Since Record Store Day’s inception in 2008, its releases and popularity amongst the people have grown exponentially. Moreover, it’s become an occasion; a gathering of a community within a community each year, as folks line up and down streets, waiting for doors to open at the first of what may be several stops throughout the day.
While waiting, sometimes in the cold or rain or both, folks casually talk about the records they’re hoping to snag—in some cases, getting a feel for the friendly competition around them. Others excite over upcoming concerts, ones they’ve seen recently or the general gossip in the local music scene. Last year’s RSD line at Gravity Records was where I first heard about a downtown amphitheater, which has almost come to fruition at Pier 33. A few weeks back my husband and I were grabbing a six-pack one evening and heard from nearby, “Hey, I know you guys … Record Store Day!” (Same guy who told us about the amphitheater.)
Record Store Day is the most wonderful time of the year for music and vinyl fanatics. It’s a special day for independent record stores who participate, as they stock their shelves with special vinyl releases from popular industry mainstays and the sonically obscure. And the fun part is: No one really knows if a store is going to have the records they’ve been vying for from the RSD list (found at www.recordstoreday.com). The “hunt” is part of the fun, and hunting grounds span across four local record stores in Wilmington.
Gravity Records, 612 Castle St.
Saturday, April 16, 8 a.m.
Gravity Records has been participating in Record Store Day since its second or third year. Owner Matt Keen says it only continues to get bigger. “There are better titles being released every year, and more and more people coming in to help us celebrate independent record stores,” he tells encore. “I think the draw is not only the cool limited-edition vinyl releases but also people trying to show their support for the mom-and-pop record stores still here, despite the odds stacked against them.”
Keen has a long-standing relationship with RSD, which has improved drastically in filling actual ordered quantities for his store. As fun and exciting as Record Store Day is, Keen urges folks to remember independent record stores are open another 364 days a year and need the community to support them as hubs of the local music scene.
“It’s hard to keep going year after year when people are buying their records online and through big-box retailers, who just recently decided that vinyl was cool enough again to try to capitalize on profiting from it,” he notes.
While Keen has invited bands to play throughout the day in years past, it sometimes makes it difficult for shoppers to actually be able to find and purchase releases they are looking for. Therefore, he doesn’t have much planned in-store per live music this Saturday. “This year the focus is strictly on the releases and helping our customers with any questions they might have about them,” he adds.
Visit Gravity’s Facebook event page for more details and updates.
Yellow Dog Discs
351 S. College Rd. #1
Saturday, April 16, 8 a.m.
Yellow Dog Disc owner Tim Freeman remembers his first low-key Record Store Day four years ago and admits he was a bit overwhelmed by the response. “Ever since then we have stepped it up,” he says. “We only had about 40 titles the first year and this year we will have over 200 in stock.”
Freeman says Record Store Day not only offers up something special for loyal customers but welcomes newbies and like-minded folks as well. Freeman has been an avid fan of ‘70s psychedelic rock and is looking forward to this year’s releases by The Doors and Creedence Clearwater Revival. “As the customers of the store know, I am also a huge fan of film soundtracks and there are some really cool titles being released for that as well,” he adds.
Freeman has planned out RSD giveaways and live entertainment for this year. There even are a few special things to be announced only on RSD. “We have teamed with some local businesses to have some cool giveaways on RSD,” he tells. “Battlefield Live, Fanboy Comics, Diligent Tattoo, Ziggys By the Sea—also Jimmy Johns will be supplying mini subs during the lunch hours to customers in the store.”
Yellow Dog will sell locally printed T-shirts designed by Freeman’s wife. The first 25 customers in the door will receive a free swagbag of goodies from RSD, local sponsors and some other surprises from Yellow Dog. “Let’s just say our mascot, Rusty, is involved,” Freeman hints.
Freeman’s still putting together a full schedule of bands, but so far on the bill will be Randy McQuay, Colton Leighton, Xan Callihan, and Aaron Cowan, as well as a guest appearance by IAMDYNAMITE around lunch hours. “They will be in store signing autographs and taking photos with fans,” Freeman says. “We might even be able to talk them into a quick mini-acoustic concert before their big show at Wing Fling downtown later that day.”
Reggie’s Records, 1417 S. 42nd St.
Saturday, April 16, Noon
This is Reggie’s Records’ second year participating in Record Store Day and owner Matt Hearn says they’ve got a bunch of cool stuff coming in—and not just RSD releases. They’ll have 20 percent off all new records, and a buy two, get one free (equal or less value) deal on used albums. As far as RSD releases go, there are several Hearn will have an eye out for.
“Mission of Burma is doing a split with Metz; Swami has a compilation coming out; The New Melvins, Sonic Youth,” he lists. “NOFX is doing the Sex Pistols’ ‘Sid and Nancy.’”
Reggie’s will have live music out back of shop this year, featuring the Nuclear Twins, The Lupine, Interstellar Eagle, and Jason Ward. Hearn’s favorite “BBQ dude” Adam Thomson from Southern Wonders BBQ will be providing food around noon. “Buy Adam a beer and you might get a better hunk of meat,” Hearn jokes.
BBQ, music and beer aside, Hearn thinks people just dig what RSD stands for: “A great day for music lovers to get into new shit. . . . It celebrates the record store and gives shop owners an opportunity to make a couple extra bucks to keep the doors open. People support it because it helps keep cool shit going in the community.”
Follow updates and details for Record Store Day on Reggie’s Records Facebook page.
Squidco, 928 N. 4th St.
Saturday, April 16, 11 a.m.
Squidco will celebrate RSD this year with store-wide discounts, live music and other new-media presentations throughout the day. “The draw for those coming is the chance to see and hear performances that are quite different from other music presented in Wilmington,” says Squdico owner Phil Zampino.
This year will be his store’s fifth Record Store Day since their first in 2011. The growing number of releases available and more participation of major labels in the event have been the most notable changes.
“As a shop specializing in improvised music, avant-compositional and avant-rock forms, we carry only a fraction of the releases that are available,” he says, “Over the years we’ve found more potential in the day to draw community together for a large day of music performance, video displays, interactive sound events, transforming our store into a fun and fascinating focal point for experimental sound.”
Zampino is hoping to sell albums on the Swedish Moserobie label, like free-improvising band Nacka Forum with saxophonist Jonas Kullhammar. “We’re also excited to carry the Record Store Release from local artist Mr. Stonecipher, AKA Ryan Lewis, who also runs Obscura Films,” he adds. “He will be the headline for our concerts that day.”
Experimental live music throughout the day also will include performances by Carl Kruger and an interactive-sound environment from Kruger and Zampino himself. New releases in the store will be 15 percent off, with a large set of used jazz CDs and LPs made available especially for the day. Every purchase allows the customer to select a free CD from a large set of interesting titles as well.
“We’re also viewing a movie from the UK Matchless label of Alexander Schlippenbach, Evan Parker, John Edwards, and Eddie Prevost ‘3 NIghts at Cafe OTO,’” he says, “which is a superb example of modern improvisation.”
Squidco regularly presents shows with local artists, particularly from the 910 and 919 Noise scenes, but Record Store Day is a good opportunity to see what they present on a regular bases. Visit their Facebook page for details and updates.
Record Store Day
928 N. 4th St.
613 Castle St.
Yellow Dog Discs
351 S. College Rd.
Reggie’s 42nd St. Tavern
1415 S. 42nd St.
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