When Record Store Day began in 2007, it was an attempt to rescue beleaguered independent shops and sustain the dying vinyl format. A decade later, it’s become more of a celebration than a wake, as music fans bust down the doors of their local record store every April to be first in line to score limited-edition releases, rare reissues and some really sweet merch.
This year’s Record Store Day is April 22. Participating Las Vegas record stores include Downtown’s 11th Street Records, both Zia Records outposts and both Record City shops. Participating artists truly run the gamut, from Thelonious Monk and Son House to the Beatles and the Doors to Madonna and Miley Cyrus to Sublime and the Sword.
The big-name releases this year include rare vinyl by rock icons Prince and David Bowie—from the former, six 12-inch singles; from the latter, a rare boxed set of early demos and a live 1974 recording entitled Cracked Actor. Other acts releasing live material include the Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, Ben Folds and Steve Earle. The Cure offers greatest hits discs in both electrified and acoustic versions, while the Black Lips embrace a dead format with their cassette boxed set. An album of old Runaways cuts from before Joan Jett dyed her hair black will take you back and Johnny Cash’s children’s album—yes, that happened—will take you back even further.
Of course, there’s the discs that only a true fan could love—a compilation of sound effects from Dr. Who, the Space Jam soundtrack and Corey Feldman’s new single “Go 4 It” (featuring Snoop Dogg). Non-musical treats include everything from a Run the Jewels tote bag to a Star Wars turntable. And, on the Las Vegas tip, Zia stores will be selling You Heard Us Back When, their 11th annual RSD compilation of regional artists: It’s only $3 and profits go to local charities, so everybody wins.
When speaking of Record Store Day, indie icon Nick Cave once said, “The relatively mild exertion of getting off your fat, computer-shackled ass and venturing out to find the object of your desire, the thrill of moving through actual space and time, through row upon row of records, and the tactile ecstasy of fondling the quested treasure—all this will augment and enrich the mental associations the music invokes in you for the rest of your life.” So, on April 22, get up, get out and get shopping!