Record Store Day, an annual celebration of vinyl in all its 7, 10, and 12 inch glory, returns tomorrow, April 19th. The number of recording artists participating has grown over the years, and record stores now also seek to attract customers with live entertainment, and in some cases, fast food. People hoping to snag some of those limited edition or colored vinyl releases will need to get up extra early and be prepared to stand in line outside the record store of their choice. There’s a complete rundown of all the one-time treasures being offered this year on the official Record Store Day website.
The challenge is getting around to the best deals and entertainment. Last year, WXRT air personality Terri Hemmert joked on her show about needing a helicopter to accomplish that, but a time-traveling TARDIS from Doctor Who would be even better. Hemmert will be making a guest appearance at the Val’s Halla Record Store in Oak Park tomorrow morning, and then later, at around 3:00 PM, at Laurie’s Planet Of Sound on Lincoln Avenue in Chicago.
There will also be a full schedule of live bands at Laurie’s:
Between 12:00 and 2:00 PM: Fake Limbs and Savage Sister;
2:00 PM: The Mountain Goats/John Darnielle
3:00 PM The Lemons
4:00 PM: Phil Angotti and Friends performing Simon And Garfunkel’s Sounds Of Silence LP
5:00 PM: The Handcuffs
6:00 PM: Silver Abuse
7:00 PM: Mazes
Singer-guitarist Ellis Clark will celebrate the release of his two vinyl albums this year by performing busker style outside the Vintage Vinyl in Evanston at 11:00 AM.
Reckless Records has various live bands scheduled at its Broadway and Milwaukee Avenue stores. Circuit Des Yeux will be performing at 3:00 PM at the Milwaukee Avenue location, followed by Dance Mania DJs at 4:00 PM; and Kim Deal, Kelley Deal, and Morgan Nagler at 6:30 PM. The Broadway location will have Ghost B.C. Convocation at 1:00 PM; Lord Mantis at 3:00 PM; and Video Bug at 4:00 PM.
The Rock Island Public House in Blue Island be have djs playing vinyl from 8:00 PM to 3:00 AM as part of These Old Men They Play Records.
As for the records, there’s bound to something for everyone, including jazz, Country & Western, indie rock, heavy metal, and classic rock. WXRT jumped into the game last year with a vinyl version of its Live From The Archives, Volume 14, and the station will be offering Volume 15 on vinyl at select locations this year. I couldn’t begin to offer a comprehensive list of worthy selections, so here’s a short list of some of the more interesting records that will be for sale:
R.E.M. - Unplugged: The Complete 1991 and 2001 Sessions on 12” vinyl
Creedence Clearwater Revival - The 1969 Singles EP on 10” vinyl
David Bowie - “1984” Picture Disc on 7” vinyl
Shocking Blue - “Send Me a Postcard” on 7” vinyl
The Animals - Self-titled EP on 10” vinyl
The Ramones - Meltdown With The Ramones EP on 10" vinyl
The Standells “Dirty Water” on 7” vinyl
The Specials - “Sock It To Em JB”/”Rat Race” on 7” vinyl
Once you’ve studied the Record Store Day website and compiled your own wishlist, you may need a few pointers on what to expect.
Get there early. These rare editions sell out quickly. Some will immediately show up on eBay.
Bring your list with you. The stores I’ve been to keep all the records behind the counter, and you’ll be in line for a while before you’re waited on.
Finally, prepare for sticker shock. I’ve haven’t been able to find anyplace online that lists prices, so won’t know how much these records cost until the clerk places them in front of you. Some will be relatively cheap, while others can get expensive. Ask the clerk for one or two titles to start with; you can always request more if you’re still within your budget.