Tomorrow is the annual celebration of independent music shops called Record Store Day. There are lots of in-store performances and other events at local shops and plenty of limited-edition or otherwise special releases hitting the racks for the occasion--check here for the Reader's extensive list--but I have to say that an ad placed in this week's paper by Reckless Records might be my favorite part of this year's Record Store Day so far.
The ad is a whimsical essay by Steve Albini that compares record stores to farmers' markets, and it does a great job explaining what makes real record stores--not chains or big boxes--so important, both on an individual and a cultural level. But you don't have to take my word for it. Read it for yourself: