A note about Record Store Day 2015

Record Store Day 2015 posters from around the country

Record Store Day is on Saturday, and as the great man once sang, “If you didn’t come to party, don’t bother knocking on my door.”

And we party. We make music and art and drink as we celebrate ourselves and give thanks and treats to our customers; our friends. Personally, I can’t wait for Saturday to get here, as I’m myopically focused on Criminal Records, as is my want. I’m wandering through organized chaos, tracing lost pallets, receiving Free Comic Book Day merchandise (yes, that’s in two weeks), making thousands of tote bags to give away featuring our go-to local artist, R. Land, and printing at our go-to local printer. We’ve hired an off duty police officer to watch over our overnight guests, Lonnie Holley is performing at 9PM to blast us off to the next RSD, which will be our 25th year in business. Chances are you don’t know who Lonnie Holley is, that’s cool, we’re recording the show and we’re expecting some jaw-dropping guests. This is kind of like that time when Rodriguez played our RSD, before you knew who he was and now you wish you had been there, and I wish you had been there, too. My neighbors have so much beer and love, plus t-shirts and we have so many wonderful things.

Can’t forget about all my friends, I couldn’t if I tried as we’re in constant talking with each other. CD Central’s doing this folk artist turntable giveaway, Shake It’s making two, no three records. And a beer. M-Theory’s poster goes different.

This year we’re highlighting an artist from New York (close friend of mine), Charles Shedden I’ve been a huge fan of his work since we met in high school.

We’re also doing a limited edition T-shirt with a separate image of his. Doesn’t say anything about RSD, mostly just an art project that will only be available on the day.



Luna’s lathe cut 20th anniversary box set is heart achingly beautiful. There’s already a tribute video to it. It renders any negative argument moot. Plus, they party. Luna Music, huge parking lot throw down. So internet.

Grimey’s, sick as always. That back patio party, live performances from Halestorm, Self, Kitty Daisy & Lewis, Turbo Fruits, Those Darlins, The Lees of Memory + Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. Food trucks parked outside with the sidewalk sale keep things tidy, after early morning coffee and breakfast burrito service for all in the RSD line courtesy of Frothy Monkey coffee shop who will also curate a DJ program on the deck of Grimey’s Too. Party.

Good Records, huge parking lot throw down. Such buzz.

Stinkweeds, huge parking lot throw down. Much click.

End of an Ear has Lydia Loveless in the afternoon, worth going to Austin for.

Lunchbox. Reporters report about a line.

All these shopping guides, they’re all right on the money. Creative Loafing Atlanta, Rolling Stone, Nuvo Indy, some guy’s blog, Plus, also, they aren’t. I’m speaking only on a personal level, a what’s in it for me, greedy greedy wants it me. Thumb’s up and thumb’s down at the same time. I should be happy nobody is interested in the treasure I seek, perhaps there’ll be something left over for me Sunday morning. Tell me what you want, what you really, really want.*

The End of All Music are cooking a pig.

Radio-Active. He’s so hot right now. Here’s a Klangbox FM radio interview with friend Lolo, a Music Biz featurette, a big ol’ New Times article, Venice Magazine fashion spread and a video documenting the vinyl. Film at eleven, no really, the film crew is supposed to be there at 11.

Vertigo wins the fight. Cover story on owner Herm Baker. I didn’t know he was in a fight.

CD Central Turning Twenty.

Record Store Day is a time to celebrate and sell records, but it’s also a time to give back to the community that supports us. In honor of our 20th anniversary, we commissioned local artist Dronex Inc. to custom paint a vintage portable Califone record player. We are auctioning off this one-of-a-kind piece of functional art, and all proceeds will go to a local charity/non-profit of the winning bidder’s choice (as listed on the Goodgiving.net web site). This record player not only looks fantastic but also plays any record from 16 to 78 rpm!

M-Theory’s having the sidewalk sale and the local coffee bar taking care of people. Live music and free Dogfish Head Beer, with neighbor pizza provided.

The End of All Music, has their amazing first vinyl release. Of which much ado has been made. They’re hosting what can only be called a party, and what seems to be a theme amongst AIMS stores. The t-shirt design contest, they’re giving away a local brew, made just for them, with in-store shows and the aforementioned pig pull. Plus, bonus party.

But, and also. The End of All Music laid this on us. Yeah, click that link, you know you want to.

Jackpot, has free Jackpot Records totes with purchase, the exclusive RSD Roast from their friends at Courier Coffee Beans.Witness banana man and a Trilogy of DJ’s: DJ Dollar Bin (Steve Turner of MUDHONEY), DJ Derek Smith (KMHD host of Morning Session) , DJ Couches (Chris Slusarenko of Eyelids). Lest we forget they’re the purveyors of No. 2, the late Elliot Smith project that tops most everyone’s must purchase RSD list.

Vintage Vinyl, St. Louis has another must snatch jam with that Rude Boy Rumble release, by Papa Ray as discussed last week, they’ve got the free entertainment and the free coffee (from local roaster) and free beer (from local brewer) and free Energy Drink (from Global International Chemical Company) and a band line-up that’s staggering.

I don’t think you clicked that End of All Music link. Go back and click it. I know, right?

So Patrick at Fat Possum and I are good buddies, we live together actually. He’s a great dude. So with a little prodding for me, he (and Fat Possum/Glacial Pace) are sending all the AIMS! stores two signed photo prints by Isaac Brock. The photo is a real photograph (not the original obviously) but it isn’t just some photocopy. It features the photo that was used for the “Long Drive” album art. They are signed and numbered by Isaac in a limited edition of 80. AIMS stores will be getting two copies… and pretty much only AIMS stores. Patrick said to give them away however you want! SO, I’ve been trying to figure out what to do as Modest Mouse fans are going to fucking flip over these things.

I made a golden ticket (I’ve attached my design) and I’m going to hide it in the store on RSD so whoever finds it gets the photo. Feel free to use that idea. I think I’m going to give away the other copy to the first person to buy at least 3 of the recent MM vinyl reissues.

I also may just frame one for the shop!

Nice, right? Thanks David. Thanks Patrick and Isaac. That there, that’s getting to the core of what this is all about. Like, “wwwaaaaaahhh, I’m angry, my butt hurts,” but the opposite.

I suppose within here somewhere I should address the controversies surrounding our faux-holidaze, but I just don’t care to pontificate. Like these awesome examples above, there is no armchair quarterbacking needed. There are no think pieces that resonate. There are no indies versus majors versus ebay flippers, it ain’t about that. RSD is simply as it has always been, a reason to talk about record stores and if one is bloviating about RSD, online or standing in line, you are talking about record stores and not about TIDAL, or the global street date mishagos, or streaming, or Mariah Carey‘s new album.

With brevity and wit, Mikey Ramirez from Radio-Active on his Facebook:

Pre-RSD announcement: Thanks to everyone who shops & supports Radio-Active Records. Everyone here has busted their ass & made a ton of sacrifices to make this day, along with every other day in the year special for those who support record stores & independent businesses in general.

RSD may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but don’t place blame or cast negativity towards your local record store. They’re just trying to stay alive and open for you 365 days a year.

Shoutout to all the independent record stores, bars, clubs, bookstores, comic stores & entrepreneurs/risk takers. No fakes.

Ha ha, made you look. 

Eric Levin

*Frank OST, Vintage Vinyl Presents Rude Boy Rumble, Mastodon Atlanta 7″, Luna’s lathe cut box.

Another note about Record Store Day 2015

Record stores are doubling down, per usual, on their own holiday. Dozens of indie record stores are releasing their own special slabs of something to celebrate the forthcoming Record Store Day 2015, see that press release below.

AIMS members represent, of course, and then some, with heavy hitters like Jackpot Records’ No. 2 to Culture Clash’ 24 Gone, an evening with The End of All Music’s Barry Hannah release, a platter of select riddims from Vintage Vinyl’s Tom “Papa” Ray and Daddy Kool’s sweet Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band 7″.

There’s more treasure, as Shake It Records releases limited vinyl for hometown Wussy, 500 red vinyl copies of “Strawberry,” that won’t make it out of Cincinnati. Some store releases are so small, select and secretive, that writing about them in advance will only cause envy and jealousy for those out of range.

Personally, give me that “Trojan Records Rude Boy Rumble”, it will remind me of many nights sitting with Papa Ray, while he spins his records. I’m desperate for that Barry Hannah record, when I asked David Swider about the unusual release, I told him it reminded me of a beautiful night spent with the late author Larry Brown, in Oxford, MS, talking about favorite Southern authors, but mostly talking about Elvis Costello. David told me that Larry Brown will be the next release in his series. I want that one, too. Read more about this special record in the press release below and at the Oxford American.

Culture Clash Records24 Gone “The Spin” is a double dose of Northern WTF, a band hailing from Vancouver, British Columbia that Culture Clash‘s owner Pat was simply a fan of.

The LP was produced by Dave Ogilvie (Skinny Puppy, Marilyn Manson, Killing Joke) It was a tremendous regional hit due to Detroit/Windsor station 89 X. The CD was out of print so there was no way to get it. The station even played the album in its entirety so you could tape it.
This has long been one of my faves, so I was more than excited to release it.
The record is limited to 500 worldwide and it pressed on blue vinyl to compliment the restored cover art.

Daddy Kool‘s Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band 7″ “You Can’t Judge A Book By Looking at the Cover” isn’t just a regional favorite, but an AIMS favorite having hit tour stop in-stores at many of our stores.

The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band has been creating a whirlwind with their riveting and unconventional elixir of muscular and high voltage country blues capped by gritty growling vocals and striking finger picking. Inspired by the likes of Charley Patton, Furry Lewis and John Hurt, Reverend Peyton is steeped in the great blues tradition but is catapulting its roots into a new era.

Jackpot Records’ release is the sleeper of the year. Check out the video. You want it.

Available for the first time ever on vinyl, No. 2No Memory” is the 1999 debut of short lived post-Heatmiser Portland, OR band: No. 2. This album is missing link between the end of Heatmiser and the beginning of Elliott Smith‘s major label debut. Fronted by Neil Gust, No. 2 continued the more carefully constructed and often heartbreaking take on pop that Heatmiser first explored as well as the dark, searching songwriting style that would soon be a calling card for former Heatmiser member Elliot Smith as he started his solo trek at the same time. This collection includes the original “No Memory” recordings remastered for 180 gram vinyl from the original tapes with eight previously unheard bonus tracks including four home-recorded demos. Mixed By Elliott Smith Guest appearance: Elliott Smith / Sam Coomes Liner notes by Thomas Beller Mastered by Tony Lash (Heatmiser) Limited to 1500 copies worldwide.

As you plan accordingly for this year’s events, happening world-wide on April 18th, 2015, please consider preparing for next year’s event. Record Store Day comes the third Saturday of every April, as these indie records have shown, with the right amount of planning and passion, any record can.

Eric Levin