Is the independent record store ready for a spot on the endangered species list? Not according to Jim Henderson, one of the four owners of Amoeba Music. Henderson is preparing for Record Store Day , intended, he says, “to celebrate the spirit and the community of independent record stores.” The occasion “shines a light on the positive energy that exists and takes away the overblown perception that the record store is a dying breed.” Henderson points out that the independents have a vibe and a heart that you don't find at the bigger, chain stores. “We're about the music and the culture,” he asserts. “There's no soul at the big box stores. There, you can only crunch numbers so far, until they turn to dust.” We called several other independent record stores and most of the reps reported business as being good, and that they plan to do something for Record Store Day. (Call the independent record store nearest you to see what, if anything, they've got going.) Much of the action is at Amoeba, the Big Kahuna of the independents. At 2 p.m., Slash does a signing for 300 customers who have already prepurchased his latest release; the Smashing Pumpkins will perform across the street at 4 p.m. for those who have preordered their new box set. (All purchasing and preordering must be done in-store.) There will be guest DJs and giveaways, T-shirt silk-screening for charity and loads of limited-edition music releases (one per customer!) that you can only buy today. Get there early for best access to these exclusives. (Hey, this piece was written while waiting in line at the store!)

Sat., April 17, 10:30 a.m.-11 p.m., 2010

LA Weekly