Sonic Rainbow Hosts Record Store Day
Hey, hey, my, my.
Rock 'n' roll will never die, at least not if the crew at Sonic Rainbow, 140 S. Center St., can help it -- along with little lyrical help from Neil Young.
Casper's independent record store has survived economic upturns and downturns, changing musical tastes, and the ways sound waves are delivered to listeners from bands, choirs, rappers in makeshift studios and symphony orchestras in concert halls.
Sonic Rainbow, its owner Jude Carino and store manager Brandon Schulte mark their survival, if not their counter-cultural triumph by joining hundreds of indie record stores worldwide for Record Store Day on Saturday that begins at 10 a.m. and probably will end about 7 p.m. Local bands will begin playing at the store about 1 p.m.
"It's a celebration of the culture, a celebration of the passion of music, and also the celebration of the best medium to listen to music: vinyl, LPs, seven-inchers," Carino said.
Sonic Rainbow stocks and sells lots of CDs, but they don't have the same soul as vinyl, he said.
"It sounds, to some of our ears, better. It's warmer. It's more velvety, and it captures closer to what the artists had originally done; and what their original intention was," Carino said. "That's the beauty of it, is that you are closer to that artist, and you are closer to what that artistic creation was and making that personal connection to music."
He points to the racks of vinyl, CDs, cassettes, and videos, saying some are new and some are used, traded in by customers. The store also sells T-shirts emblazoned with the names of local bands to promote the underground culture.
He acknowledges that the digital revolution has enabled people to go to their computers, click on websites, and order a Sonic Rainbow-size inventory of tunes that fit in a smart phone or an iPod.
But Schulte and a lot of record store customers want more, he said.
"I like to be able to hold it," he said. "I like to be able to see the artwork with my own two eyes. I like to be able to thumb through the lyric sheet and really sit there and study what these musicians were actually saying."
It's more than a retail matter.
Sonic Rainbow has given Casper a haven for its underground punk culture, and Schulte said he remembers it well.
"One of my favorite things about being here and working at this place is I can remember coming in here as a little 13-year-old degenerate a long, long, long time ago," he said. "And the fact that it's still here and that I'm still a regular; we have a lot of people that have a similar story."