By Jackie Lam
As many of us have amassed our music collections by a simple click of a download button or stealthily ripping them off the Inter-web, the record shop has increasingly become something of a mythical creature, like a unicorn or dragon. It was a place where you could come across your next favorite band by picking up an album based purely on its name or off-beat cover art, and spend hours sampling new music at one of the listening stations. The record store, with its walls plastered with show posters and grisly guys huddled in the front, smoking and shooting the bull about the last best concert they went to, was the music lover’s haven. I can still remember heading over to D.B. Coopers, a small used music store in a strip mall near my high school in Burbank, and feeling a swell of excitement as I carefully flipped through the albums in their shiny, plastic casing.
This Saturday is the fourth annual Record Store Day, and there’s no better way to lend support and pay homage to the few music shops that still remain in town (RIP Aron’s and Rhino Records). With free in-store performances, sales, giveaways, and limited edition RSD releases on vinyl and LPs from over 100 bands which include Everest, Beach House, Built to Spill, Of Montreal, Male Bonding and the Dum Dum Girls, Pavement, Wilco, Devo, Sea Wolf, and Deerhoof. What each store will carry may vary, so if in doubt, call ahead. Here’s what goodies the record shops in L.A. have lined up this year:
Origami Vinyl in Echo Park, after having just celebrated their one-year anniversary a couple of weeks ago, will have an amazing lineup of bands to perform in the afternoon, with the Dum Dum Girls (2 pm), Male Bonding (3 pm) (who will also be doing a show at the Smell on the 18th with the Dunes and Protect Me), The One AM Radio (4 p.m.), Adam Harding (5 p.m.), and Lou Barlow + The Missingmen (6 p.m.). And for the 21 and over crew, enjoy free Colt45 malt liquor gratis. Opening early at 10 am on Saturday, Origami will also be busting out with giveaways throughout the day.
Amoeba in Hollywood is going all-out for RSD this year with tons of exclusive releases, giveaways, and in-store events. Festivities include a silk-screening event that benefits Pablove Foundation (noon), a non-profit dedicated to improving the lives of children with cancer. They'll also have a buttload of exclusive, limited-run RSD vinyl and CDs fromover 100 artists such as Beastie Boys, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Yeasayer and RSD gift bags with purchase.
If you stick around there will be hourly giveaways of Amoeba gift certificates, a book signing for Record Store Days: From Vinyl to Digital and Back Again with Gary Calamar and Phil Gallo (noon-1 p.m.), a Slash CD signing for the first 300 people to purchase his new self-titled album, and a special DJ set by former Salt-N-Pepa member Spinderella. Amoeba is giving away a Project–Debut Turntable plus a huge selection of premium vinyl to one lucky winner. In order to be eligible, you must sign up before Sunday April 18th.
Plus the first 250 people to pre-order the upcoming Smashing Pumpkins Teargarden Kaleidescope Vol. 1: Songs For A Sailor(10:30 a.m.) box set that will be released on May 25thwill receive a wristband to see an intimate show on April 17th at 4pm at Space15Twenty and a limited-edition poster created just for RSD.
VACATION Vinyl on Vermont will have DJs spinning sets throughout the day such as Larry Herweg (Pelican), Tom Neely (Artist), Keith Morris (Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Off), Sarah Toon (Club Killing Spree) & Jeff Caxide (ISIS). Vacation will have heaping handful of special releases by Tom Waits, The Soft Pack, Superchunk, Sonic Youth, Devo, Black Keys, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Beach House, Soundgarden, Arthur Russell, Fucked Up, Pavement, Mount Eerie, Deerhoof, and The Thermals.
forget to swing by Rockaway Records in Silverlake as
they’re having a massive sale. Everything in their store will be discounted to
as much as half off. In addition, they’ll be raffling off a limited edition Bob
Marley model Les Paul Epiphone guitar that’s worth $400 and Rockaway
gift certificates. No doubt there will be lots of free goodies from the music
distributors and labels, such as buttons, stickers, records, and posters.
RSD exclusive vinyl and CD music releases they’ll have in stock includes titles from Bruce Springsteen, the Flaming Lips, John Lennon, R.E.M., Neko Case, Magnetic Fields, Sonic Youth, and Wilco.
On the Westside, Record Surplus in Santa Monica is extending RSD to a three-day weekend blowout bonanza and extended hours from 11 am to 10 pm. Their massive sale will run from Friday to Sunday and all 45s and LPs will be specially marked at 20% off. Select LPs, cassettes and VHS that are housed in their attic will be sold for $ .45 each and all bargain bin CDs that are regularly marked at $ .90 will be reduced to 45 cents each. Come and meet Captain Vinyl, their store mascot, on Saturday. Who is Captain Vinyl, you ask? It could be a guy with a huge felt record for a face, or an audiophile dressed up in superhero garb. There’s only one way to find out!
Other record stores around town participating in this year’s RSD includes Backside Records in Burbank, who will have exclusive RSD vinyl and LPs the day of.