Hang Your Stockings! It’s Record Store Day!

Record Store Day 2014Each year, people in the record store industry have looked forward to that special time in April when the jolly man comes down their chimney and fills their stockings with all sorts of gifts and goodies.  This year, that man is no other than Public Enemy’s very own Chuck D.  And just for the record (pun intended), this has nothing to do with Christmas.  It’s the third Saturday of April: It’s Record Store Day!

What is Record Store Day?

According to the official Record Store Day website, Record Store Day was conceived in 2007 at a gathering of independent record store owners and employees as a way to celebrate and spread the word about the unique culture surrounding nearly 1000 independently owned record stores in the US and thousands of similar stores internationally. There are Record Store Day participating stores on every continent except Antarctica.

This is a day for the people who make up the world of the record store—the staff, the customers, and the artists—to come together and celebrate the unique culture of a record store and the special role these independently owned stores play in their communities. Special vinyl and CD releases and various promotional products are made exclusively for the day and hundreds of artists in the United States and in various countries across the globe make special appearances and performances. Festivities include performances, cook-outs, body painting, meet & greets with artists, parades, djs spinning records and on and on.

Record Store Day Ambassadors

Started in 2009, part of the Record Store Day (RSD) tradition is to name an official ambassador, usually a big player or influencer in the music culture that surrounds records stores. For 2014, the Record Store Day Ambassador is none other than Public Enemy’s very own Chuck D. This just fits perfectly considering that the founding members of Public Enemy are, and always have been, DJs.

Past Record Store Day Ambassadors include:

  • 2008: James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett and Robert Trujillo of Metallica (unofficial)
  • 2009: Jesse Hughes of Eagles of Death Metal
  • 2010: Joshua Homme
  • 2011: Ozzy Osbourne
  • 2012: Iggy Pop
  • 2013: Jack White of the White Stripes

So what’s going on to celebrate Record Store Day right here in Madison?

Well, my slightly impatient friend, let me tell you! We’ll break it down by store:

B-Side Records
I was unable to find any specific information about Record Store Day on their site, but they are officially recognized as a participant on the RSD website. Check out the B-Side Records website for hours and contact info.

Ear Wax Records
I was unable to find any specific information about Record Store Day on their site, but they are officially recognized as a participant on the RSD website. Check out the Ear Wax Records website for hours and contact info.

MadCity Music Exchange
Record Store Day Celebration: Dharma Dogs, Building On Buildings. MadCity Music Exchange, 8 a.m., and Bandung, 2 p.m.
As part of MadCity Music Exchange’s Record Store Day festivities we at Arts Extract invited Madison bands Building On Buildings and Dharma Dogs to play a special afternoon show at 2 p.m. next door to MadCity in the bar of Bandung Indonesian Restaurant. Building On Buildings start at 2 p.m. with their accessible but emotionally deep-reaching pop, and Dharma Dogs follow with a set of spirited, sludgy punk. Earlier in the day, a series of other Madison musicians (including Dharma Dogs member Nate Karls) will be playing outside of MadCity; go here for the full schedule.

Strictly Discs
As Wisconsin’s only Coalition of Independent Music Stores (CIMS) member, Strictly Discs appears to be the most focused and most dedicated to the Record Store Day holiday. They’ve been covering the details of their festivities for the past few weeks via the email newsletter, and all of that information can be found right on the Strictly Discs website. This is one store you don’t want to miss.

Sugar Shack Records
I was unable to find any specific information about Record Store Day on their site, but they are officially recognized as a participant on the RSD website. Check out the Sugar Shack Records website for hours and contact info.

Twas the Night Before Record Store Day…

I realize this post comes just hours before Record Store Day officially gets underway, so don’t delay! Record Store Day is Saturday, April 19, 2014!

If you are active on social media (as everyone is), there are Record Store Day hashtags on Twitter and conversations on Facebook. Check those out and stay in the loop. Happy Record Store Day to all, and to all a good night!

Matt is one of the co-founders behind Local Sounds, a non-profit organization that helps promote, preserve and develop Madison's local music scene. He has played drums for several bands and was formerly on the MAMAs board.

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