It’s 2012. While some of us are still waiting for jet-packs and flying cars, the world at large can agree that we are indeed in the land of the future – cell phones outnumber any other form of communication, e-readers helped close down brick & mortar book stores, digital music sales are soaring, and you’re more likely to write about your day on Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr than you are in a paper journal. However, with all of this modern day technology surrounding us, there is one “old time” medium that is rising in this age: vinyl records. The sale of vinyl records jumped 39% in 2011, coming in with 3.9 million sold. And while many things contribute to that huge jump (record purists, kids looking for a new musical outlet, musicians preferring the sound & technique used, culture shock, an overall piqued interest in the format), we know for sure that there is one solid group of folks that are working hard to influence that number. We see these folks’ work appear in the form of Record Store Day, a day in which music lovers in the US and UK celebrate their adoration for vinyl and their love for exclusive releases.
The original idea for Record Store Day (aka RSD) was conceived by Chris Brown and was founded in 2007 by Eric Levin, Michael Kurtz, Carrie Colliton, Amy Dorfman, Don Van Cleave and Brian Poehner as a celebration of the unique culture surrounding over 700 independently owned record stores in the USA, and hundreds of similar stores internationally.
This is the one day that independently owned record stores across the country come together with artists to celebrate the art of music. Special vinyl and CD releases and various promotional products are made exclusively for the day and hundreds of artists in the United States and in various countries across the globe make special appearances and performances. Festivities include performances, cook-outs, body painting, meet & greets with artists, parades, djs spinning records, and excitement all around. Metallica officially kicked off Record Store Day at Rasputin Music in San Francisco on April 19, 2008 and Record Store Day is now celebrated the third Saturday every April.
The influence that RSD has on the music industry is staggering. In 2010, more than 1,400 independent record stores participated in the unofficial holiday; more than 1,000 were from the US alone. According to Billboard Magazine, the 182,000 bump in unit sales for the week of Record Store Day in 2011 was directly attributed to the success of Record Store Day itself.
On April 21st, 2012, Record Store Day some amazing things up on the docket. From collaborations between major-rock domo’s Mastodon and indie-favorite Feist, to a hip hop release on one of the world’s biggest indies (Childish Gambino on Glassnote), to classic re-releases from The Grateful Dead, Record Store Day 2012 will not disappoint anyone, fans new or old. Stores across the country are hosting in-store sessions from both local and national bands. Some musicians and labels even got super creative in sharing this year’s releases – Third Man Records, for instance, didn’t just get creative in sharing. They got creative with their creations (a liquid filled record?! Insane!)
We here at The Syndicate can’t wait to hit up our local record stores this weekend (from Repo Records in Philly to Generation Records in NYC and Looney Tunes on Long Island) with our mile-long wish lists. Take a look at some friends of TheSyn who are releasing exclusive Record Store Day Material this year!
(You can also see the full list of RSD releases here.)
|Mastodon/The Flaming Lips||A Spoonful Weighs A Ton||Warner Bros.|
|Neon Indian||Hex Girlfriend||Mom + Pop|
|Pistol Annies||Hell on Heels||RCA Nashville|
|The Horrible Crowes||Live at Fingerprints||SideOneDummy|
|Lana Del Ray/Penguin Prison||Blue Jeans (Penguin Prison Remix)||Interscope|
|Grouplove||Don’t Fly Too Close To The Sun||Atlantic|
|Juicehead X Osaka Popstar||Waiting Room 7″||Misfit Records|
|Ryan Adams||Heartbreak A Stranger b/w “Black Sheets Of Rain”||PAXAM|
|Death Cab for Cutie||Codes And Keys Remix EP||Barsuk Records|
|Coldplay||Up With The Birds/”UFO”||Capitol|
|JEFF The Brotherhood||Upstairs at United, Vol. 3||453 Music|
|Dry The River||New Ceremony||RCA|
|Miike Snow||The Devil’s Work||Republic|
|Nightwish||Trials of Imaginearum||Roadrunner|
|Now Now/The Lonely Forest||Shifting/Woe Is Me||Trans-Records|
|Walk The Moon||Anna Sun||Epic|
|Beach House||Lazuli b/w Equal Mind||Sub Pop|
|Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr||We Almost Lost Dtroit EP||Mute|
|Foster The People||Broken Jaw b/w Ruby||Columbia|
|Jay Farrar, Will Johnson, Anders Parker, Yim Yames||New Multitudes||Rounder / Pgd|
|Jimmy Fallon||Tebowie 7″||Warner Bros.|
|Miike Snow||Devil’s Work||Umgd/Universal Records|
|Priscilla Ahn and the Sea of Bees||The Music Is In You Series||Stoopid Records|
|Jukebox The Ghost||I Love You Always Forever 7″||Yep Roc|
|Portugal. The Man||Got It All 7″||ADA/Juno Records|
|The White Stripes||Hand Springs w/ Red Death at 6:14 7″||Third Man Records|
|Karen Elson||Milk and Honey b/w Winter’s Going 7″||Third Man Records|
|Jerry Lee Lewis||Live at Third Man||Third Man Records|
Record Store Day is TOMORROW, SATURDAY, APRIL 21. For more information, please visit recordstoreday.com!
(This article was written with help from Kaitlyn Fischer, Sara Haber, and Emily Kuhn).