Smile Politely

Record Store Day does not disappoint for music fans

If I had a say in matters of national importance Record Store Day would be a federal holiday. I can’t think of a holiday, other than RSD, that was as enjoyable as Saturday.

I began my day as one of the forty-some eager customers waiting for Exile on Main Street to open its doors at 10 a.m. I snagged the vinyl objects of my desire and enjoyed the company of fellow music fans. Music became our salvation; we delighted over the limited edition albums in our hands and completely ignored the long lines that would have ruined any other day.

After the record purchasing high wore off a bit, live music was there to pick me back up. I saw the first four acts at Exile before heading to the other great record store in C-U, Parasol Records in Urbana. I was lucky enough to catch The Leadership and Grandkids at Parasol: both bands performed great sets in the small, intimate record store. It was a great reminder of how good live music can be in a such a small venue.

After a small lunch I made it back to Exile for Ezra Furman and the Harpoons and Elsinore. To my chagrin I found the store much more crowded than when I left it – so crowded I found myself hugging the racks of records just to get a glimpse of the bands performing. The music, the experience and the excitement of the day took any discomfort or claustrophobia completely away, however. In a situation I would have hated any other day, I was happy as a clam.

I didn’t stick around for the entire slate of music at Exile, but after putting in a typical 8-hour work day at Champaign’s record stores, I figured I had enjoyed my fill for the day. I got exactly what I needed: new records, live music and an escape from things that would normally bother me. If that is not what a holiday is meant for, I don’t know what a holiday is.

Now to forward this to Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk. Let’s see if they can make this federal holiday idea a reality.

Check out more pics from Chris’s Record Store Day experience here.

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