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Special spin on Record Store Day in Sacramento, a town with vinyl in its veins

Check out Record Store Day in Folsom

Dimple Records in Folsom celebrated Record Store Day on April 13, 2019, when records go on sale each year.
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Dimple Records in Folsom celebrated Record Store Day on April 13, 2019, when records go on sale each year.

Not long after the sun rose, shoppers began lining up at the Dimple Records in Folsom and Sacramento and Citrus Heights.

At least once every year, this day is a special occasion for the old school faithful. They lined up because it was Record Store Day.

The 12th annual celebration of all things vinyl, which offers special limited-edition releases at independent record stores, had particular resonance in the Sacramento area – home of the once-mighty Tower Records, which went out of business in 2006.

As the doors opened at Dimple in Folsom, some 50 people streamed inside, scouring bins for their rare titles of choice.

For Mitch Snelson, a vinyl collector, it’s all about “the hunt.”

“The stores aren’t supposed to tell you what they get,” said Snelson, of Plumas Lake. “They all put in for a lottery. They all put in what they want -- the participating independent stores. It can’t be chain stores.”

Quantities are usually limited, with many titles selling out quickly. Without any guarantees, there is more competition.

Liv Perks of Sacramento made two trips to the Dimple Records on Broadway. An resident of England until 16 years ago, Perks rose early hoping to snag something she would find only on Record Store Day: a special release from the Irish rock band U2.

“It just comes out on vinyl, no other format,” she said “It’s not on iTunes, it’s not streaming. It’s something special.”

Perks already has some 200 records at home and landed at least one more after securing a coveted copy of the band’s “Europa” EP.

The second trip was just for browsing. She came with her teenage daughter Saskia, who is a records fan, too. They listen to digital music in the car, but it’s mostly wax at home.

There’s something about the sound, Liv Perks said. “It’s more blur and less perfect and clean, but to hear the hiss and the crackle” is just as, if not more, enjoyable to her, she said.

Unlike CDs and cassettes, records have been an unexpected bright spot in the music industry for some years now. Sales have grown despite the emergence of streaming platforms like Spotify, iTunes and Pandora.

Last year, the Recording Industry Association of America reported that revenues from vinyl albums totaled more than $419 million — an 8 percent increase from the year before — and accounted for one-third of the money earned from physical products.

The unofficial holiday, inaugurated in 2007, has only added to the enthusiasm. Many stores turn it into a day-long party, with live music, food and raffles.

“It definitely brings in people every year who are like ‘Oh, I didn’t even know you were here,’ ” said Amanda Pratt, who manages the Broadway store. “It’s definitely what I would consider a community event — more than just a retail holiday.”

Pratt fell for vinyl not long after she started working for Dimple 13 years ago. She likes the big, expressive cover art and still streams music at home. “There’s definitely a place for both,” she said.

“Right when digital was getting big and the retailers were starting to get nervous I feel like at the very same time there was a rise in social media and you just can’t share digital music with people the way you can with something physical.

After Record Store Day, Pratt she often sees people share photos of their finds on the internet. There’s a different value placed on the tangible, she said.

“Good luck doing that with your iTunes,” Pratt said. “Everyone who loves music loves the cover art. Just staring at your phone, it just doesn’t do it. “

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