Oakland Grown.org Blog

Supporting Oakland's Local Independent Businesses and Artists

Why Support Independent Music? ,

Filed under: Featured — oaklandgrown @ 5:16 pm
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When I worked with Rasputin and Metallica to launch Record Store Day last year, I decided that
it was important to reach out to the broader artist community to see if they would be interested in
working with independent record stores. I was not prepared for the overwhelming response when
their messages started coming in. Let me share a few with you as hearing it from the artists will
convey more than I could hope to do.
From these few quotes, you get the idea: independent record stores are important to the artists
so when you support us you support them, often when they are trying to get their careers off the
ground. But supporting your local music store also has an economic impact on both the national
and local level. On the national level, the local record store typically buy most of their new product
from manufacturers of CDs and vinyl who are by and large located here in the USA, employing
hundreds of people. On a local level, the taxes gathered on purchases are returned back to your local
governments instead of going elsewhere. And just as importantly local property taxes are kept
lower than they would be if the profits on purchases were sent abroad instead of being plowed
back into the local economy.
Another major implication of supporting your local music store, like many of your local bookstores,
is that these businesses are the ultimate recycler. Because the majority of the local record
stores buy and sell used CDs and vinyl they are constantly recycling discs. The net effect is that
most customers can make a purchase, live with it for awhile, and if they don’t like it – they can get
real money back for their CDs and vinyl. Having this freedom allows folks to experiment and keep
something of value for their purchase. It is all part of this very vibrant and important part of the
music industry.
– Michael Kurtz, Co-founder of Record Store Day
“When no one else was supporting me… the mom and pops would sell my music.
I been out here for 10 years and before the deal…. it was the mom and pops that
was feeding my family.” – Lil Boozie
“Immersing yourself in the environment of a real record store where music is celebrated
and cherished adds real value to the experience of buying music. In some
ways, that retail experience is as important as the music.” – John Mellancamp
“There’s nothing as glamorous to me as a record store. When I recently played
Amoeba in LA, I realized what fantastic memories such a collection of music
brings back when you see it all in one place. This is why I’m more than happy to
support Record Store Day and I hope that these kinds of stores will be there for
us all for many years to come.” – Paul McCartney
“I love indie record stores, man. I love anything that’s about independence and
preserving the brand of good music.” – Raheem DeVaughn

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