A Celebration of Music: Record Store Day in New York City

With Record Store Day upon us, music fans across the world will be hungry to head out to their local music store to find some special vinyl record releases from their favorite artists. As was this case for the previous two years, Record Store Day 2011 will have me on the hunt throughout record stores in New York City.

The one music store where I’m hoping to catch some good records is “Other Music,” located at 15 E. Fourth St. in Manhattan. I can easily recognize the store by its black exterior and the large glass windows that display some of the latest records that store has received. The wooden racks have a large collection of some of the latest underground and experimental music to be released. The walls have whiteboards attached to them that show new releases as well as music that is coming soon. The vinyl record collection sprawls an entire wall that hosts the square boxes that contain the music.

The official Record Store Day website contains a list of special and limited edition vinyl record releases. The music being released spans many different genres, so finding something to satisfy your taste in music should not be difficult.

Being an avid fan of alternative rock and grunge, I am going to first set out to find the album “Medium Rare” by the Foo Fighters. This record has a collection of twelve cover songs, such as “Band on the Run” and “Bad Reputation.” With the Foo Fighter’s “Wasting Light” album coming out in recent days, I am itching to hear more music from Dave Grohl and company. The album art is quite humorous in that it depicts a frozen piece of meat in a grocery store style package (hence the “Medium Rare” album title).

I’m also aiming to pick up “Hormoaning” by Nirvana. This album is a set of songs from Nirvana’s Australian tour in 1992. This is the first time that the record will be released in the United States. The grunge gods are sure to have a unique spin on their songs in this tour, so I’m really looking forward to hear this one. The album art shows band members Kurt Cobain, Dave Grohl, and Krist Novoselic posing for a picture.

Pearl Jam’s “Vs.” and “Vitalogy” are also on my to-buy list. The re-release of these two albums on CD have also made their way to vinyl. “Vs.” is arguably Pearl Jam’s best album while “Vitalogy” also has its own share of hits such as “Better Man.” The album art for “Vs.” is a close up of a sheep behind a fence (the sheep is symbolic of the band’s “trapped” feeling of the music industry at the time). The “Vitalogy” cover is simply the word “Vitalogy” in yellow letters over a gray background.

With my record player handy and four freshly purchased vinyl records, I hope to call Record Store Day 2011 a success. It is great to celebrate one of the earliest forms of music storage but it is the combination of a great technology with great music that makes Record Store Day what it is.