Independence Day

Not that long ago, mom-and-pop record stores were common – but no more. Today only the strongest continue to survive, and many of them are struggling due to a consumer shift from physical products to the virtual kind. Record Store Day aims to slow this slide by tempting customers with a wide array of instant collectibles only available from independent record sellers.

Ten metro Denver retailers are taking part in today’s event with live music and more, including Wax Trax and Independent Records, but Twist & Shout is putting on what’s arguably the most elaborate celebration: live DJs, an area set aside for members of local arts and business organizations, including the Swallow Hill Music Association, to tell their respective stories, and oodles of new product. The treasures include around 2,000 jazz recordings gathered over the years by the late Monk Montgomery, a Las Vegas radio personality and brother of famed guitarist Wes Montgomery.

“There’s some amazing shit in there,” says Paul Epstein, Twist & Shout’s owner – and he and his peers want to do everything they can to make sure such artifacts are appreciated. “We’re living in a time of so much change,” he notes. “It’s like there’s a gigantic cultural pink eraser hanging over all our heads. And Record Store Day is an opportunity to take a step back, take a deep breath, and think about the things that really matter to us culturally, artistically and emotionally.”

Find a complete list of participating stores at – and learn more about the festivities at Twist & Shout, 2508 East Colfax Avenue, at 303-722-1943 or
Sat., April 18, 2009

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts