By Jackie Lam
In an age where cloud computing, in which you can listen to music or watch a movie on a shared digital space without having to own it, is on the horizon, and stealing music off your friends’ iPods is easier than baking brownies from a Betty Crocker mix, it’s a small wonder why record sales actually went up last year (by a whooping 14%). Perhaps because listening to an album still reigns supreme in a lot of ways. It’s an undisputed fact that because a record’s analog recording more closely resembles an audio wavelength, its sound quality is far superior than digital formats. Perhaps taking a record out of carefully designed cardboard sleeve, putting it on the turntable’s slender needle, and listening to an album in its entirety, is still considered a bit of a sacred act. Or perhaps it's because record collectors have the reputation of being more knowledgeable about music than the casual Pandora peruser. To own is to cherish, and to have a long-sought-after rarity or B-side is a testament to how hardcore a music fan one truly is. And we introverted audiophiles know there's nothing more enjoyable than spending a leisurely afternoon on your day off going through the aisles of your neighborhood record store.
So what better way to support your local music retailer than dropping in this Saturday, April 16th to celebrate the 4th annual Record Store Day. Participating stores will be having
giveaways, special in-store performances, sales, and most will carry an exhaustive list of RSD
exclusives, which includes releases from our own indie darlings Manhattan Murder Mystery, and Dengue Fever, Akron Family, Blitzen Trapper, Built to Spill, Caribou, Deerhoof, Fleet Foxes, Lower Dens, Of Montreal, Pinback, The Flaming Lips, The Naked & Famous, Vivian Girls, Yeasayer, Bear in Heaven, Deerhunter, Panda Bear, and The Growlers. If you are seeking a particular exclusive, I highly recommend checking out the store's website or calling ahead of time.
On the Eastside, Amoeba Records in Hollywood continues its tradition of celebrating RSD with a day chockful of festivities. They’ll be open at 10:30 am and all their exclusives will be kept behind their front counters. In addition to carrying a boatload of exclusives, from 11 am – 4 pm you can get a limited-run RSD t-shirt. Just make a sliding-scale donation of $5-$10 and receive a tee of your choosing. All donations will benefit Doctors Without Borders. There will also be special DJ sets from KCRW’s Henry Rollins and members of Fucked Up.
Origami Vinyl in Echo Park is the place to go if you want to see some fantastic bands play. This cutesy, intimate long corridor of a record store is just over two years young, and they’ll be opening shop bright and early at 10 am Saturday. The first 150 customers will receive a free Origami Vinyl/Altamont Tote Bag with purchase. Free in-stores include a surprise guest (2 pm), Nick T. from Islands (4 pm), Hanni El Khatib (6 pm), and The Growlers ( 8 pm). Plusthey'll be doing free giveways all day.
Don’t forget to swing by Rockaway Records in Silverlake as they will be having a massive storewide sale. RSD exclusive vinyl and CD music releases they have in stock includes special releases from The Beach Boys, Dengue Fever, The Velvet Underground, and The Beatles. In addition, they’ll be raffling off a signed Alice Cooper guitar 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.
Vacation Vinyl on Vermont in Los Feliz will have DJ sets all day long, and a buttload of great exclusives. You can check their store blog for a more complete list.
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. Select LPs, cassettes and VHS that are housed in their Attic section will be sold at three for a whooping .90 cents and all bargain bin CDs that are regularly marked at .90 cents will be reduced to .23 cents each. On top of that, your entire purchase will be discounted an additional 20% off. So for those who are anticipating an exhausting, jam-packed day of perusing sale bins, making a quick grab for the last copy of Lower Dens 7" exclusive, I highly suggest starting your RSD celebration early and trekking over to Record Surplus on Friday. Although not an official participant of RSD, Angel City Books & Records in Santa Monica has a robust assortment of collectibles and rarities, and is worth a trip.
And for Valley denizens, RSD participants in my hometown of Burbank includes Backside Records. Backside will have hundreds of exclusive titles, DJ sets, and live bands performing all
day long. For a complete schedule of the lineup, please visit their website. In addition, ever item in the
store (sans items already for sale) will be 20% off. They’ll have extended store hours and will be open from 9 am – 11 pm. If you're already in Burbank, swing by Atomic Records , which offers a bulk discount.
Pasadena peeps should check out the longstanding Penny Lane Records, where your entire purchase will be tax-free, and Canterbury Records, which is reputed to have an amazing vinyl collection, will be carrying a lot of exclusives.
So have a field day and paint the town red by visiting your favorite mom and pop indie music shops.