It’s slightly old news that last Saturday was Record Store Day 2016 – but it was my first ever experience and I thought a recap might be in order. Despite my somewhat recent passion for vinyl, I initially refused to be one of the people standing in a long line to buy albums. I usually cringe at the thought of a queue, unless there is a roller coaster ride waiting at the end, but what I didn’t know is that this particular line would end up leaving me with a high very similar to such a ride.
Around the Monday prior to RSD, I started taking a peek at some of the anticipated releases and, truth be told, I didn’t really even understand what a big deal some of this was until I started digging around. Slowly, I started to feel my interest growing and by Wednesday I was actually considering the possibility of going. I proposed the idea to my husband, and he agreed that we should probably at least check it out, but maybe not until later in the day. The store opened at 9 a.m., so we figured we would just roll up around 11 or 12 and take our chances with what might be left, because neither of us wanted to stand for hours amid a sea of hipsters with man-buns. (Yes, this is exactly what we envisioned.) By Friday night, we looked over the releases together and built our want list, and maybe it was the late night cocktails and beer w/ friends, but given that we weren’t really doing anything else the next morning anyway, we decided we may as well show up closer to opening.
I was starting to get excited about this and despite our late night, woke up at 6 a.m. ready to get things rolling. Sadly, the previous night’s activities affected my husband a tad more than me, and I didn’t have the heart to wake him up too early with my sudden need to nerd-out, so I let him sleep. By 8:30, I couldn’t wait any longer and got him moving…barely. The promise of coffee helped in my efforts.
During the 20+ minute drive up to Lunchbox Records, we tried to decide if coffee should happen before or just after our visit, because maybe it wouldn’t really take all that long after all. Well, that was a ridiculous notion. At about 9:10, I saw the Lunchbox Records sign approach and looked out of my window to see a line wrapped around the building with no apparent end, and I kept driving straight on to the coffee shop. We would need sustenance for this.
With coffee in hand, we walked up to the shop, found the end of the line and prepared to wait. What surprised me the most, and perhaps it shouldn’t have, is that there were folks from all walks of life waiting right along with us. The realization that this wasn’t just a day created for hipsters really set in, in fact, we didn’t spot a single man-bun the whole morning. After a surprisingly short 40-ish minutes we reached the front door, which was manned by guys I’ll refer to as “RSD bouncers” – one of which happened to be an acquaintance of ours. Let me just say that Lunchbox Records really did this one right, the RSD bouncers only allowed about 30 people into the store at a time, which really helped to control the flow and enhanced the overall shopping experience. I’m not sure how other shops do this, but it definitely seemed to work.
With our list in hand, we stepped inside and headed to the back where the rest of the folks were. Neat tables with organized and labeled boxes of albums were set up in rows, and my husband and I split up and hit the stacks. We built our list with the thought that if we found just one or two of our wants we would leave happy, and we weren’t even expecting that, given that we didn’t camp out earlier. Within about two minutes, I was holding 4 items from our list, and my husband came over with several more. We regrouped to see what remained and headed back out. Several Lunchbox employees were also offering to help and with a little of their assistance, we were quickly holding every single item on our list – plus two records for a friend in South Carolina that he couldn’t find at his local shop. Remember that roller coaster high I mentioned earlier? This was it. We talked briefly about seeing what else we might find, but thinking that we may have already over done it, we decided it was time to walk away like the smart people that we aspire to be and reward ourselves with brunch.
With my first Record Store Day in the books, I am happy to say that not only am I looking forward to next year, I might actually show up earlier – might. I will also try to be less judgemental of man-buns…then again, perhaps not.
Oh, you want to know what we picked up? Here’s the rundown:
Afrika Bambaataa & Soulsonic Force – Planet Rock (Remixes)
John Coltrane – The Roulette Sides
Johnny Cash – All Aboard the Blue Train
The Best of the Johnny Cash TV Show – 1969-1972
Madonna – Like a Virgin & Other Hits (Originally released in Japan, now on pink vinyl)
Across the Universe Cast – Music from the Motion Picture
Rob Zombie – Well Everybody’s Fucking in a UFO
Outkast – Elevators (Me & You) 10″ single w/ remixes (Glow in the dark vinyl)
Bee Gees / Faith No More (Side by Side) – I Started a Joke
Warren Zevon / Flamin’ Groovies (Side by Side) – Werewolves of London
Reverend Horton Heat – Hardscrabble Woman / Lying to Myself
Shawn Colvin & Steve Earl – Wake Up Little Susie
Buddy Guy & Junior Wells – Criteria Sessions
Bleachers – Terrible Thrills Vol. 2 – All-female version of their debut album, Strange Desire