It's Record Store Day!
Go out and visit your local independent record store today, if there is still one within 100 miles or so.
You know your business model is in trouble when you get a "day" devoted to it. Why, I remember celebrating "Floppy Disc Day" and "Blacksmith Appreciation Day" as if they were yesterday.
There are some really cool things going on at stores around town, though.
Amoeba Records in Hollywood has a DJ set by Daniel Ash and David J (And Love & Rockets are playing a pre-Coachella show at the Glasshouse on Tuesday by the way, if you can get in), and also sets by Peanutbutter Wolf, the Donnas and giveaways for $50 gift certificates and other goodies.
Hip-hop store Fat Beats has discounts on everything all day long, and free shipping online.
Fingerprints in Long Beach doesn't have info posted that I can see, but they're still cool as hell, and you should go support them.
Freakbeat Records in Sherman Oaks: If you haven't been there. It's run by Bob Say who ran the Moby Disc chain, and there is probably not a more knowledgeable record store guy alive. Tell Bob hi, and take advantage of cheap LPs (99 cent ones are marked down toa quarter for pete's sake) and other discounts.
Headline Records on Melrose. My guess is if you're wearing Doc Martens and don't look like a complete poser, you may already get a discount. Not only are they a great punk rock store, but their website keeps you up to date on cool punk and hardcore shows in the area. They've been on Melrose since the early 90s (I think), and they're a great place for the loud stuff.
We miss Rhino in Westwood, but Rhino in Claremont is still trucking. I never understood the relationship between the two stores - or the label - except that all three entities seemed to be staffed by people totally passionate about music, with little care if it's popular; only if it's good.
Rockaway Records: With Aron's gone, if you still want to be treated with utter disdain by record store clerks, then Rockaway is the place for you! What are they doing for Record Store Day? Maybe you'll get 10% more sneer. Great selection of used CDs, and ridiculously overpriced collectible junk.
Headed north today? Stop at Salzer's in Ventura. I used to think of it as an independent version of Tower Records. Clean, bright, deep catalog, very browsing friendly. And now they've managed to outlive Tower! Well done Salzer's.
V.I.P. Records, Long Beach. Come on Snoop Dogg stood on top of their sign in a video way back in the day. Tons of not just hip-hop, but soul, blues, R&B, jazz and reggae. A really wonderful store: 1014 E. Pacific Coast Highway
Vinyl Solution, Huntington Beach. Their MySpace page lists in-stores they've had, and makes you realize they're as viable a venue for live punk music as that closed down place in NY that I forget the name of... Nikki Sudden, U.S. Bombs, F minus, H.R., the list goes on...
Poobah's in Pasadena. They're no longer in that house, but you're still just as likely to run into Rodney Bingenheimer as you are at Canter's. They're now at 2636 Colorado.
Even with the huge die-off in independent record stores, there are still more out there than listed here, not just in SoCal, but across the country. Visit 'em. Buy some records.