Seattle vinyl shops gear up for the 11th annual Record Store Day (music lovers' Black Friday) with in-store performances, deals galore and a trove of limited releases.
They’ll come in droves, a stack of limited-run color vinyl tucked under each arm, eyes bleary from an early morning spent flipping through racks of rarefied records. Now in its 11th year, Record Store Day has become the music nerd’s Black Friday — an enticingly fun consumer-oriented pseudo holiday that lures collectors to stores across the country (even in a post-streaming world) with a cache of new one-off and limited releases.
When Record Store Day commences on Saturday, April 21, this year should be no different, with many of Seattle’s best record stores opening early, planning deals and in-store performances from local luminaries (and even an ex-Fugee) in addition to stocking those new RSD-sanctioned records. To make your crate-digging easier, we rounded up all the local RSD happenings we could find.
Easy Street Records
The West Seattle institution holds killer in-store performances year-round, and RSD is no different with the record slingers recruiting Noah Gunderson (5 p.m.) and trippy alt-country troupe Hyways (7 p.m.) to play. Easy Street opens at 7 a.m. for the occasion, serving free Caffe Vita coffee and bacon to the early birds. 4559 California Ave. SW, Seattle; 206-938-3279, easystreetonline.com
All three Seattle-area locations will open at 9 a.m. and knock 10 percent off used vinyl from 2 p.m. to close. The Sodo store’s bringing in the Paula Boggs Band (12-1 p.m.), rapper/former Fugee/dubious charity organizer Wyclef Jean (2-3 p.m.) and glossy Brit rockers the Sherlocks (3-4 p.m.) for in-store performances. 2930 First Ave. S., Seattle; 206-283-3472, silverplatters.com
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They don’t have a former Fugee, but Everyday’s Capitol Hill location has the most stacked in-store bill with DJs and bands starting at 11 a.m. Peep their Facebook page for the full lineup, which includes Tomten, buzzy garage rockers Naked Giants, FKL, Tomo Nakayama and more. The Seattle outpost opens early at 8 a.m., with “hundreds” of RSD titles and unspecified deals on CDs, turntables and “vinyl accessories.” 1520 10th Ave., Seattle; 206-568-3321, everydaymusic.com
Holy Cow Records
Pike Place Market’s favorite vinyl dealers will hand out swag bags with buttons, stickers and freebies to the first 50 customers from their Market neighbors, plus free Holy Cow record totes for all customers. Word is their RSD lines are fairly small and while they’ll only stock a copy or two of roughly 125 RSD releases, used vinyl will be on sale. 1501 Pike Pl. #325, Seattle; 206-405-4200
The Capitol Hill shop is catering to the most committed LP hunters, opening at an ungodly 6 a.m. and offering $5 gift certificates for every $50 spent. 321 Broadway E., Seattle; 206-971-0267, seattlespincycle.com
Turntables & Trails
No RSD releases at Greenwood’s hybrid outdoors/audio gear shop, but used turntables will be 25 percent off on Saturday (take 20 percent off used vinyl). 8314 8th Ave. NW, Seattle; 206-508-6841, turntablestrails.com
Light in the Attic Records
The local indie label’s shop inside the KEXP Gathering Space opens two hours early (8 a.m.) and plans to stock 120-plus RSD titles. Evening Bell’s Caitlin Sherman performs 12-12:30 p.m. 472 First Ave. N., Seattle; 206-706-6715, lightintheattic.net
Fremont’s funky 2-year-old shop is eschewing the RSD releases found elsewhere, instead planning to dump rare vinyl and cassettes they’ve “been stockpiling for months” — everything from rare groove to heavy metal maybe even some goodies from owner RJ Sweeney’s recent buying trip to Japan. 4308 Fremont Ave. N., Seattle; 206-268-0702, daybreakrecordstore.com
No RSD releases here either, but look for unspecified “special deals” and a performance from veteran Seattle psych rockers Sky Cries Mary (of Windows 95 fame) at 7 p.m. and afternoon DJ sets from Jody McKane and Jo Smitty. 1201 Vale St., Seattle; 206-762-5638, georgetownrecords.net
If the 10 percent discount on select items isn’t enough of a draw, the dance-centric shop — opening earlier than usual at the crack of noon — turns its decks over to the public, letting wanna be DJs who sign up in advance to play selector for hourlong shifts. Email email@example.com to reserve your slot. 2310 E. Madison St., Seattle; 425-448-2572, lootersrecords.com
Tacoma collectors need not make the trek to Seattle, as Hi-Voltage will stock all of this year’s special RSD releases. Plus, take 20 percent off used records all weekend. 2714 6th Ave., Tacoma; 253-627-4278, hivoltagerecords.com
Porchlight Coffee & Records
Capitol Hill’s oh-so-Seattle coffee house and record label/shop promises a “long list” of RSD releases and discounted Porchlight merch. But the real savings are for the winner of a pair of Sasquatch tickets they’ll give away. 1517 14th Ave., Seattle; 206-329-5461, porchlightcoffee.com
Sonic Boom Records
Ballard’s RSD hotspot is also giving away Sasquatch tickets, plus a Marley turntable to spin those new LPs on. Bonus: The good people from Top Pot Doughnuts will hand out coffee and sweet treats to those waiting in line. 2209 N.W. Market St., Seattle; 206-297-2666, sonicboomrecords.com
Beats and Bohos
Greenwood’s vintage boutique/record store promises to throw out some “hard to find original records,” while Fidget/Mantle Duo perform at 1 p.m. 7200 Greenwood Ave. N., Seattle; 206-395-4468
Take 10 percent off your tab at the Ballard store on Saturday. 608 N.W. 65th St., Seattle; 662-254-4729, jigsaw-records.com
M & L Records & Models
Used-only shop takes 25 percent off all LPs on Saturday. 6504 Ravenna Ave. N.E., Seattle; 206-522-8189
Fat Cat Records
Opening in February, the Wallingford newcomer didn’t have time to land those RSD exclusives, but plans to unload “a ton of rare/collectible vinyl” they’ve been squirreling away for years. On Sunday, local rapper Wizdumb and others perform at 6 p.m. 4515 Meridian Ave. N., Seattle; 206-547-5799