Record Store Day -- taking place around the world Saturday -- celebrates the hardy few shops that are still thriving, despite the declining economy and state of the music industry.
"It should be called Remember What You Are Losing Day," said Karl Groeger Jr., owner of Looney Tunes in West Babylon. "It's really a day for remembering the collectibility and ownership of music as an art form. Places like ours are going away. There used to be hundreds on Long Island; now there's basically a handful."
One of the things that has helped keep these stores alive is the resurgence of vinyl.
"People like the idea of having a record in their hand," said Josh Goldberg, manager of Mr. Cheapo CD & Record Exchange with locations in Mineola and Commack. "They enjoy reading the liner notes and looking at the lyrics. It's something that will never die."
However, collectors not only savor the visual aspect of vinyl, they find the sound superior. "The vinyl technology has gotten better," Groeger added. "It's a fact that the sound wave file you can fit on vinyl is a lot larger than you can fit on a digital file. When they convert the music into digital files to put on a CD, they chop off the high end and the lows in order to shrink the file. Overall, vinyl has a warmer feeling."
Where platters spin
There are more than 300 limited-edition releases -- 95 percent of those on vinyl -- planned for Record Store Day. Here are some of the places you can buy them on the Island:
Mr. Cheapo CD & Record Exchange
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46 Jericho Tpke., Commack, 631-543-8686
134 Jericho Tpke., Mineola, 516-742-7670, mrcheapocds.com
31 Brookvale Ave., West Babylon, 631-587-7722, looneytunescds.com
FREE CONCERTS Rootsy rock band the Lumineers performs at 3:30 p.m.; singer-songwriter Grace Read plays at 4
SPECIALS Looney Tunes' exclusive blue-colored vinyl of Taking Back Sunday's live EP, "We Play Songs," featuring two tracks recorded in the store. VIP members are admitted at 9 a.m., one hour before the official opening.
228 Merrick Rd.,
Rockville Centre, 516-678-9445, cdislandny.com
CONCERTS Folk-rock group Medicine Fish performs at 10 a.m.
SPECIALS Exclusive vinyl releases plus 10 percent off everything in the store
High Fidelity Records & CDs
59B Merrick Rd.,
SPECIALS 20 percent off everything (excluding Record Store Day releases)