Record Store Day: the holiday that celebrates capitalism and the almighty record.
Seems like only yesterday we were lamenting the death of the record store—when in fact for the past 12 years vinyl sales have continually increased.
This, despite the music industry tanking as a whole. Overall sales have decreased at an almost equal clip. And though 2017’s top LP was the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band—a vanilla starter pack that would sell a million on 8-track were it released tomorrow—it seems with each successive year the nostalgia for analog entertainment grows.
No matter the records that inform your collection, Record Store Day is a boon for anyone who may own a turntable. Then again, this day, in which thousands stand in line for hours waiting for a reissue of the Rush soundtrack or lullaby versions of Beastie Boys songs, has become kind of a double-edged sword. For independent labels it can be daunting, as the production of unnecessary vinyl—do you really need the 20th anniversary press of Sugar Ray’s “Fly” on 7-inch vinyl?—clogs up the gears of the very few pressing plants left in the world. It also encourages gouging on sites like Ebay; perchance your cousin is a rural obsessive for Insane Clown Posse, whose Amazing Jeckel Brothers is being released on vinyl for the first time this year. Regardless of your opinions on the subject, there’s nothing inherently evil about getting people out to the record store, even when “they” call them “vinyls.”
And for our local merchants, in a lot of ways, that one day of worldwide notoriety is a chance to celebrate—it brings people to the store, and it generally keeps them alive. Perhaps a subjective view, but one of the reasons I’ll always fight to my core for this city is our penchant for record stores. Columbus is a mecca for used vinyl customers and purveyors who value the format and the fun of the hunt. There’s a passion for that “analog entertainment” that emanates here like no other.
In my quest to learn more about our local connection to RSD, I found many of the answers the same. Records Per Minute likened the ordering for such an event as “putting a down payment on a house,” while Used Kids said “you could buy a small yacht,” for what some owners invest in the smorgasbord. Others, like Elizabeth Records, chose to keep clear of the chaos, not participate in the hoopla, and hope that the runoff hype spills into their racks (although they will have live bands from 4–6 p.m.) It was somewhat useless to investigate as there’s no bad blood and very little competition. After all, competition is good for business and on Record Store Day—business is good.
Here’s a list of all the Record Store Day events at all your local record stores:
Lost Weekend Records • 2960 N High St.
Special events: Parking lot vendors like Alison Rose and ticket giveaways from Promowest. A four-day sale of 33 percent off of used vinyl. Nelsonville Music Festival raffles.
Experience, in a sentence: You’ll learn a new fact about Bob Dylan, meet a local musician, and get a pristine copy of ZZ Top’s Eliminator.
Records Per Minute • 2570 N High St.
Special events: Earliest opening. DJs. Used vinyl 20 percent off. Rarer, more exclusive RSD releases.
Experience, in a sentence: Store most likely to have that Teenage Fanclub import you’ve wanted all your life.
Spoonful Records • 116 E Long St.
Special events: Port-A-Johns for the campers (yes—people camp here). Grab bags. Used vinyl 20 percent off. Record Store Day exclusives.
One Sentence Review: Here you’ll get a pinball tip and the cleanest records in town.
Used Kids • 2500 Summit Ave.
Participates in Record Store Day: Yes
Special Events: Live music all day, including Nukehammer, Tommy Jay, Burial Mountain, and DJ J Rawls. Free pizza and refreshments. Deep specials announced the week of the event.
One Sentence Review: One day you’ll find it here.
In addition to the store’s celebrating, there are a number of local bands putting out Record Store Day exclusive releases:
Lost Weekend is responsible for his Record Store Day release from the new outfit of Nate Farley. The Dayton transplant was an integral part of that city’s ’90s renaissance, playing with the Method, Robthebank, the Amps and Guided by Voices. That ingrained Western Ohio pop sentimentality shines through of this single four songs, but it’s cut uniquely by Farley’s own voice, one that’s seen it all, but still finds hope in three chords and an infinitely catchy melody. Like most good singles, Quemado prompts the listener to want more than is offered here.
2500 Summit Street – Various Artists
Local podcast In the Record Store is promising a 120-inch of “all Columbus artists” including MojoFlo, Doc Robinson, Mistar Anderson, Zoo Trippin’ and former (614) Class of 2016 member, Damn the Witch Siren.
“Baby’s First Ritual”/”Rolls Royce” – Ouija Boys
Venerable punk label Heel Turn Records is releasing their first-ever “cassingle” with the new project from Terrestrials and The Thee’s member, Ian Graham. It promises to be “shrouded in mystery, danger, mischief, and all around bad vibes.”
Lick and Rings of Love – Doc Robinson
We’ve seen the members of Doc Robinson in many incantations, but this is where they shine, and releasing two EPs on the same day is proof this bro-pop band is more than prolific in their quest for the brass ring.
Post Coma Network (self-titled)
This is the first time the expansive post-rock band has released their debut on vinyl. Now a group supposedly courting major labels and cross-country tours, it’s nice to hear where Post Coma Network started in that journey. Record Store Day will also be the announcement of this album “being nationally available on TouchTunes Jukeboxes.”