Independently owned record stores throughout the metro will join hundreds of others across the country and around the world in celebrating the second annual Record Store Day on Saturday.
Through in-store concerts, discounted merchandise and free promotional goodies, these local shops are commemorating a unique culture that still exists in smaller, hands-on music stores.
“Last year, we launched it kind of late in the year,” said Record Store Day co-founder and promoter Eric Levin. We got together ” by ‘we,’ I mean five of the larger stores ” at an industry convention and decided to do this based on my experience with Free Comic Book Day, which is now in its seventh year.”
This year, more than 470 U.S. and 1,000 overseas stores are participating in the event.
“It’s really up to the stores themselves to throw as big a party as they can,” Levin said. “The event itself is really record label- and record distributor-driven. We’re basically providing the opportunity and the day and the celebration, and every label to the best of their abilities and budgets chooses to do with this day what they will.”
Levin said many albums and materials are released exclusively for RSD, but different labels have different strategies for promoting the event and their artists.
“Some labels see it as a day to promote their upcoming releases on their roster and some see it as a way to sell limited-edition cool things, which are both good. Some bands and labels just get their artists out to the stores to participate in an in-store performance or working behind the counter,” he said.
Size Records, 8915 N. Western, will offer discounts on new and used CDs and vinyl, and will sell artwork from across the country.
“A bunch of random people are sending me some art prints, so it’s gonna be a kind of print show, as well as sale,” said Dustin Wallace, Size co-owner. “We’re doing the sale, obviously, but we couldn’t really do an in-store type thing because everything is cramped.”
Wallace said Size will offer 10 percent discounts on new CDs and LPs, and 20 percent discounts on used albums.
Guestroom Records will celebrate the event with exclusive Record Store Day releases and in-store performances at both its Oklahoma City store, 3701 N. Western, and the original Norman location, 125 E. Main.
Co-owner Travis Searle said this year’s RSD party is much bigger than the 2008 event.
“Last year, we didn’t really know how big it was gonna be,” he said. “We’ve got so much stuff coming in this time ” it’s kind of daunting, really. We’re bringing in 75 to 80 different releases, which is about 90 percent of the stuff that was being manufactured for Record Store Day. It’s amazing how big it has gotten in one year.”
Locals The Uglysuit, Ali Harter and Mayola will perform at the Oklahoma City store beginning around 1 p.m. Evangelicals, Other Lives and El Paso Hot Button will perform at the Norman location beginning around 6 p.m.
Searle said Warner Bros. and Universal have pitched in for free beer and pizza at the Norman store.
Randy’s M&M’s, 3200 S. Boulevard in Edmond, will offer discounts, as well as freebies like stickers, posters and CD samplers.
“We’ve got a few select T-shirts that have come direct from the labels and a lot of promotional vinyl and 7-inch things we’ve acquired,” said Kris Abt, the store’s music manager. “We’ve also got a pretty good size selection of buy-one-get-one CDs and there are some pretty good titles in there.”
Abt said she hopes local listeners will support the event, but said she doesn’t want them to feel like they have to spend money on this one specific day to be a supporter of independent stores.
“I hope more people are aware of Record Store Day and what it means to support your local independent music stores,” she said, “but we don’t want to make people say, ‘Oh, hey, I love your store; thanks for making me buy this because I appreciate you.'” “James Lovett