Record Store Day: April 16, 2011

Apr 15, 2011, 08:10 by Danielle Bodnar

Record Store Day lands on Saturday, April 16 this year, and record stores all over are offering exclusive merchandise to bring out customers.

Record Store Day started on April 19, 2008, to celebrate independently owned record stores in the United States and the world over, according to the official website. The holiday has been observed every third Saturday and was officially inaugurated with an appearance of heavy metal band Metallica at Rasputin Music in San Francisco.

This year, more than 600 artists will drop something special--a picture disc, a special vinyl reissue, a limited edition 7-inch, and more--to a chain of 1,500 stores across the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and Japan. The participating artists range from various indie rock bands, including the Decemberists, Fleet Foxes and Vivian Girls, to mainstream artists like Lady GaGa and Ozzy Osbourne. Other bands such as Radiohead are releasing exclusive singles on Record Store Day.

Some record stores are celebrating the holiday with special performances or appearance from local musicians. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Pennsylvania-based bands would be appearing in record stores in Manayunk, Philadelphia, and Allentown. Many of these shows are free or of low-cost to perspective showgoers.

Another goal of Record Store Day is to revitalize interest in shopping at your friendly neighborhood record store. The official Record Store Day website has collected quotes from a dizzying array of artists, many of whom praise independent record stores. "Independent record stores are where kids like me learned about the music that made them the musicians they are today," writes jam-blues favorite G. Love. "[They] are about the love of records, not the love of money."

"The indie record stores are the backbone of the recorded music culture," opines Joan Jett on the Web page. "It's where we go to network, browse around, and find new songs to love. The stores whose owners and staff live for music have spread the word about exciting new things faster and with more essence than either radio or the press. Any artist that doesn't support the wonderful 'ma and pa' record stores across America is contributing to our own extinction."

According to a recent report by the BBC, 90% of independent record stores have closed in the last 25 years, due in part to the rise of digital music. While some say that records will go the way of buggy whips, others believe that record stores, though not as commonplace as they used to be, are here to stay. In spite of the steep decline, the number of record stores actually increased in 2010. The growth can be attributed to a niche interest in vinyl, and loyal customers. "The situation in the independent sector is better than it's been for a long time," Grahm Jones, a former record sales rep, told the BBC. "You reach a point when the only shops open are great record shops. You've got to be good to have survived."
To find a participating record store near you, visit