They say Black Friday’s reign is waning, eclipsed by the ascent of Cyber Monday. Yet Record Store Day, Black Friday edition, is still alive and well in the physical realm. Friday, indie record shops will unleash nearly 60 limited editions of recordings by dozens of legacy acts (like The Doors and Miles Davis) and contempo rockers (like Kings of Leon and Ryan Adams). This week’s event is the punier cousin of the big Record Store Day in April, but with nearly twice as many releases as last year’s event, it could come close to Nov. 25 at Target, right down to the lines, desperation, and reckless customer behavior.
Not every shop is on board. Josh Harkavy, owner of Red Onion Books & Records, thinks the whole thing is kind of ridiculous. “Most of the releases are pretty silly,” he says. And the event itself, he says, “seems kind of exploitative.” (His shop is not participating; neither is his 18th Street NW neighbor Smash Records.)
But Record Store Day still stuffs customers into the aisles. Crooked Beat ordered most of the official releases, and is expecting big demand as usual. Both CD Cellar locations, too, ordered most of the slate, and Dupont’s Melody Records will have “everything that is available” to them. Som Records ordered a chunk, but skewed toward releases that shopowner Neal Becton personally favors. Meanwhile, Joe’s Record Paradise is throwing a party: ’60s psych act Fallen Angels is scheduled to perform, and local TV and radio personality of yore Barry Richards will be in the house signing copies of his new DVD/CD, Barry Richards TV Collection Volume 1. But while Record Store Day can get batty, don’t treat it like a Black Friday free-for-all. Customers blatantly scheming for eBay fodder—only one copy per person!—might leave empty-handed. Remember: It’s the holiday season. Be nice. And carry that spirit with you year ’round. “Every day should be Record Store Day,” says Harkavy. “Like how every day is Mother’s Day. You should always love your record stores.”
Crooked Beat Records is open noon to 9 p.m. at 2116 18th St. NW. (202) 483-2328. CD Cellar Arlington is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at 2607 Wilson Blvd., Arlington. (703) 248-0635. CD Cellar Falls Church is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at 709-B West Broad St., Falls Church. (703) 534-6318. Melody Record Shop is open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. at 1623 Connecticut Ave. NW. (202) 232-4002. Joe’s Record Paradise is open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. at 8216 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring. (301) 585-3269. For more information, visit recordstoreday.com.
Photo by Flickr user Orin Zebest used under a Creative Commons license.