While our society has begun to fully enter the digital content stage, it's good to get a reminder of what the world was like before the Internet existed. Over Easter vacation, I opted to stay with a good friend of mine in Orange County rather than make the tedious journey back to the east coast. As an avid music fan herself, my friend suggested that we visit a record store in Laguna Beach called the Sound Spectrum.

Now, if you have not listened to my USDRadio program, read any of my previous columns or met me in person, you probably do not understand my deep seeded and, honestly, pretty extreme love of music. When I walked into the Sound Spectrum, I felt like I was in heaven. The walls were plastered in posters of the Grateful Dead, Bob Marley and The Beatles. The racks were filled with an excellent assortment of used CDs (my friend actually found the incredible album "Dylan and the Dead," which I highly recommend), posters, accessories and T-shirts. The sign outside read that the store had been open since 1967. The friendly man at the counter, who happened to have impeccable taste in music, was friendly, helpful and just as excited as my friend and I at our discoveries.

Small, independent record stores like the Sound Spectrum are a dying breed. Though larger stores, like the famous Amoeba stores in Los Angeles and San Francisco (I found the relatively rare vinyl addition of Little Feat's excellent live album "Waiting for Columbus" at the L.A. location), still manage some success, it is relatively rare for anyone, including intense music fans, to possess hard copies of albums they love. Artists and record companies struggle to keep CDs relevant, sometimes resorting to adding extra features like videos to the package, which, in most cases, are pretty superfluous and can be found just as easily online for free.

This is where Record Store Day comes in. Each year in mid-April, many major artists release vinyl editions of rare recordings, concerts or collaborations exclusively available in record stores like the Sound Spectrum. If you were at Coachella, you may remember the Zia tent that also offered Record Store Day offerings and artist signings over the weekend to celebrate the musical holiday. Not only did I get to meet one of my favorite folk artists, the Tallest Man on Earth, but I also helped to support him through the purchase of a hard copy of his newest EP.

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