It launched in 2008 as a way to celebrate independent record stores across the world; 10 special releases were slated for Record Store Day (RSD). In 2015, RSD has grown into a massive gathering of music fans and record collectors, with 200 participating stores in the United States and over 1,000 additional stores worldwide. It’s become a day where stores host concerts and appearances from internationally known and local performing artists everywhere. Record Store Day even has a spearhead musician who acts as its official ambassador. From Metallica to Joshua Homme, Jack White, Ozzy Osbourne and Iggy Pop, well-known musicians have honored the daY’S integrity, each noting the effect that independent record stores have had on their lives and careers.
Founded by Eric Levin, Michael Kurtz, Carrie Colliton, Amy Dorfman, Don Van Cleave, and Brian Poehner during an annual record store owners’ meeting, Record Store Day continues to be celebrated the third Saturday of April. Taking over the ambassador reign in 2015 is Foo Fighters’ very own Dave Grohl. Over 400 exclusive releases will be a part of the U.S. market, with over 60 percent launched from independent labels. Stores will not know what shipments they get in until a few days before April 18. Here’s a look at plans from a few of Wilmington’s own independent record shops for this Saturday…
928 N 4th St. (910) 399-4847
Starting at noon on Saturday, 12-year-old Squidco will open their Brooklyn Arts District doors and showcase experiemental live music performances throughout the day, as well as show music videos and host giveaways. Everything in the store will be 10 percent off, plus they’ll have back issues of music-centered magazines at 50 percent off.
“We’ll also have a selection of used LPs for sale that are reserved for record shows,” owner Phil Zampino says. Personally, Zampion’s looking forward to the special release of Brian Eno’s “My Squelchy Life” (“a great record that’s finally issued on vinyl,” he notes), as well as Sun Ra’s “Planets of Life” and Death’s “Amiens ‘73.”
Squidco’s known for their international appeal and reach within the world-music market. Fans will find Kullrusk’s “Spring Spring Spring Spring Spring” release on Moserobie (reg 180 g vinyl). “We’ll probably be the only store in the U.S. carrying this reissue of Sweden’s Kullrusk’s 2006 jazz album, which borrows elements from pop and rock,” Zampino notes.
Though they won’t carry a full lineup of RSD releases, they select items specifically enriching to their 7,000-deep music catalog. Per Record Store Day rules: They aren’t allowed pre-orders or guaranteed any stock. So, like all other participants, Squidco won’t know exactly what they’ll have on sale until the shipment comes in a few days before April 18—which they then will list on their website.
“It’s important that record stores around the world are highlighted, and that people recognize the value that record stores bring to their communities,” Zampino notes. “Squidco uses its store not just to sell music, but also to organize people for concerts, presenting both local musicians and intrepid improvisers touring on the coast. We work hard to inform our customers on new music they might not be familiar with. With so many streaming services, people have become very passive about listening to music. We hope Record Store Day will help bring people back to more active listening, choosing music for themselves instead of having it programmed for them.”
612 Castle St. (910) 343-1000
Taking Best Place to Buy Music/Best Record Store 2015 in encore’s Best Of poll, Gravity will stock most RSD exclusives and in large quantities, as to ensure everyone goes home with a sonic gem. As usual, the titles are limited, so once they sell out, it’s gone.
“There are so many [releases I am looking forward to,]” Matt Keen, owner of Gravity, says, “but the Bob Dylan ‘Basement Tapes’ MONO editions are a highlight, for sure.”
As well, Keen is working with most indie labels on RSD non-sanctioned releases—like Snapper, Beer City, Captured Tracks, Metal Face Records, Polyvinyl, Paper Bag, Young God, Saddle Creek, Medical Records, and more. “We believe we will have the bulk of the non-sanctioned indie exclusives available,” he says.
Aside from selling the day’s records, customers will find goodies sold from Vittles food truck and beer samples from Fly Trap Brewery. Plus, live music will play throughout the day thanks to local bands Deep Ecology, Astro Cowboy, Deadly Lo-fi, and The Midatlantic.
Gravity expects to know what they’ll have in stock by Thursday, April 16. They’ll open their doors at 8 a.m. on Saturday, wherein Keen promises a line begins forming much earlier. “There are no holds or preorders for RSD titles,” he iterates. “They are strictly on a first-come, first-serve basis. Some of the titles are limited to as few as 400 worldwide.”
Gravity will feature concert ticket giveaways throughout the day and offer other prizes and surprises, too. Folks can follow them with updates throughout the week via Facebook and Instagram.
“RSD is important to us, not so much because of all the cool limited-edition releases, but because it creates awareness that record stores are still here, and serving their respective communities as a place to learn about new music, as well as places for local musicians and artists to meet and promote themselves,” Keen says.
YELLOW DOG DISCS
351 S College Rd. (910) 343-1000
Johnny Cash fans will be thrilled to learn about the live concert LP that’s coming out on April 18. And Yellow Dog Disc manager Tim Freeman’s excited about it, too. “Personally as a Johnny Cash fan, I am looking forward to [it,]” he says. “I am also interested in the Metallica cassette tape that is a limited release on that day. Other employees can’t pinpoint one thing that they are looking forward to, since there is so much awesome stuff coming out.”
Though Yellow Dog only began participating in RSD in 2013, they’ve noticed the tremendous bump in sales and support it offers their independent record store. They especially mark this day a savior for them in such a heavily promoted digital age.
“With the resurgence of vinyl in the younger generation, RSD brings exclusivity to us that the big box stores don’t get,” Freeman says. “As for digital, I think there are still a lot of people that like to have a physical copy of things and the cool factor of the different variations of vinyl available.”
Yellow Dog has stocked over 100 titles and with over 250 more on the way from a variety of labels they work with, including Fat Possom, Drastic Plastic and Think Indie, among others. Freeman says the line begins early and stays steady throughout the day. The first 50 customers in line (the store opens at 8 a.m.) will receive a gift bag filled with treats from local businesses and Yellow Dog Discs. As well, the store keeps a log of items that customers want.
“If you come in late and don’t see what you are looking for, we take your info and contact our distributors on Monday and try to fulfill your request,” he says.
For the first time, the store also has designed their own RSD T-shirts, which will be limited and for sale. Plus, they’ll have radio station 94.5 The Hawk doing a live remote at the store (The Hawk is doing giveaways all this week, too), and the band Lunch Box Hero will perform live at noon. Yellow Dog will have giveaways throughout the day, including a turntable, gift cards and tickets to various concerts at Ziggy’s by the Sea.
“It is our biggest sales day, I’m not going to lie about that,” Freeman notes, “but we do it as to help increase our exposure to the large majority of people that come in and out of the Wilmington and surrounding areas. It is only one day, and we are open all year long.”
Record Store Day 2015
928 N. 4th St.
613 Castle St.
Yellow Dog Discs
351 S. College Rd.
Reggie’s 42nd St. Tavern
1415 S. 42nd St.