Record Store Day Draws Record Crowds

Music geeks have a lot to look forward to this weekend. Saturday, April 16, is Record Store Day, an annual event when musicians put out new releases or reissues that are sold exclusively through independent record stores.

“It gives people a very distinct reason to go into brick-and-mortar record stores on what will hopefully be a nice spring day,” said Mike Wolf, manager at Sound Fix, an independent record store in Williamsburg. “There’s a lot of really good and interesting releases that are only available at independent record stores on this specific day.”

Rare reissues are expected from much-beloved bands like The White Stripes, Nirvana and Sonic Youth. Other fan-favorites — such as Radiohead, The Decemberists and of Montreal — will release new material.

Record Store Day is an effort to remind listeners of the importance record stores once played, and can still play, in discovering favorite artists and albums.

“Record Store Day is very great,” said Mikey Jones, an employee at downtown record shop Other Music. “It’s consistently become, in terms of end-of-day profits, our biggest sales day of the year. And it’s increased every year subsequently.”

Unfortunately, with so many exclusive releases hitting shelves on the same day, there’s a risk that the focus of Record Store Day could shift from supporting local record stores to building record collections.

“Now, it’s more become ‘You’ve got to collect all the limited releases!'” Jones said. “And it’s basically more of an eBay holiday than support your local record store holiday, which is fine. It’s the nature of the collector.”

To stir up further excitement, artists make special appearances at various shops. Dream-pop duo Damon and Naomi will perform at 7 p.m. at Sound Fix. Other Music will host a live concert from Regina Spektor at 2 p.m. To gain entrance, be sure to be one of the first 100 people to buy Spektor’s Record Store Day 7″ from Other Music.

Photo from Record Store Day 2008 at Other Music courtesy of graciepoo via Flickr.

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