On Record Store Day our friends at The Barbarian Group launched the website LP Roulette, which simulates the experience of browsing a record bin at a record store, where you might discover new music based on the album art.
What is it that record stores offer that the Internet doesn’t? What aspect of discovery have we lost? The thing we came up with, besides local community, is browsing by album art. Those of us old enough to remember used to sometimes just browse racks and racks of LPs or Longboxes and when we stumbled upon some bad-ass looking album art, our interest was piqued. Often, that’s all you had to go on – if the clerk didn’t know or have an opinion, you were on your own. No checking Pitchfork on your iPhone.