What’s the Big Deal About Record Store Day, Anyway?

A whole lot of vinyl exclusives are coming on April 13. There will be lines. Should you stand in one?  

Reaction to Record Store Day typically varies, depending on one’s existing relationship to record stores.

For those who might pop inside an actual brick and mortar building to peruse the vinyl selection every now and then, it’s probably still a pretty cool idea: a special day dedicated to indie record stores, with exclusive releases as the glittering prize at the end of the rainbow.

However, when it comes to vinyl nerds who regularly scour the aisles of local indie record shops to secure copies of favorite artists’ recordings, RSD can be more of a nuisance than anything.

Ask any true record nerd about the moment they lost their enthusiasm for the day, and there’s frequently a release attached to it. The thrill of standing in line to grab an exclusive, only to suffer the sting of disappointment when it’s already sold out by the time you get inside. Not to mention the inflated rates when copies inevitably land on eBay, Discogs, and the like.

One never can tell which releases will be hardest to secure. It’s a roll of the dice, often depending upon which store you target, how many copies of a release they’ll stock, how many of those records will even reach the sales floor—the variables are endless.

Still, the day continues to expand in scope and scale. Seattle legends Pearl Jam have been selected as this year’s official ambassadors of the day. The list of exclusive releases grows in all categories. From legacy acts to the latest indie sensation, the list of artists who don’t have a RSD exclusive would be shorter than the ones that do.

Many jaded collectors have grown softer toward Record Store Day. After all, bringing attention to indie stores and vinyl culture in the mainstream is always a good thing. More people wanting to check out a mom and pop record shop is a win for everybody.

Regardless of where you might fall on the record store continuum, the day is rapidly approaching: April 13. And the list of exclusives is mighty. See it in all of it’s waxy glory here.

Sigur Rós, Moses Sumney, Flaming Lips, Queen, Wallows, Erykah Badu, Courtney Barnett—at least a few of your favorite acts are sure to be among them. There’s even a collection of performances from the “WTF Marc Maron” podcast pressed to vinyl.

Support your local record stores!


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