“Do yourself a tremendous favor and go to a record store today. The relatively mild exertion of getting off your computer-shackled ass and venturing out to find the object of your desire, the thrill of moving through actual space and time, through row upon row of records, and the tactile ecstasy of fondling the quested treasure – all this will augment and enrich the mental associations the music invokes in you for the rest of your life.” – Grinderman
Record Store Day is almost here! Eek! The beloved celebration of music and the independent retailers who provide us with said music is a mere day away, Saturday, April 22. Record stores serve as the conduit to a unique cultural experience and exchange that expands our musical horizons and discoveries, cultivates a sense of community, and serves as a platform for independent artists to connect directly with music fanatics worldwide.
Even though it’s the most wonderful time of the year, Record Store Day can sometimes be a bit overwhelming, given the plethora of options of places to go, music purchases to make, and bands/DJ sets to see. And let’s face it, the early morning roll call isn’t everyone’s finest hour. We’ve come up with a list of a few guidelines for ensuring you have the most positive Record Store Day experience you can possibly have.
Go Ahead, Do It!
1. Bring your totes: Large canvas bags, messenger bags, vintage suitcases, whatever your preferred over-the-shoulder or hand-held record carrying module is, totes bring it with you to Record Store Day. Hell, throw a few smaller bags in your bigger bag as back up because by the time you emerge from your RSD shopping craze you’ll likely have fistfuls of sweet vinyl records and you will need a solid place to store them throughout the day while you’re digging through crates, watching live in-store performances, etc. Don’t have one handy? Try one of these on for size!
Baggu – Strong as fuck, lasts for ages and comes in various colors and styles to choose from.
2. Get your bake on: One fine Record Store Day back in 2011 my good friend Jo baked a tray of fantastic mini-cupcakes which were cleverly decorated with little print outs of classic album covers (The Doors, The Clash, Bauhaus, The Kinks, etc) and secured by toothpick. She handed them out to the anxious folks in line and easily brightened their mood, making for a much more pleasant wait. Needless to say, the vinyl hungry tribe had their physical hunger kept at bay. Also, cupcakes for breakfast – ain’t nothin’ wrong with that. No time to bake? Be sure to at least stock up on some snacks and fill a water bottle in advance for yourself and your early morning crankiness will be a lot more manageable. You and your fellow music comrades in line will be thankful.
3. Prep your personal wish-list: Whether it’s bringing your own print out (be sure to recycle it when done!) of your vinyl wish-list and color-coding it like the anal-retentive nerd that you are, or saving the list on your phone and packing a mobile charger so as not to lose it half-way through your groggy wait in line, do it. Get all your internal budget haggling worked out before you reach the counter. A little time management goes a long way and makes you a happy camper.
4. Record store hop / Crawl: Make a day of it. Check with the various local stores to see what special in-store performances, sales and goodies they’ve got planned for RSD (aka Christmakkah for record junkies, aka the vinyl version of a beer crawl for music-minded people). Many stores have discounts up the wazoo and special events/promotions.
Below are a few of our favorite Los Angeles records stores. Hit them up and find out what they got going on tomorrow.
There are plenty of extra incentives to Record Store Day hop/crawl – so get out there and do it! For a full listing of participating record stores click here.
No, Seriously, Don’t Do It
1. Brag: Size doesn’t always matter. The size of your record collection that is. It’s the quality and content of your vinyl that counts. No one really wants to be bombarded by tales of your pack rat obsession or how much dough you dropped on collectibles last month. If the record collection conversation strikes, chat about the roots of your records and why you love them – what gets your head spinning, what makes you dance, the first album you heard as a kid, etc. I don’t care how big your collection is and how much it’s worth. Keep talking like that and you’ll end up being the star of one too many “Overheard in LA” tweets.
2. Whine about what you didn’t get: Ok, so you didn’t get everything on your RSD list, ’tis a bummer. Record Store Day Santa may have had you on his naughty list but look on the bright side as there’s plenty to be thankful for on this communal celebratory day of music and vinyl. Record shops still have plenty of awesome releases and hidden musical gems in their bins just sitting there, waiting for you to discover them. Don’t hesitate to ask record store employees for recommendations if you’re feeling a little lost or overwhelmed. Didn’t find what you’re looking for at the first store? Call around to surrounding shops to see if they have the releases you’re looking for still in stock, you just might luck out.
3. Cut in line: Whether it’s Record Store Day, Disneyland, the DMV or whatever, don’t be that person. It’s basically like writing the word “arsehole” or “dick” on your face without having actually done so. Got a tag-team system going on with a friend who has a rightful place in line? You get a pass. Sneaking between folks without saying anything and pulling some foolhardy nonsense? That’s a no go. Be courteous. Be courteous. Be courteous. Did I mention be courteous?
Follow these simple guidelines, not only will you avoid being a douche but you’ll coming out smiling like this! Happy Record Store Day to one and all!
Feature by Emily Saex