Singer and guitarist Jake White tells industry secrets and urges people to visit a brick and mortar store instead of being lost in their computers.
April 20th is annual Record Store Day. Who did they choose to be their ambassador this year? None other than Detroit-born Jack White. Formerly of The White Stripes, The Dead Weather, and The Raconteurs, Jack White is well-know throughout the music world and in many interviews is a vocal proponent of getting back to a more personal and less digital lifestyle. (The irony of penning this article for an online magazine is not lost on me.)
Jack White wrote a note to go along with his ambassadorship (you can read the full text below the video here):
The world hasn’t stopped moving. Out there, people are still talking to each other face-to-face, exchanging ideas and turning each other on. Art houses are showing films, people are drinking coffee and telling tall tales, women and men are confusing each other and record stores are selling discs full of soul that you haven’t felt yet. So why do we choose to hide in our caves and settle for replication? We know better. We should at least. We need to re-educate ourselves about human interaction and the difference between downloading a track on a computer and talking to other people in person and getting turned onto music that you can hold in your hands and share with others. The size, shape, smell, texture and sound of a vinyl record; how do you explain to that teenager who doesn’t know that it’s a more beautiful musical experience than a mouse click? You get up off your ass, you grab them by the arm and you take them there. You put the record in their hands. You make them drop the needle on the platter. Then they’ll know.
Let’s wake each other up.
“Oh, well! 4/20 is over, anyway,” you might think.
It’s not too late! And that’s actually the whole point of this. So you don’t go to a comic book store on Free Comic Book Day and you didn’t go to a record store on Record Store Day. That’s okay. The point is just to get out of the house and visit the stores and local businesses more often. The benefits: they have a much more human touch that iTunes or Amazon, you get the chance to meet people and find something new, and you also will be supporting your own community.
If you’re looking for a good place to start and are also a fan of any of Jack’s work, a place to start would be to go pick up his debut solo album, “Blunderbuss” at your local record store. It’s delicious.
And hey, along the way, you might just discover something new.
Now it’s your turn: Did you go to a record store today or do you visit them regularly? Have you discovered music there that you wouldn’t have otherwise? Have any good record store stories?