Record Store Day 2011

Once again I dropped in to see Mike Waite (and Steph) at Mike’s Music on Danforth Avenue in Toronto to honour Record Store Day.

I buy so many CDs from indie artists, and am given so many albums as part of my work, you’d think I wouldn’t need more music. And occasionally, I try to convince myself that’s true.

But the truth is, the love for music is an ever-growing hunger, and when I feel the need, Mike’s Music is the place for me. I sometimes go in for the latest album, but more often than not, I go in just to poke around – only to find a whole whack of great items I can’t help coming home with.

I can’t even estimate how many CDs I’ve bought from Mike over the years. It’s in the hundreds. But visiting Mike’s is not just about the product.

What I love about shopping at Mike’s is the conversations we get into. Every song has a story. Every album has a legacy. Every artist has a myth. And every aficionado lives and breathes that mythology. It’s part of what buying albums is all about.

When you buy albums from an indie record store, you’re not just adding tracks to a playlist, you’re adding knowledge, understanding, appreciation, wisdom to your life.

Which makes a guy like Mike a very special spirit, a kind of secular shaman, with sacred gifts.

Mike knows music, and loves people. And he’s got that incredible beard.

He’s a wizard! And I’m off to see the wizard, every time I feel the need.

It’s just a twenty minute walk. And I can’t afford NOT to have music in my life.

Happy Record Store Day, as often as you need it.

Rewind: Record Store Day 2010

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