For many music geeks, especially the vinyl lovers, this Saturday is a very special day. Record store day comes once a year, kind of. There is a mini record store day on Black Friday as well but the big one is this Saturday. Many of the local independent record stores are looking forward to this day to help boost some sales.
Our friends to the south in Akron at Square Records are opening at 11am. They will have goodie bags for those who purchase certain titles or drop some serious coin. The bags are filled with posters, stickers, CD’s and other fine surprises. They are having live bands throughout the day with Travelogue opening it up at 5pm, followed by Chimney Swift and the Echoes at 6pm. Analog Fog will close it out after 7pm. Square will close at 9pm.
Music Saves is always a controlled zoo of sorts on Record Store Day. Expect a line here well before the 8am kick off, seriously maybe bring a chair, a book and a coffee. They get a huge amount of traffic that day because of the amazing volume of titles they carry for Record Store Day. If you want it they are probably going to have it. They have been awesome about updating their website (www.musicsaves.com) with everything that is actually in stock. Plus 90’s Alternative Rockers The Toadies are going to be around to sign copies of the reissue of their groundbreaking Rubberneck at 3pm. Can you believe it has been 20 years since this hit the airwaves???
One of the newcomers on the scene is Loop Records over in Tremont. Come for the Coffee and stay for the records, or is it the other way around because they make a great cup of java and have some great finds upstairs in the vinyl bins. Music Manager Michael James Pultz is happy with the traffic that RSD brings to the shop. His favorite notable releases have been the GZA reissue of Liquid Swords that doubled as a chess set and the Flaming Lips Zaireeka which he says “the idea of playing 4 records on 4 different systems all at the same time is so wildly impractical, it’s awesome.” I totally agree. Loop opens at 8am as well, which is when they normally open for business on a Saturday to sling coffee. They will have DJ sets all day long.
Record Den always has just a completely overwhelming amount of Record Store Day releases. The place is a little tight on space so they aren’t really having much along the lines of live entertainment but if you need to find a record they are probably going to have it. No need for all the bells and whistles when you are wall to wall vinyl and CDs. They are looking forward to seeing what the Ghostbusters glow in the dark 7″ just because of the cool idea. We all know it’s a classic, but GID? Now that’s cool. As far as favorite releases these guys are REM fans. “For me, the live R.E.M. EP of songs left off of the second disc of the ‘Green’ deluxe edition CD for space considerations (was a favorite). I’ve been a fan since 1984 and have always been fascinated by the ‘Green’ album and tour. On that note, the forthcoming ‘Unplugged’ set looks pretty interesting too!” We got our eye on that one too for sure!
My Mind’s Eye in Lakewood is another that will open early at 8am, and will have tons and tons of record store day releases. While this store boasts just a ridiculous amount of metal everything will be covered. My Mind’s Eye truly looks out for the regular customers and orders not just that metal but pretty much everything they can. Last year they opened at Midnight, and there was a line that was over a block long if that tells you anything. This is pretty much your best bet on the west with the majority (minus Loop) over to the east.
Blue Arrow is more known for their amazing selection of used records but don’t count them out of the mix. They will have plenty to offer in the line of exclusive releases and live entertainment all day long. Owner Pete Gulyas says “As an ardent fan of the music of Gram Parsons, I am looking forward to the release of Parsons’ Alternative Takes from “GP” ad Grievous Angel. After listeing to something countless times, I enjoy hearing alternate takes as long as they reveal something fresh to my ears. As a fan of the Pogues and Joe Strummer, I am interested in that release, but I gotta tell you that the RSD release that I am most excited about is one that I have wanted for a number of years. It is a re-issue of the long out of print 60’s UK psychedelic band July: British import of 1968 rarity on psychedelic vinyl, with mono audio and the original UK artwork. First reissue in the US.”
As far as previous RSD gems Gulyas says “I treasure the Gram Parson-related re-issue of his band THE INTERNATIONAL SUBMARINE BAND “Safe At Home” LP. It was put out by SUNDAZED and they did a really nice job with, as they do with all of their releases. Another cherished previous RSD release is the LEE HAZELWOOD “THE LHI YEARS: SINGLES, NUDES & BACKSIDES” which was put out by another great re-issue label LIGHT IN THE ATTIC. (By the way, there is a connection between Lee Hazelwood and Gram Parsons. The International Submarine Band was signed to Hazelwood’s label. When Parsons left that band to join the BYRDS, he was technically still signed to Hazelwood’s label which created some legal issues that had to be worked out.) OK, class dismissed.”
So in case you missed it, get Pete’s number if you ever need a music “phone a friend”. He not only has the best used vinyl store in the area, he knows and loves the music he has on the shelves. Blue Arrow opens at 11am and will close at 7pm. They will be celebrating the installation of an amazing new STORE MURAL by legendary Cleveland comic and rock poster artist, Jake Kelly. In addition, guest DJs will be providing music throughout the day. Jake Kelly will lead things off, followed by Lawrence Daniel Caswell, local musician, voice of WCPN, and soul music guru. The day will culminate with a DJ set from members of the renowned indie band Yo La Tengo, Georgia Hubley and Ira Kaplan. Yes, YO LA TENGOOOOOOOO!
Many wonder where I will be found on Record Store Day. My answer to that question is “yes”. I will pretty much be at every single store I possibly can go to. I start out at one then make my way to pretty much every store I can before I physically collapse or my credit card melts. I am looking forward to the Gram Parsons, the REM box and the Cake box. I have yet to hear of any of the stores in the area getting the Cake one though. Some of the others I have my eye on are the Joy Division “An Ideal For Living”, Oasis “Supersonic”, The Velvet Underground “Loaded”. I kind of want to pick up that Toadies reissue, and get that signed and how can you say no to DJ sets from Hubley and Kaplan? I will wake up at around 4am and pass out by I am guessing 7pm. Record Store Day is not for the weak or casual fan. It is a blood sport. I will be carrying a shiv I made out of soap while I was in prison in Mexico so watch your elbows.