For vinyl collectors Record Store Day (RSD) is a huge deal. Since 2007 the third Saturday of April has been a day for music fans to line up outside of local record stores to get their hands on limited presses of various albums. This celebration of the analog format does more than bring together music fans; it brings together communities.
While some may celebrate RSD in stores that they already frequent, others may venture out to new areas. Bloomington musician Mike Adams, of Mike Adams At His Honest Weight, is scheduled to play a set outside of Luna Music on RSD, along with several other Indiana bands. Adams believes RSD is “a great way to get interested people into businesses and cultural exchanges that they might otherwise miss out on.”
There’s more to RSD than just records.
“My favorite part is the spectacle of it,” Adams explained. “You've got loads of people turning out to celebrate all kinds of music and record shops, some people are desperately trying to get a new release from their favorite artists, some people are hustling for eBay fodder, some people are just turning up because there's a crowd...it’s wild and fun.”
Alex Beckman and Spencer Hartford, members of Video Grave, are another local band set to play at Luna. They have seen the event grow significantly over the past several years. “We have been attending RSD for about six years now and each year it just seems to get bigger and more fun each year,” they said.
“Local business are always a great help to RSD sheathed it be food trucks, beer carts, or what have you, local business really help bring that extra sense of community,” they said. “RSD is really just an awesome place for music and community to come together.”
Adam Gross, frontman for the Indianapolis band S.M. Wolf, believes that RSD “typically has a good impact on the restaurants and shops around the record stores since there are so many people out and about.”
As he prepares for his band’s set at Luna Music, Gross considers the impact that an event such as RSD has on the local music scene. He explained, “It certainly helps the bands playing shows on RSD to get exposure to a new crowd while also, hopefully, encouraging avid record buyers to buy local music.”
While Broad Ripple is a hotspot for RSD participants, Irvington Vinyl offers exclusive releases and live music as well. This year marks the second year that the store has been an official participant in RSD, and owner Rick Wilkerson is looking forward to the festivities.
“There’s a bunch of releases that look really good,” Wilkerson said. “Things are growing. This business is growing, as well as the categories, so there’s more and more people buying records. Last year was really crowded, but we worked it out,” he continued. “People are great, they’re patient and work well with others.”
For those planning on heading out to Irvington, be sure to check out the live music that will be playing from noon to 6:30 p.m., rain or shine.
This year, vinyl fans have something else to celebrate. Statistics from the Recording Industry Association of America from last year show that vinyl’s revenues have grown 52 percent over the past year, while CD revenues have dropped nearly 33 percent.
“Records were nearly dead twice,” Wilkerson stated. “First, record companies tried to kill them off with CD’s. Then, they kind of came back in a limited fashion, and then they tried to kill them off with digital. But, they just refuse to die.”
“I think people, myself included, enjoy the experience of listening to a record on vinyl,” Gross said. “Searching through the spines of the records on my shelf, pulling one out, putting it on the turntable, dropping the needle and listening to it while looking at the art and reading the liner notes is such an amazing experience.”
“Popping a CD in a CD player or listening to a song on Spotify from my phone just comes nowhere close to the experience of a record,” Gross continued.
As record shops and local bands prepare to make RSD a success, be sure to do your part to support local businesses and music. Whether that’s heading out to a shop you’ve never been to, or listening to a new band, there are plenty of opportunities for you to put your own spin on RSD 2016.
Where to go on Record Store Day:
Luna Music--8 a.m.-9 p.m.
Irvington Vinyl--8 a.m.
Indy CD and Vinyl--8 a.m.-9 p.m.
Karma Records--8 a.m.
The Exchange--10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Von’s Records and Videos--9 a.m.-9 p.m.
Vinyl Rescue Project 10 a.m.
Joyful Noise (afterparty at 7 p.m.)
To view full list of RSD releases, visit: http://www.recordstoreday.com/SpecialReleases