Record Store Day spins into San Antonio

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In a digital age where everyone is constantly listening to their favorite songs, bands and artists on the go, it has become increasingly rare for people to use physical media of any sort, whether it be CDs, cassette tapes or vinyl records. Record Store Day wants to change that.

The days of walking into your local record store, asking around for new suggestions from the counter clerk, or just browsing through the $1 bin of old LPs seem obsolete now thanks to the revolution of iTunes, streaming services and social media. Discussing new and old music can now be done with people all over the globe from the comfort of our own laptops.

Conceived in 2007 by a group of independent record store owners and employees, Record Store Day celebrates the people who make up the tradition of the record store – the artists, the customer and the staff – by coming together and recognizing the unique role these local stores play in their communities. Spanning across every continent of the world, except, of course, Antarctica, participating record stores offer exclusive records, CDs and tapes only found on this special day.

A mainstay in San Antonio for 33 years, Hogwild Records has stayed open longer than most of the country’s record stores. Manager Jaime Gonzalez’s devotion has kept the store up to date with all of the latest releases, vintage records and old relics people bring in to sell from their own collections. This, in addition to a supportive San Antonio community, has kept the store in business.

Judging by the line wrapped around the outside of Hogwild Records for this year’s Record Store Day, the physical medium of music has clearly found its way back into the hearts of many people. Hogwild has been known to cater to San Antonio’s historic metal scene, with one of America’s historic rock bands, Butthole Surfers, hailing from the Alamo City. On a day like Record Store Day, metalheads and newcomers alike arrived early to snag an exclusive record, or just to come and look around and accompany other music lovers on their endeavors.

The first thing customers lay their eyes on upon entering is a “New Release” rack, along with differing shades of black and grey shirts emblazoned with numerous metal and rock bands hanging from the rafters of the small building, including Slayer and Behemoth.

The smell of the records intermingle with the scent of years worth of smoke and soot that inhabit the history of the building and the records people have brought in, whether from decades ago or two days prior.

This year’s offer of exclusive titles included limited numbers of vinyl from famous musicians, such as Bob Dylan’s “The Basement Tapes,” Frank Sinatra’s “Songs for Young Lovers” and even U2’s “Songs of Innocence” which only had 5,000 known copies.

Record Store Day does have its downsides; people that exploit the exclusivity of some of the records on sale will camp out all night in an effort to grab a copy of a rare release, only to sell that record on eBay for more than they bought it for.

Though this can ruin the fun for some passionate collectors, the love of music wins out over everything.Customers were leaving the store with their hearts as full as their bags.