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Tucson tunes in old school for Record Store Day

Customers+browse+the+vinyls+at+Wooden+Tooth+Records+on+Seventh+Street+on+April+22.+Though+vinyl+was+replaced+for+more+modern+technologies%2C+many+people+in+Tucson+still+collect+records.
Selena Quintanilla

Customers browse the vinyls at Wooden Tooth Records on Seventh Street on April 22. Though vinyl was replaced for more modern technologies, many people in Tucson still collect records.

Music fans across the world turned off their Pandora playlists this weekend and tuned into their favorite songs in a different way. This past Saturday, music fans everywhere celebrated National Record Store Day.

Inaugurated in 2007, Record Store Day occurs every year on the third Saturday in April. 

The idea was to help spread the word about 1,400 independent record stores in America and thousands across the world. Today, there are record stores on every continent on Earth, except for Antarctica. 

Music fans across the globe celebrate the distinctive culture of records with festivities including cook-outs, performances, meet and greets and other events.

Many Tucson record stores celebrated this occasion, including PDQ Records, Zia Records-Speedway and Wooden Tooth Records.

Kellan Fortier, co-owner of Wooden Tooth Records, helped bring in the special occasion at his store. An avid music fan himself, Fortier has over 1,200 records in his personal collection.

Located at 416 E. Seventh St, Wooden Tooth Records has music from local artists along with classic records, such as “All Eyez on Me” by Tupac and “Midnight Marauders” by A Tribe Called Quest.

RELATED: Retro technology makes a comeback

Wooden Tooth Records also celebrated their third anniversary on Record Store Day.

“We opened up earlier than usual and had all of the exclusive record store day releases,” Fortier said. “We put aside hundreds of records for people to dig through and also had free coffee and doughnuts.”

Despite the emergence of Apple Music, Spotify and other streaming services into the music industry, music fans still like to turn back the clock on how they enjoy their music.

RELATED: Wooden Tooth records finds a new home for music lovers in downtown Tucson

“I think there is something more tangible than just an MP3, you are getting a piece of art instead of a file on a computer,” Fortier said. “If you have the right sound system, I think vinyls sound much better than digital music.”

Despite streaming websites and digital files, records have seen an increase in sales over the past few years. Known as the Vinyl Revival, vinyls have had an uptick in popularity since 2007, after being replaced in the 80s by CDs and by digital downloads in the 2000s.

“People going back to purchasing things instead of illegally downloading them is supporting the artist,” Fortier said. “It allows for artists to continue making music.”

Fortier said that Tucson had a decent-sized fan base collecting vinyls at the time, some even collecting them exclusively.

“I would say quite a few people in Tucson are collecting solely vinyls at the moment,”Fortier said. “People do not buy CDs anymore.”

Since its inauguration three years ago on Record Store Day, Wooden Tooth Records has seen its customer base grow.

“We have grown every year and Record Store Day proves this every year,” he said.

Tucson was not the only location celebrating Record Store Day in southern Arizona; stores in Phoenix were also celebrating the occasion.

“Some friends in Phoenix with a record store are having live music and going all out,” Fortier said.

While few things beat a great Spotify playlist, owning a record of one of your favorite musical acts might top that. Vinyls are more expensive than CDs and streaming services, but they provide a different sense of ownership.

Wooden Tooth Records is open from noon to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays. 


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