In the Garage

Record Store Day is my Black Friday

April 20, 2014 | 3 Minute Read

Yesterday was Record Store Day, which is when vinyl fans everywhere can go hunt for special releases that are mostly on vinyl. I've been following RSD since 2010, and I remember going to a local store and asking if they had the special John Lennon release. They only looked at me quizzically and told me that RSD wasn't a thing in Germany. I walked away disappointed and called my sister in New York to try getting me the record, but of course it was near impossible by the time she got to the store. Four years later and to my delight, the same store and two others here in Düsseldorf participate. I'm not one to wake up and line up at the local record shop before they open at 8 a.m. like these guys:

But I am definitely one to impatiently wait for the person in front of me to finish flipping through the available releases and maybe strike up a friendly conversation (depending on how long they're taking).

For me, RSD is a bit like Black Friday. The lining up in front of the store, the checklist of must-haves and wants, the camaraderie that ensues, and the excitement of getting something hard-to-get. Luckily I haven't encountered anyone getting trampled to death, nor have I seen people making a run for the shelves. It also doesn't hurt that RSD is in April, whereas Black Friday is in November and where I'm from, it's generally pretty frickin cold then. But the build-up and anticipation make RSD feel like a holiday. (For example, see Jack White getting the title of recording the world's fastest record.)

This year, the list of records I wanted to get included Ray Parker, Jr.'s "Ghostbusters" single on glow-in-the-dark green vinyl, a Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings 12", two Everly Brothers 12", a Yardbirds 12", The Pixies' release Indie Cindy, and any of the Rancid re-releases. (Just a note -- this a shortened list of things I wanted. If I included everything I wanted, it'd be significantly longer.) I wound up getting lucky with Indie Cindy and two Rancid releases, Let's Go and ...And Out Came the Wolves. With the Pixies, I was pretty excited since the release is limited and included a surprise 7" inside that's exclusive for RSD. As for Rancid, I only own the albums digitally, so I figured it'd be a good idea to get them on vinyl.

The difference between RSD and Black Friday though is that I don't stuff myself silly with food the day before. Also, I actually participate every year. With Black Friday, I avoid it like the plague, but with RSD, it's not just about getting my hands on some records. It's about the community and hearing other like-minded music lovers talking enthusiastically about their favorite bands and albums. It's also about going supporting the local record shop because they can make recommendations and have a great conversation. Sure, you can just switch on Spotify or Pandora, discover bands, and share them, but it's behind a computer screen (Ironic that I say this considering I'm sitting here writing about it at my computer). And if I were in New York, it'd also be about the live performances.

Record Store Day is about being analog and about the community. It's nice to see that even in this day and age, people still want to something physical in their hands and they want to have that human interaction.

And for shits and giggles since this has been making the rounds...Kids React To Walkmans: