Record Store Day


Jack Franklin, Writer

The 10th annual Record Store Day will be taking place on Saturday April 22nd. “This is a day for the people who make up the world of the record store—the staff, the customers, and the artists—to come together and celebrate the unique culture of a record store and the special role these independently owned stores play in their communities. Special vinyl and CD releases and various promotional products are made exclusively for the day. Festivities include performances, cook-outs, body painting, meet & greets with artists, parades, DJs spinning records,  and on and on. In 2008 a small list of titles was released on Record Store Day and that list has grown to include artists and labels both large and small, in every genre and price point. In 2015, 60% of the Record Store Day Official Release List came from independent labels and distributors. The list continues to include a wide range of artists, covering the diverse taste of record stores and their customers.” Each year, RSD chooses an ambassador to promote the “holiday”. This year, the 2017 RSD Ambassador is none other than Annie Clark (better known as St. Vincent).

The 2017 list boasts exclusive releases from David Bowie, The War On Drugs, The Smiths, and more. In Memphis, there are three record stores that will be participating in the RSD festivities. First on the list is Shangri-La Records on Madison Avenue. From personal experience, people begin lining up outside of the store at 5:00 am. By 8:00 am there will be approximately 40 people lined up waiting to get their hands on the exclusive releases waiting inside. Be sure to bring a lawn chair or two (and a blanket if it’s chilly), for it’s not fun to stand for 3 hours. At 8:30 am the owner will open up the doors to his shop, and he will begin to let 5 people inside at once. The next store that will be open is Goner Records in Cooper-Young. Opening up at 9:00 am, Goner sets up a “buffet-style” experience. You will walk in and make a circle around the store picking up any releases that intrigue you. After you check out Shangri-La and Goner, I recommend checking out Memphis Music on Beale Street. Memphis Music typically has a smaller stock of RSD releases; however, if some old man in front of you took the only copy of the Miley Cyrus picture disc you were dying for, then there is a good chance another copy or two is hiding somewhere down on Beale Street.

Aside from adding some exclusive releases to your record shelf, Record Store Day is a time for you to meet new vinyl fanatics. Another tip… bring donuts. Make friends with the people around you and tell them about the releases you are trying to get. Goner and Shangri-La will also have a large sale over their entire stock around noon; as well as some live music outside of the stores.

Below is the link to the list of releases for this year’s RSD. I hope to see you the morning of Saturday April 22nd outside of Shangri-La, Goner, or Memphis Music waiting to try and find the releases you want!