its classics. For every Judaism and Buddhism, there are a dozen little Zoroastrianisms and Jainisms and whatever those people in California killed themselves over in the '90s. So too with music: The cassette tape, the eight-track and the player piano had their days in the sun, but eventually had to catch their own comets home. The venerable record, though, has proved itself a classic: Vinyl is the Judaism of audio encoding.
This becomes clearer every day, as downloading threatens the mirrored rainbow that compact discs have been riding across the sky for the last couple of decades. And though CDs were responsible for this digital revolution, they're finding themselves out-binary-ed by the a la carte offerings that fill an iPod buffet.
But interestingly, there's been a resurgence of interest in the record, because of nostalgia or album art or, as some say (Neko Case), the smell of the vinyl. Probably it's all of these, plus the most persuasive argument — that the analog recording of the vinyl will always maintain a better sound quality than when it's turned into ones and zeroes.
So it's a juggling match, all right, for those … wait, a juggling match? No. Juggling act? Yeah. It's a juggling act for independent record stores, such as Plan 9 Music and Turnstyle, to keep track of these swaying tastes. And perhaps for that reason as much as any other, the independently owned record stores of our great nation have banded together for the third annual Record Store Day, celebrating what they do and the vinyl religion that keeps them orthodox.
On Saturday, April 19, Plan 9 Music in Carytown (3012 W. Cary St.) gets down with its holiest of days. There are the four horsemen, playing: thunder-rock from Hex Machine (1:15-2 p.m.), the funk from No BS Brass Band (2:45-3:30 p.m.), Cinemasophia's noisy shoegaze (4:15-5 p.m.) and lounge act deluxe the Recliners launching their new CD at 5:45 p.m.
Plus, of course, the many gifts: exclusive giveaways (vinyl and CD) from Sony, Anti-Flag, Fat Possum Records and Death Row. And a ton of singles out that day. www.plan9music.com.
Meanwhile, at Turnstyle (102 W. Broad St., 643-8876.), there will be a record swap, giveaways, and disc jockeys Konversion, El Corte, Joanna O., Jesse Split and Tom Collins spinning house, techno and a variety of sidewalk-dance-friendly tracks, noon-6 p.m. On records, of course. Afterward, they'll retire to Rendezvous for an after party at 9 p.m. www.turnstyleonline.com.
This should show you that events like Record Store Day prove the classic media can attain immortality. Assuming you're actually reading this, and not off twitting or something.