We hardly need an excuse to buy records, but Record Store Day is always a good opportunity to support our local record stores, rub shoulders with other vinyl lovers, and maybe catch the odd live act playing in-store. Between us this year we covered a decent number of stores across several cities and scored a pretty diverse range of records. Some of us were up early to beat the queues, while others took a more relaxed approach, but we all came out with some rad new wax.
Check out our newest additions from Record Store Day 2017:
They say if you drink the water in Olympia, Washington, you’re destined to return. So, this year for Record Store Day I chose to revisit the oldest record store in Western Washington – Rainy Day Records established in 1973. When Record Store Day was launched back in 2007, it was to preserve then struggling institutions just like Rainy Day. You see, places like Rainy Day were more than just stores. They were hubs of local music scenes: a place to go to find out what’s happening this weekend, to catch up on the latest local gossip, or to strike up a conversation with other passionate music aficionados. In fact, many luminaries of the Oly scene have worked at Rainy Day over the decades. Record stores like this were the glue that held many local music and arts communities together, and without them we lose a conduit of oral history and catalyst for collaboration.
When I moved away from Olympia in 2005, records occupied 1/8 of the retail space in the store with CDs filling 1/2 of the space. Back then, Rainy Day was scraping by during the birth of the digital download era. They were able to weather the storm with a slow trickle of support of loyal clientele, and by cleverly diversifying and expanding their non-music merchandise. However, those were lean years, and in that climate, it seemed like a closure was inevitable.
Much to my delight, as I’ve checked in a few times over this past decade I’ve witnessed a dramatic transformation. With shrewd management and strategic merchandise acquisitions, the store has gradually blossomed into a thriving success. Rainy Day’s capitalization on the resurgence of vinyl has returned the store to a resemblance of its glory days. Vinyl now dominates the retail space, with CDs being in the minority.
In recent years, the crack staff has taken major steps to bring regional music history alive on walls plastered with vintage local flyers. With glorious mid-century swag lamps intertwined with hanging plant vines, and an eclectic array of vintage chachkies on display, the flavor of a no-longer by-gone era is alive in downtown Olympia. This store not only reflects the history of the Oly scene; it is living, breathing Olympia history.
It’s a MUST SEE if you’re a music lover visiting the South Puget Sound, and that is why I chose Rainy Day for the place to purchase the special RSD Fat Possum release of RL Burnside: Long Distance Call. The store was hopping on Record Store Day with the air filled with the familiar smell of incense and the sound of locals coming together, getting excited about music, making plans, maybe starting a new band. To see it so alive brings a smile to this old heart of mine. More than that, what is really thrilling is that stores like Rainy Day no longer need the promotional push of Record Store Day to remind people to shop within their stores. The love of records is enough to get people through that door. Now THAT is a happy ending for the story of Record Store Day.
As far as that RL Burnside record goes, it was exactly what I was expecting, which was a good thing. Oh and I picked up some 45s too!
– Shannon, Community Success Coordinator
I’m on vacation and totally missed RSD-actual due to a full day of travel via planes, trains, and automobiles, but I made it out on Monday to a few local shops in the Granada, Spain area. From the various shops I gathered a few treasures I’ve been looking for, some recommendations, some releases for my husband, a release that isn’t in the database yet:
Doris Duke - I’m A Loser – Doris Duke is an amazing American Gospel and Soul singer who did a lot of backup work for famous artists like Nina Simone, Aretha Franklin, Frank Sinatra, and Dusty Springfield, but never gained the same level of notoriety herself.
Betty Davis – This Is It! – I let the shop owner talk me into adding this one to my haul based on my interest in Doris Duke.
Fruko – A La Memoria Del Muerto
Felipe Campuzano – Andalucía Espiritual Vol. 1 – Cádiz
Hitparade – Con Bombos Y Trompetas – I admit I got this one just because I assumed it wouldn’t be in the Discogs database yet (I’ve added it now!).
– Kirsten, Product Owner
– Morgan, Systems Engineer
On Saturday I walked with my partner over to a few nearby record stores, enjoying the clear but cold Amsterdam weather. First stop was Michiel Vinyl on Marnixstraat. Inside was a low-key party, including DJs spinning rare Dutch records and sipping cold beers. I found an Albert Ayler live album that I was jazzed about (sorry, had to!) and my partner found some nice jazz vocalist records in the €5 bin. From there we wandered to Distortion Records in the Jordaan. Despite the vision of anarchy you’re presented with when entering, the store is a goldmine for new and used vinyl. They had nearly every RSD exclusive, as well as a great selection of used dance music. I was a bit overwhelmed and only purchased the last Talking Heads album I needed to complete my collection (Speaking In Tongues). There was some kind of industrial fire north of the city and the air smelled awful at this point. We tried not to think about what we were inhaling as we walked to Homesick Records right off the Rozengracht. It took me a few minutes to realize there was an entire Bob Dylan section in the small upstairs and most of the memorabilia was from the Nobel Prize-winning songwriter. However, I wasn’t there for the Dylan. The rest of their stock is well curated and well taken care of. I picked up another free jazz classic from Pharoah Sanders, a couple of punk records (Buzzcocks’ A Different Kind Of Tension, and the Damned’s Music For Pleasure) and the krautrock classic Ege Bamyasi by Can. Overall a good haul and I went over budget by 100% in classic tradition.
– Mark, Front-End Developer
Here’s my RSD action shot from Music Millennium, my favorite record store. I’ve been there for early morning RSD stuff before (total madhouse) and evening RSD shopping (pretty darn calm, though definitely well picked over). This was my first afternoon trip, and it was a weird mixture of the two: there were quite a few people there, and parts of the store with lots of RSD stuff displayed would cause congestion, but everybody seemed pretty calm and obliging as I skipped behind/between them to get to my CDs. The store had plenty of their crew around to answer questions. The one downside was that they had no copies left of the one actual RSD release that I was looking for (a co-worker wasn’t able to get a copy of the Slick Rick RSD exclusive and was hoping I could help out), but you definitely can’t blame retailers for selling out of a hot item.
Tori Amos – Boys For Pele – I’ll be the first to admit that my music collection tends to be pretty dude-centric. I’ve been making a conscious effort to try to change that since my daughter was born. Just recently picked up “Little Earthquakes” and was really drawn in by Amos’ vocal skills and incredibly evocative songwriting. Reviews have promised that this is a more challenging listen, and I’m looking forward to it.
Caravan – For Girls Who Grow Plump In The Night – Of course, in light of the above I move directly to what must be one of the least feminist album titles in all of prog rock history. I don’t think there’s anything that Caravan ever did without tongue planted firmly in cheek, though, so I’m going to see what they’ve got to say for themselves musically. My previous Caravan exposure has been via “In The Land Of Grey And Pink“, which is one of the all-time great prog albums, so my expectations here are pretty high.
Ray Davies – Americana – A brand-new album from an old favorite. Truth be told, this is my first exposure to Ray’s solo work (though I am, of course, a huge Kinks fan). Apparently the Jayhawks are the backing band here, and I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about this combo. Eagerly anticipating my first listen.
Robyn Hitchcock – Robyn Hitchcock – Everything else on this was picked up after careful consultation with review sites and at least a moment’s hesitation. As soon as I heard Hitchcock was releasing a new album with Brendan Benson on production duties I knew there was nothing that would stop me from getting this album. Expecting heavy doses of Robyn’s irrepresible wit, humor, and humanity. That last one always manages to shine through, even when he’s singing about the most idiosyncratically bizarre stuff, and it’s what keeps me coming back to his artistic well.
Kendrick Lamar – DAMN. – I think picking up the latest Kendrick release is now a Record Store Day tradition for me (everybody and their executive mixing engineer was all about “To Pimp A Butterfly” when it dropped right next to RSD 2015, and I certainly couldn’t resist: https://blog.discogs.com/en/record-store-day-2015-grippos-cd/ ). Been reading great things about the album. Plus: how are you going to turn down the opportunity to see what the hell a Kendrick/U2 collaboration sounds like? It blows my mind a little bit even just typing that. I hope the musical reality is just as stunning.
– Tom, Community Success Coordinator
I’m not a supporter of RSD itself but I do support local shops and sellers so I chose to support one of my favorite labels, Star Creature. They are constantly cranking out pure heat! If you’re into modern funk this is where it’s at. I had their entire catalog in my collection then they released a bunch of new stuff- stoked to get my collection back to that complete status – Total nerd :)
Saucy Lady – Makka Na Taiyo
Diamond Ortiz – Make Me Wanna / Wait Up
Donnell Pitman & Wings Of Sunshine – Do You Wanna / Need My Love
Shiro Schwarz – Together / Boogie Ghost
Ordered – Mr. White – WTF (Work Tha Fader) 2017 Gramaphone White Label Edition. Been waiting for this one to drop for awhile.
– Liz, Community Manager
– Chad, Director of Operations
Balthazar – Applause – Belgian legends; one of those albums that’s not on your Wantlist, but when you see it you know that it should’ve been on there.
Alabama Shakes – Sound & Color – My 2nd favourite album of 2015
– Yoram, Community Success Coordinator
– Claire, Managing Director of Operations
DJ Hype – Roll the Beats – Suburban Base RSD reissues of classic hardcore and jungle bits that fill old gaps in my collection
Remarc – R.I.P.
Anthony Naples – Us Mix – Great house groovers from NY.
Ryuichi Sakamoto – Thousand Knives Of – Sakamoto classic reissued in Rush Hour’s Japan series.
Braccio D’oco* (Pépé Bradock) – Ata Zéro: Baby Steps – Weird but great house and experimental electronics from Pépé Bradock
– Karl, Developer
Priests – Early Recordings – I probably should have owned an official Priests album before going for early recordings, but I’m into it
Cornelius + Penguin Cafe – Umbrella EP1 – This EP wasn’t what I expected at all as I hadn’t really heard much Penguin Cafe before, but it’s got some really beautiful tracks on it
David Bowie – No Plan EP – Not the official RSD release, but I’m not particularly bothered about that.
Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks – Wig Out At Jagbags – Also not an RSD release, but when I’m standing in a record store with money in my pocket, I’m powerless to resist. I stand by this decision.
– Jess, Search Engine Marketer
Bought from Roadburn record store stand:
Earth – Primitive And Deadly
Zone Six – Forever Hugo
Khun Narin – Electric Phin Band
Sunn O))) – Dømkirke
Dread Sovereign – Pray To The Devil In Man (free with my purchase at Roadburn)
– Esther, Community Success Coordinator
Smokey Robinson & The Miracles – Make It Happen – Been looking for this one for ages! After “The Tears of a Clown” became a huge single three years after the album was released, the album was renamed to The Tears of a Clown to boost sales. I have been on the look out for the original Make It Happen for quite some time now.
James Brown – Sex Machine
Marvin Gaye – Let’s Get It On
– David, Community Success Manager
Frank’N’Dank and Jay Dee – The Jay Dee Tapes (RSD) – Because unreleased J Dilla.
Andre 3000 – All Together Now (RSD) – Because Andre 3000.
Kendrick Lamar – DAMN. (Not RSD) – Because Kendrick. Of course I prefer vinyl, but that ain’t out yet, and if I’m paying money for something, I prefer a physical version vs. digital.
Charles Wright & The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band – Express Yourself (Not RSD) – One of those beatdigger classics I somehow never picked up and always said “I’ll get that one later”, and this RSD was finally that “later”.
– Aaron, Community Engagement Specialist
Arthur Brown – The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, 1968 copy, I really like all the organ riffs and theatrical seance-y vibes. The cover art made it stand out in the bins really well, I couldn’t pass it up.
Frank Zappa – Hot Rats 1969 copy. I love this album, but never owned it before. Shuggie Otis, Captain Beefheart, Jean-Luc Ponty, the level of musicianship on this one is insane. The mix sounds a little different than what I’ve heard before too.
Robin Trower – Long Misty Days. Yeah, some of his stuff can be a little too Hendrix-y but the guy makes some of the best guitar tones I’ve ever heard. You can see his riffs start to pave the way for future shoegaze, sludge and stoner metal groups. He also makes really great guitar faces too.
– Andy, Developer
Starfucker – Vault Vol. 1 – Bought it to see behind the scenes of their creative process
Surfer Blood – Snowdonia – Their music if fun, and it was on sale!
Gold Panda – Good Luck And Do Your Best – Somehow I missed the original release of this one
Mstislav Rostropovich – Shostakovich: Cello Concerto No. 2 – Always wanted a Soviet xray record, this is close as it gets for now
– Anton, Developer
– Susan, Developer
No Record Store Day releases in my haul, but I grabbed some really solid reissues:
Ragnar Grippe – Sand
Die Tödliche Doris – ” “
Bert Jansche – It Don’t Bother Me
Midori Takada – Through The Looking Glass
– Tim, Community Success Coordinator
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – Déjà Vu
Kings Of Convenience – Quiet Is The New Loud
Tom Waits – Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards
Tom Waits – Live From Austin (Romeo Bleeding)
Nirvana – MTV Unplugged In New York
Barbara – Community Success Coordinator
Amnesia Scanner – AS – I got to see Amnesia Scanner live thanks to my favorite montly club night in Amsterdam (Progress Bar) and it was as nuts, surreal and cyborglicious as I could have ever dreamed. Now they’re getting bigger and bigger, catch them in their tour if you can!
Boards Of Canada – Music Has The Right To The Children – This is probably the most blissful record ever released.
Aphex Twin – Come To Daddy EP – This year I’ll get to see Uncle Aphex in Primavera Sound and I couldn’t be any more excited about it, that being said, this EP is just the stuff legends are made of.
Slint – Spiderland – No one knows what the goosebumps are until you are in a giant field watching live Slint and literally everyone is living a truly unique moment in silence and absolute reverence. This is one of my favorite records ever, an absolute peak of new American Gothic.
Grimes – Visions – This was the record I listened the most when I moved to the Netherlands back in 2012. It became the soundtrack to new friendships, hopes, dancing in the dark and hoping for a better future while getting lost in the middle of this maze. Five years ahead I can say that I made it, and this record will always be attached to my personal story.
– Javi, Community Success Coordinator
A bout of the flu put me down and out for digging in shops, but I managed to order through some great independent shops here on Discogs – Lovegardensounds out of Lawerence, KS and shop / label DarlaDiscogs / Darla Records out of Vista, CA.
Rachel Grimes – The Clearing – Just a great down-tempo album, I came aross one of the tracks in a mix last year and put it on the wantlist immediately.
Mark Lanegan – Houston (Publishing Demos 2002) – I’m a Mark Lanegan completionist. Had to have it.
F.S. Blumm – Lichten – A down-tempo classic that’s still reasonably priced.
Sibylle Baier – Colour Green – Brent turned me on to this album just last year, and man, it hit a lot of triggers for me. Cool history (unreleased for 30 years), that classic 70s folk sound and lyricism (pure childhood nostalgia) – the repress will hold me over until I come across a first pressing.
– Josh, Director of Community Success
Due to some bad planning on my part (or good, depends on how much you like beer!), I was at a beer festival in Bosa, Sardinia during RSD. Although I had hoped to do some local record shopping, there really was no record shop around in the area. According to VinylHub, there is one in Cagliari, but that was a two hour drive, and I don’t think my husband would have wanted to drive 4 hours, just so I could visit one record shop. A few weeks before RSD, Frank of Green-Vinyl.com was asking on Facebook which RSD releases everybody was interested in, so he had a bit of an idea and could take that into account when ordering. I gave him a list of my favorites, thinking he probably wouldn’t get all of them supplied. But to my surprise, all of them were indeed delivered and he even kept them aside for me! I have just returned from my holiday and these beauties should be on their way: The Cure – “Greatest Hits”, The Cure – “Acoustic Hits”, The Smiths – The Boy With The Thorn In His Side, and “Northern Soul – 20 Original Classics” (want to learn more about Northern Soul and this seemed to be a good start). Can’t wait for them to arrive, thanks Frank!
– Lilian, Content Marketing Specialist