Celebrate Record Store Day 2011

This, Saturday April 16th is Record Store Day! When was the last time you visited your local independent record store? Was it last year’s Record Store Day? I hope it hasn’t been that long. Here’s your weekend task, intrepid Color Awesome reader: Get off your blog-browsing butt and into your local record store! No cash? No problem. Many sponsor labels like Merge, Redeye, Rounder and Fat Possum often have free compilation CDs or records. In the past there have been free t-shirts. and eco-friendly shopping bags, too.

Originally conceived by Chris Brown, vice president of operations at Bull Moose Music, in 2007, Record Store Day has grown into a world-wide celebration for independent music retailers across the globe.

“In only four years, Record Store Day has turned into a worldwide party that celebrates real CD stores and the people who shop there,” Brown said.

This year, over 250 CDs and records were produced exclusively for Record Store Day. For a full list of RSD releases, check out this list. The 7″ I’m most excited about Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues b/w Grown Ocean and also Wild Flag’s – Future Crimes b/w Glass Tamourine. It’s Wild Flag’s first official release. There are plenty of reissues, too. I’m on teh lookout for Arthur Russell’s vinyl re-release of 1986’s World of Echo.

The first two years of RSD I ambled down to Rasputin’s Music Storein Mountain View, just a mile from my suburban home. However, last year, they broke my little musical heart by giving a big f-you to record store day. All they could manage was a single half-full storage crate labeled, “Record Store Day Shit.” Well fuck you, too, Rasputins. That’s the last you saw of me.

Deflated, but not defeated, my 7 year old and I decided to head up to The Vinyl Solution in San Mateo after getting a personal invitation from owner and long-time friend Tommy. (a comment on Facebook is a personal invitation, right?) we were so glad we did! Tommy Toonz knows how to throw a RSD party. There were live bands, free giveaways, the local radio station out front, and great vibes a plenty. G won a $10 gift certificate and bought a cool Star Wars radio serialization CD set for $9 and also a super-rare original Betamax release of Star Wars for a buck. Now that’s a deal. Well that’s enough reminiscing about last year. You can check out the Record Store Day 2010 album on flickr.

This year, I’ll be headed back to Vinyl Solution for my annual Record Store Day pilgrimage. According to Tommy, the RSD releases have been pouring in, and he’s got live music and giveaways planned for the festivities on Saturday.

No independent record stores near you? Screaming kids you can’t find a sitter for? No worries! Visit the best vicariously through Spin’s recent “15 Best Independent Record Stores” article.

Oh, and for a blast from the past, check out my write-up of the first record store day in 2008 where G and I slung Ice Cream for a Metallica in-store.