Independent record stores have fought an uphill battle since the iPod was introduced 10 years ago — perhaps that’s why Record Store Day was launched in 2007.
The event, taking place Saturday, is celebrated by music lovers at “mom and pop” shops across the globe. Major record labels release limited-edition vinyl and CDs, exclusively for indie outlets.
Locally participating stores include Flat, Black and Circular, Schuler Books & Music (Eastwood location) and The Record Lounge.
Local music buff Steve Butts, an employee at independently owned Schuler Books & Music, said the day is about paying homage to dedicated record collectors.
“In my eyes, it’s a tacit acknowledgement by the record industry that there’s a loyal, committed group of customers who are looking for something more than the run-of-the-mill, no frills product that the majority of music consumers give no second thought about,” Butts said.
Here are just a few examples of 2011 Record Store Day releases (visit www.recordstoreday.com for complete list). These are all extremely limited, so stock is not guaranteed at any location. Stock also varies from store to store.
Big Star, the 1970s power pop band from Memphis, influenced a broad range of alt-rock bands, most notably The Replacements. Two thousand copies of the band’s “Third” (Test Pressing Edition) LP will be released on 180-gram black vinyl on Omnivore Records. Five original test pressings will be randomly inserted into the run.
The White Stripes recently broke up, which motivated Jack White to reissue the band’s first two singles on his Third Man imprint. The original 1998 pressings fetch hundreds on eBay; these RSD presses may be more accessible. The “Let’s Shake Hands” 7-inch is on red/black swirled vinyl, while the “Lafayette Blues” 7-inch is on white/ black swirled vinyl.
Nirvana was back in the news recently after the 17th anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s suicide. In a more positive light, Record Store Day will see a re-issue of the “Hormoaning” vinyl EP, which was originally sold on the group’s 1992 Australian tour.
The Doors released its blues-rock album “L.A. Woman” 40 years ago. To commemorate it, Rhino is releasing a “Riders on the Storm” 7-inch. It contains the original stereo single and a previously unreleased mono mix, originally exclusive to radio. The single will have three different, randomly distributed picture sleeves.
Pink Floyd is widely known for “Dark Side of the Moon” and “The Wall.” However, hardcore fans often appreciate the band’s early years with original singer Syd Barrett.
“London 66/67” vinyl LP is a limited release on 180-gram white vinyl and comes in a gatefold sleeve. It features two rare studio performances recorded in early 1967.
Stones’ new “Brown Sugar” 7-inch also includes “Bitch” and “Let it Rock,” an obscure outtake from the “Sticky Fingers” sessions.
The Velvet Underground’s “Foggy Notion” 7-inch includes songs from a long-lost session during the recording of the band’s fourth album, including the track “I Can’t Stand It.”
Bob Dylan seems to have a never-ending supply of old live recordings turning up. A Record Store Day exclusive will be the “In Concert: Brandeis University 1963” vinyl LP. It’s a previously unknown live recording of a 21-year-old Dylan.
Record Store Day 2011
Saturday, April 16 Flat, Black & Circular 541 East Grand River, Ave. East Lansing (517) 351-0838 The Record Lounge 111 Division St., East Lansing (517) 337-1221 Schuler Books & Music 2820 Towne Centre Blvd., Lansing (517) 316-7495 www.recordstoreday.com