Record Store Day celebrates analog music

The eighth annual Record Store Day, an event dedicated to analog music consumption and independent retailers, has come and gone yet again this year, leaving a mountain of exclusive releases for hipsters and audiophiles to sift through and enjoy.

Birthed in 2007, Record Store Day (RSD) was developed as a way for brick and mortar music stores to garner more customers and more support through exclusive music and merchandise typically only available at participating stores on the day of the event. One example from this year is Brand New’s “Deja Entendu” EP on double vinyl. Hosted at participating record stores around the world on the third Saturday of April every year, RSD has become more than just a shopping experience.

“I believe that the power of the record store to inspire is still alive and well, and that their importance to our next generation of musicians is crucial,” this year’s RSD Ambassador Dave Grohl wrote on the RSD website.

But not all stores are created equal. Only stores that choose to participate in RSD will be able to receive the exclusive releases, and only independent record stores may participate. Luckily, the Bay Area is full of independent record stores participating in the event, so it should be easy enough to find one with everything you want.

Brick and mortar aside, most people empty their wallets not for the store, but for the music. Aside from the aforementioned Brand New, a plethora of other musical ensembles release tons of exclusive content. Metallica released a tape of demo tracks (literally, it’s a cassette!) featuring the band’s original line up, with Dave Mustaine and Ron McGovney, Stone Sour released a cover album on vinyl, called “Meanwhile in Burbank”, and U2 had a double vinyl RSD exclusive deluxe edition of their album “Songs of Innocence.” Some artists had far more to offer though. Three different Jeff Beck singles were released, all on 7″ colored vinyl.

All these things and more were available, though as always, on a first come, first served basis. Hardly any stores had the aforementioned Brand New album, and those that did were lucky to receive one copy, not enough to satisfy all of their customers. In this case though, missing out may be worth it. This particular album will be reissued in a few weeks. The same can be said for many of these releases. The Metallica release was available on their website a week before RSD. So don’t worry about all of the choice records you missed out on this time around and don’t go searching eBay. You’ll only be taken advantage of there. Wait a while and all the RSD releases will slowly make their way back to the stores and back to acceptable prices.

If you really want to go out and try your hand at getting some cool vinyl, it may be too late this year, but it will happen again. Next year will bring another RSD, a hundred more stores to visit and a thousand new records to sift through. All you have to do now is wait.