Rainbow, Squeezebox and Goodboy plan special events on April 13
By 2007, independent record shops, once the go-to source for all music fans and collectors, were on the brink of extinction. The cause? Insert the name of any online music streaming service.
The crisis prompted a group of store owners and music lovers to get together and designate one Saturday in April as a day for celebrating these stores and the people who work in them. Twelve years later, Record Store Day is a well-known event that has spread to every continent except Antarctica.
“We’re carrying the torch of passion for music, the art around it and all the intangible things that make music special,” says Michael Kurtz, of New York City, one of the founders of Record Store Day.
Since 2007, record sales have increased annually and are now the highest they’ve been since 1985. The resurgence of independent record stores is a sign of the increasing attention to vinyl records. This year, more than 375 limited and new records will be released, including Bohemian Rhapsody: The Original Soundtrack.
Each year since 2009, a Record Store Day Ambassador has been chosen to help spread the word. The 2019 ambassador is Pearl Jam. Mike McCready, the band’s lead guitarist, says, “If you love music,” record stores are the place to find it. I always feel a little bit better when I come out of a record store,” McCready says.
This year, Saturday, April 13, is the day, and three area stores have schedule special promotions to celebrate the event.
Rainbow Records (54 E Main St., Newark) has been affiliated with Record Store Day since 2008, and last year it had the largest event in the state, with more than 2,000 customers throughout the day. This year, there will be free Record Store Day (RSD) posters for the first 100 customers, and a free RSD shirt with purchases over $100. Rainbow also will have hundreds of exclusive and limited-edition records that were pressed for this day. Doors open at 8 a.m. For more information, check out Rainbow’s Record Store Day Facebook page.
Squeezebox Records (1901 W. 11th St., Wilmington) will have 325 limited pressings to offer customers. The store will open at 9 a.m., two hours earlier than usual, and a live band will perform. Co-owner Rich Fisher has announced that Squeezebox is working with Vinyl Aid to collect non-perishable food items for those in need, and there will be a collection bin in the store. There also will be a drawing, with two winners receiving a bag full of Squeezebox paraphernalia. Included in the “swag bag” will be a cork slip mat, a bumper sticker, a $10 gift card and a drink koozie. More information is available on the Squeezebox Records Facebook page.
Goodboy Vinyl, which opened in February, offers a third option at the former space of Jupiter Records at 2604 Kirkwood Highway. Owner Blane Dulin is no stranger to the record biz; he is the former general manager at Jupiter, where he worked for five years. Local DJs will be spinning during Goodboy’s Record Store Day, which also will have special giveaways, a store-wide 10 percent discount and free coffee and donuts.
Dulin plans to expand on the Jupiter model. “There’s going to be more focus on new releases and expanded selections in areas of psych, prog, punk and metal,” he says. “I want you to feel like you’re walking into a store in Philly, Nashville or Chicago.”