When Record Store Day launched in 2007, physical music releases seemed like they were nearing extinction. Digital music was on the rise and vinyl was mostly for the fanatics content to sift through dusty bins inside the few remaining shops. Since then, though, the mighty record has made a comeback and so too have the stores that sell them. RSD itself has become a phenomenon, drawing early morning lines of shoppers waiting to get their hands on limited edition releases from their favorite bands.
For this 10th anniversary year, the official Record Store Day releases include everything from a live David Bowie album to the Space Jam soundtrack. While some releases are exclusive to RSD-participating shops, other are simply hitting those stores first. Still more of the releases are limited edition or only available in certain regions. Check the RSD release list first and note that not all of those releases will be available at every store. Read on for highights of the Los Angeles stores participating in Record Store Day on Saturday, April 22.
Amoeba Music opens at 10:30 a.m. on Record Store Day, but shoppers can line up as early as 8 a.m. The massive Hollywood store draws a crowd and they'll have coffee and edibles from Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf for line-standers (while supplies last). At Amoeba, there's a menu system in place to keep things running smoothly. Fill out a menu with your picks (there's a PDF already available online) and turn it in. Amoeba employees will get your bag of goodies together by the time you enter the store. There's much more than just records at the store on April 22: Family Industries is making screen print t-shirts; singers Harriet Brown and Gaby Moreno are set to DJ; and Sire Records co-founder Seymour Stein will be signing the label's 50th anniversary box set at 2 p.m. There will be trivia contests throughout the day and gift bags, plus food and activities going on outside the store.
6400 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles 90028
Freakbeat Records in Sherman Oaks is keeping it simple on Record Store Day. Well, maybe it's not that simple: their ample selection of RSD exclusives typically draws early morning lines. The store opens at 11 a.m., but we were told to expect to see a line by 7 or 8 in the morning. If there's something in particular that you have to have this year, the wait might be worth it as RSD releases can sell out, depending on how many copies of a release a store receives. If you are willing to brave the line, follow the advice on Freakbeat's Facebook page and check your street parking spot to make sure you don't inadvertently get a ticket in addition to your stack of new records.
13616 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks 91423
You don't have to head over the hill to shop on Record Store Day. Shoppers in the San Fernando Valley may want to check out the weekend-long sale at CD Trader. Despite its name, this Ventura Boulevard store doesn't exclusively stick to compact discs. Their used vinyl selection is quite good and the picks are 30% off throughout the weekend. Meanwhile, shoppers can get 20% off used CDs, DVDs and Blu-Rays as well as 10% off new releases. If you're into t-shirts, check out their "Vinyl Is Forever" one that's stylized like the Stranger Things logo.
18926 Ventura Blvd., Tarzana 91356
Soundsations is a small, friendly record store in the Westchester neighborhood near LAX. If you're flying in or out of the international airport on Saturday (or happen to have a long layover), this is an ideal spot to do your RSD shopping. Soundsations opens at 10 a.m., although we were told that they may open a little earlier if there's a line outside. Typically, that's the case for RSD, when collectors are preparing to splurge well before the store has opened.
8701 La Tijera Blvd., Los Angeles 90045
Permanent Records will have a selection of this year's RSD releases on hand. In addition, they'll have a release that's exclusive to the Highland Park store. At Permanent Records, there will also be an exclusive release from local rock band Frankie and the Witch Fingers. Titled Sidewalk, the vinyl album release is limited to 500 copies, 150 of which will be on colored vinyl. Stop by the store at 7 p.m. if you want to see the band play live. After the show, the party moves across the street to Town Pizza where members of the band and record store family will be DJing from 9 to 11 p.m.
5116 York Blvd., Los Angeles 90042
Hollywood shop The Record Parlour has developed a reputation amongst local music geeks for its vast supply of vinyl and monstrous sales. Record Store Day is no different. Yes, they'll have a selection of RSD releases on hand, but there are many other reasons to head here. The store will be selling off a collection of rock and soul records that is said to include 500 rare pieces. Their entire 100,000+ vinyl inventory will be on sale at 10-50% off on both Saturday and Sunday. Additionally, their vintage audio equipment and movie and film poster collection are on sale. Saturday night will feature a free live blues performance at 8 p.m. Earlier in the day on Saturday, as well as Sunday, you can be the DJ for a 30 minute all-vinyl set. Sign up in the morning to try for a slot sometime during the day.
6408 Selma Ave., Los Angeles 90028