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Record Store Day: surprises and celebrations

| Tuesday, April 22, 2014

WEB_Banner_RecordStoreEmily Hoffmann | The Observer

In the midst of the long weekend was an annual holiday less recognized but still celebrated in full force by a handful of local businesses. Record Store Day (RSD) was celebrated by local record stores, audiophiles and vinyl-heads on its annual day, April 19.

RSD was created in 2007 by independent record store owners to spur an interest in the culture of record stores. In its nascence, a handful of record stores began participating in the day-long event, but RSD has grown to include thousands of participating independent stores around the world.

The day includes collaborations between organizers, producers, artists and participating stores, featuring events and performances. The big draw, however, for RSD lies in the exclusive releases. Releasing records in the thousands or sometimes only hundreds makes for a vinyl-collector’s dream — or nightmare, if they can’t get to the much-hyped sale in time. 

This year, participating stores were sent new releases of “special” singles and LPs from hundreds of artists, old and new. Some high-demand records were pressed and sent in small quantities, including music ranging from Action Bronson to David Bowie. Some albums had only a few copies pressed and sent to a select number of stores. Among these were compelling compilations from various artists, like “Faux Real,” a collection of fake songs covered by real bands.

Luckily, other records were more readily available, with RSD marking the beginning of their release, including the highly-anticipated recording of LCD Soundsystem’s final concert and the early release of Pixies’ first album in 23 years, “Indie Cindy,” out next week. But while the Pixies LP is due out those lucky enough to get the album early were surprised with a Record Store Day-exclusive 7-inch single.

Among participating vendors were two record stores around Notre Dame, and students who spent their Easter break under the South Bend sun got a taste of RSD just outside of campus.

Orbit Music in Mishawaka, Ind., was one of the participating stores, and along with a table of food and plenty of decorations to celebrate the day, offered a collection of exclusive releases that went quickly. By 4 p.m., most Record Store Day exclusives were long gone, but with special deals on all music in the spirit of the holiday, even those who walked away without a coveted Chvrches 7-inch single left full-handed. Another participating store, Michiana Used Music and Media had an ample amount Record Store Day-exclusive releases. Early risers came in to find glow-in-the-dark “Ghostbusters” soundtrack on vinyl as well as Nirvana and OutKast releases.

Those lucky (or admirably determined) enough to score one of these exclusives RSD releases could be making a pretty penny from their findings on eBay — a concern of store owners and employees, as the act surely goes against the spirit of RSD — but plenty of audiophiles around the world and in South Bend are enjoying their records and looking back fondly on a celebration of community, local business and, of course, music. If only there were a few more records to go around. 

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About Allie Tollaksen

Scene Editor. Senior studying Psychology and dabbling in everything else.

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