News: 2010 Record Store Day

(photo by David Chiu)

Record Store Day has now come and passed. This year’s event on Apr. 17 seemed more memorable compared to last year’s as far as special items and rarities were concerned, from a numbered 45 single of the Rolling Stones’ “Plundered My Soul” to the Flaming Lips’ tribute to Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon.

So taking a page from my Microphone Memory Emotion coverage of the event from last year, I returned back to the two places participating on Record Store Day. First I waited on line at City Hall’s J&R Music World a half-hour before the store’s open behind 10 other people who were already there. I was glad to arrive early since the Village’s Other Music wasn’t going to open until 11 a.m.

Then some folks from the store handed out numbered tickets for certain exclusive releases that were only going to be available through the cashier rather being displayed with the other special releases. These were for Elvis Presley, Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Jimi Hendrix, the Doors and John Lennon. I chose a few although I didn’t know how much the releases were.

Finally they let the folks in and while it wasn’t for a mad dash a la Wal-Mart on Christmas morning–before you can register what was happening–there was already a big crowd snatching whatever they saw. I got Goldfrapp’s Head First vinyl and spent a few minutes trying to find Beach Houses’ Zebra vinyl (it was in a non-descript album jacket, hence the difficult at the first). There were some really interesting ones: R.E.M.’s Chronic Town EP on vinyl; a Joy Division vinyl box; a 7″ Elvis Costello single; Peter Gabriel’s 7″ singles related to his Scratch My Back project; a vinyl reproduction of the Velvet Underground’s 1969 live records; and a Yeah Yeah Yeahs single.

I really wanted the Joy Division vinyl box and the Flaming Lips record but they were expensive along with the John Lennon 45 pack. I also wanted the R.E.M. but given the other purchases I made, why buy something I already have on CD? ‘

At the register, along with Goldfrapp and Beach House, I got my Stones and the Doors’ 45s of “Plundered My Soul” and “People Are Strange” respectively. My total purchases came up to approximately $38, the most I’ve spent compared to last year.

After taking a break to attend a media workshop in Times Square, I commuted to Other Music to see what the vibe was like. Of course the place was smaller and more indie, which was like my crowd with young hipsters instead of the aging ones at J&R . However, most of the interesting stuff that was at City Hall was gone by the time I got to Other Music around 1 p.m. Still it was pretty crowded inside. There were exclusive vinyl items on the wall; a few people were looking at special CDs and 45 singles from a shelf.

Still smarting from not getting the Joy Division box, I nevertheless asked a cute and kind clerk to check if the store at least had it, which she did; she confirmed my suspicion a few minutes later.

Anyway, I can’t complain that much. The stuff that I brought back was really cool; the Goldfrapp release contained not only the vinyl version of Head First but also a CD and a large poster; the Beach House record contained four new songs not on Teen Dream and has a coupon for downloading the songs; the Stones’ 45 is numbered and the Doors–well it’s the Doors. I also got some free samplers of music.

All in all, not a bad day. It felt good to get items of possible value and, more importantly, something that makes you feel inspired again. I wish it was Record Store Day every day.

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