Record Store Day was started in 2007 to promote independent record stores and help drive business there at a time when digital listening was starting to swamp purchase of physical items such as CDs. Labels and bands released “exclusive” items available only at these stores, such as live tracks and studio outtakes.
It’s gradually become a competition between stores for items, with many stores not getting what they ordered. And many music fans feel that the items released aren’t always that special anyway. So many stores have opted out, although that doesn’t mean they won’t celebrate in the way many have been doing all along: hosting in-store contests, giveaways and live music.
One of these is used vinyl shop A Separate Reality in Tremont. They’ll be open from 11am-8pm with Chicago psychedelic folk band Constantine and Alex Rowney of Soft Candy performing in store, along with Cleveland’s Optimal X and Liquid Light Show by Evening Sun. All $1 albums are 25 cents and all $5 albums will be $2.50 and they’ll be doing giveaways all day.
Blue Arrow Records on Waterloo refers to their celebration as “Customer Appreciation Day.” They’ll be open from noon-6pm with Cleveland rocker Lachlan Mackinnon reading from his new book Let Me Tell You a Story: Small Stories of a Large Family, at 1pm, a performance by Public Squares, a local band with a brand new album out at 2pm, and a “Top Secret Extra Special Live In-Store TBA (wink) Music. Kid Friendly.” at 3pm. As always there is the bonus of cats to pet which you are browsing the bins.
Meanwhile, My Mind’s Eye Records in Lakewood WILL be celebrating Record Store Day from 8am-10pm (if you’d like to spend an entire day in a record store). They’ll have some of the RSD exclusives on hand, and local indie music celebrities will be DJing in store all day long. They even managed to get someone up at 8am!
Square Records in Akron will also have the party going on from 9am-9pm. Angel Fall Coffee Company will be serving coffee and snacks to people waiting in line, and the store will be giving away a tote bag of goodies to the first 100 people to make a purchase of $25 or more. They’ll have some Record Store Day items, but they are also promising to put out some new used vinyl as well, including rarities.