Line forms soon for Record Store Day
- Published: April 26, 2018
By Will Drewing
The third weekend of April brings with it Record Store Day, the Saturday when vinyl fans celebrate record store culture and flock to independent record stores to get their pick of limited release albums.
Record Store Day is a day for all players in the record store world to celebrate the culture of the independently owned record store. Store staff, customers and artists play their respective roles in celebrating the day, with many stores organizing events such as live performances and cookouts.
Record Store Day celebrates its 10th birthday this year, having been originally organized in 2008. It’s only a year younger than local record store Toxic Beauty Records, which will turn 11 this June. Josh Castleberry, the owner of Toxic Beauty Records, attributes Record Store Day with the exposure that put his store on the map.
Record Store Day brings in a lot of business, Castleberry said. In fact, Toxic Beauty does more business on this single day than it does in the whole month of December.
“A line of customers forms outside the door every year.[The line at the door] started at 4 p.m. on Friday last year. But people usually start lining up around 2 or 3 a.m.” said Castleberry.
Toxic Beauty has become a destination shop, says Castleberry, meaning that customers treat the shop like a tourist destination, driving from miles away to spend time and money in area stores and restaurants.
“The guy at Ha Ha’s [Pizza] called one year joking about me sending him too much business,” said Castleberry.
Record labels release LPs exclusively on Record Store Day, including limited edition items such as The Doors “Strange Days” LP pressed in a grey and blue swirl with a limited quantity of 2,000 copies. A total of 424 titles will be released for the occasion this year. The list of genres and artists is expansive in diversity, fitting to the diverse world of record store customers.
There’s plenty to be excited about this Record Store Day. For Castleberry, the vinyl release of “Billy Breathes” by Phish, and Rage Against the Machine’s live recording from the 2000 Democratic National Convention have him the most excited. Bonding over music in typical record store fashion, Castleberry and this reporter shared excitement for new music from the Melvins and A Perfect Circle, set to hit record store shelves right in time for Record Store Day.
A staff member at Omega Records in Dayton said that store tries to carry a copy of every record released on Record Store Day.
“That’s the beauty of record stores, they all have a different personality,” said Castleberry. “We order as many copies as we can of things people in the area want,” he continued. “We’re going to have a lot of Phish, Grateful Dead, Arcade Fire. That kind of stuff.”
Along with the limited releases, Toxic Beauty will be celebrating the day with a concert ticket hunt — like an Easter egg hunt, but different. The store has thousands of records on its shelves, and thousands more stored in its back rooms. Toxic Beauty also has a vast collection of limited edition posters for sale, as well as music-related merchandise.
The vinyl record survived the digital revolution not just because of a nostalgic market but through sound quality, aficionados say. Music fans of the analog era and younger people who are anachronistically referred to as “hipsters” continue to buy the antiquated technology out of appreciation for the crispness of sound that cannot be matched by digitally stored music.
In fact, vinyl records sales are coming back in a major way. Sales increased by 10 percent in 2017, according to The Washington Post. While revenue from digital downloads fell by 25 percent and CD sales fell by 6 percent, vinyl brought in $395 million, which is still a small slice of the music industry, but enough to encourage major labels like Sony to start pressing vinyl again.
*The writer is a student at Sinclair Community College and a News intern.