This Saturday, June 12 marks the first Record Store Day where both independent record stores and big chains can welcome back customers in with a certain sigh of relief. Even though last year’s festivities went on schedule — even splitting the day into two different drops to adapt to the situation — it was hard not to view the celebration as anything more than a truncated version of years past with a cloud of “should we be doing this” hovering in the air.
Now that things have improved considerably, stores around the country are gearing up to welcome big lines of collectors for this year’s Record Store Day. Ears to Feed caught up with three of our favorite independent record stores to see how they will be celebrating and to get some of their recommendations to add to our lists.
Academy Record Annex
Location: 85 Oak Street, Brooklyn, NY
Nestled off Franklin Avenue in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, Academy Record Annex is the perfect go-to for record heads looking for rare LPs and 45s as well as casual shoppers looking to snag the basics. In years past, the store has welcomed bands and DJs throughout the day and provided coffee and doughnuts for shoppers lining up to cross off their RSD shopping lists. But this year, the shop will be doing their best to ensure the safety of everyone involved.
The store has been running at 40 percent capacity and for Academy buyer Cory Feireman, that is still a necessary precaution in his mind. “I’m still only going to let a decided number of people in at a time,” he said. “Granted, that’s not much different than what we used to do. We would have a line around the block. We’re still going to do it like that but it will just be a little slower I guess.”
Feireman told Ears to Feed that they ordered a decent amount of RSD titles but didn’t go crazy and assured that they will have some special rare and used records hitting the bins for the occasion. To streamline the process, he also said that the store will be posting a list on their door of the titles they have available. “I’d feel awful if some kid is waiting in line for an hour for some Taylor Swift record that I’m not gonna have. I’d rather them know that we’re not going to have it,” he said, “If that’s their thing, by all means, they should figure out how to get it.”
If you happen to be in Manhattan, make sure to check out their other location on 415 E. 12th Street.
Employee Recommendation: Lou Reed, Set The Twilight Reeling
Location: 1050 N. Hancock Street #76, Philadelphia, PA
Opening: 9 am
Philly’s Creep Records is always a reliable option for finding what you need as they tend to order close to every title every for Record Store Day. Located within the Piazza of the Philly neighborhood Northern Liberties, the store found itself in quite the advantage last year as they were able to use the open space to the side of the store as well as their indoor space to sell titles and display special sale items like CDs and clothing. This year, the store will be doing a combination of letting customers inside to peruse and to hang outside where there will be a DJ spinning records for the occasion.
The free-flowing combination of indoor and outdoor shopping is something that the store hopes will help this be less of a “get in and get out” situation. “It was kind of easier last time,” said store employee Maggie Wilkinson. “People weren’t running to the area and getting claustrophobic.”
If you have been a part of the feeding frenzy of RSDs in the past, then you know exactly what she means.
Employee Recommendation: Various Artists, Songs For You Vol. 1
Bric A Brac
Location: 3156 W Diversey Ave, Chicago, IL
Chicago’s Bric A Brac Records generally has a lot to celebrate this time of year with both the store’s anniversary and RSD. Generally the store blows it out and hosts a bunch of bands throughout the day but unfortunately they had to temper the party last year and will sadly be forced to do the same this year.
As with years prior, the store will be rolling out their yearly special anniversary t-shirts to mark the occasion and will be getting all of the official RSD titles. Because the store is on the smaller side, Bric A Brac employee Jenn Lemasters told Ears to Feed that masks will be required upon entry and customers should expect a wait.
“We’re going to limit [customers] and we’re going to have all of our windows and doors open and keep our stuff right by the door because we don’t really have the space to do it outside,” she said.
Employee Recommendation: Fela Kuti & The Africa 70, Open & Close: 50th Anniversary Edition
Head here for a full list of this year’s Record Store Day titles.