Gentlemen, Start Your Turntables: It’s Record Store Day

UntitledDaniel Maurer

When Record Store Day first launched in 2008, just a few eager buyers lined up early outside Other Music and Kim’s Video. But tomorrow morning, you can expect the queues to be deep and packed.

Mike Davis, owner of Academy Records on East 12th Street, said he usually does about a week’s worth of business during the audiophile free-for-all. “The crowds are over the top, and there’s a lot of people I don’t see the rest of the year, which is good,” he told The Local. “To my surprise, they don’t just buy the sexy RSD stuff and bounce – many of them scour the bins and buy a lot of our other stuff.”

These days, RSD can be a frenzied scavenger hunt, with vinyl enthusiasts rushing from store to store looking for the exclusive releases, tipping each other off to secret stashes, and even swapping records onsite as they caravan around. It’s a reminder of just how exciting buying physical releases can be.

mike davis09Mel Bailey Mike Davis

Many labels use the holiday as a launching pad for new and established acts, and the constantly expanding list of releases grows daily. Stores are already making record geeks salivate by previewing the upcoming releases on their Facebook and Instagram accounts.

Depending on your tastes, the “sexy” releases could be the Flaming Lips “Zaireeka” box set — available for the first time on a vinyl — or an expanded release of Husker Du’s sebut single “Amusement.” Rather than touting the Bon Jovi and Aerosmith vinyl reissues, stores like Academy will be focused on the more rare and unique exclusives. Said Mr. Davis of his buying strategy for RSD, “We try and choose musically interesting titles from quality labels – unreleased things or reissues of truly rare and desirable music. We generally avoid ‘anniversary’ editions of common titles that are redone in ‘deluxe’ or ‘remastered’ forms, i.e, Kenny Rogers’ ‘The Gambler.’”

A full list of participating stores — many of which are located in the East Village — as well as releases are available on RSD’s official Website. Many stores, including Kim’s, will open at 8 a.m. in anticipation of the canvas-tote-carrying collectors. As for Mr. Davis? “We’re opening at 10 a.m. because we like to keep things civilized,” he said.