Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Record Store Day: The Holiday for Music Lovers

Akron Empire is excited to welcome back guest blogger and good friend J Hudson! He's written about Blue Door Café,  Crafty Mart, and local artist Justin Crowe. Thanks again, J!

Records Store Day: The Holiday for Music Lovers
by J Hudson

For music lovers, especially lovers of vinyl records, nothing marks the arrival of spring more than Record Store Day (RSD). For the last six years, on the third Saturday in April, which this year is the 20th, about 700 independently owned record stores across the country have teamed with musicians to celebrate the culture of alternative music exemplified by independent record stores and their quixotic breed of customers.
Limited edition vinyl and CDs are released just for RSD along with promotional products like posters and t-shirts. These few of a kind products can only be purchased at participating RSD shops. This year's releases are from a wide variety of artists, including but not limited to the Black Keys/Stooges, Roky Erickson, Husker Du, Flaming Lips, Donny Hathaway, Iron and Wine, the Hold Steady, Phish , the Grateful Dead, Fela Kuti, the White Stripes, Sigur Ros and the soundtrack to the movie Drive. Each store gets a different number and variety of releases. Not all stores get all releases, so if there is something you really want, make sure to check with your independent record store before RSD and confirm that the record you want will be in your record store. To find the participating Record Store Day stores near you, go to the Records Store Day website and search by zip code or city.

This year, Square Records in Highland Square is offering a split 7" from Cloud Nothings and Relaxer. According to Square Record's owner David Ignizio, “This is a joint release between Square Records and My Mind's Eye Records (in Lakewood) and there will only be 150 copies available at those two shops.”
Square Records will also being having raffles, goodie bags for anyone who spends over $50 (while they last) and DJs spinning vinyl from 5pm to 9pm. They'll even have donuts for the early birds waiting in line before the store opens. Ignizio says that RSD has grown bigger each year. What started as just a few attendees in 2008 has grown into a steady stream of customers in the store from opening at 11am until closing at 9pm.  According to their Facebook event page, Square Records has ordered about 200 different RSD titles in 12, 10 and seven inch vinyl, CD and cassette formats.

To learn more about Square Records, check out our post from last year by clicking here.

For the first time this year, RSD is also being celebrated by local public radio station WKSU. That station's outreach group, WKSU Now, is putting on a RSD Bring Your Own Vinyl Night at the WKSU station on the campus of Kent State. According to spokeswoman Ann VerWiebe of WKSU, WKSU Now is a social group for the next generation of WKSU fans, primarily young professionals. Bring Your Own Vinyl Night will have MC Kabir Bhatia spinning the records you bring and some from his own collection. According to Bhatia, "he'll be using vintage turntables but with brand-new needles." Ver Wiebe says that if you don't have your own vinyl, come anyway, there will be plenty of vinyl to listen to from the WKSU collection. There will also be food provided and prizes. Nibble, sip, mingle, chat; have a good time. The festivities begin at 7pm at the WKSU station, 1613 East Summit St, Kent, Ohio 44240.

To find out more or to sign up to attend, which is required, go to the WKSU Now website. To learn more about Record Store Day, check out their website.

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