The organizers of Record Store Day have learned a lesson from the madness that is Black Friday. Given the right incentive, people will go to crazy lengths to shop.
For instance, they might get up early and drive from San Francisco or Los Angeles to Fresno in hopes of ditching the hometown crowds, thus increasing their chance at scoring one of the exclusive, limited-run records that will be available at participating independent shops for Record Store Day, the Black Friday Edition.
“It’s no more crazy than shopping at midnight,” says Brian Gregory, the general manager at Fresno’s Rasputin Music, which is participating in the semi-annual celebration of record-shop culture.
There won’t be Best Buy-PS3 crowds, no, but Gregory expects to see a line of 100 or more waiting when the store opens at 11 a.m. That’s what happened when the store celebrated Record Store Day in April.
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Records are trendy at the moment and Record Store Day plays on the fact.
It’s all about the goods: the quirkier, more niche, the better. For instance, Gregory is excited about the “The Big Lebowski” soundtrack, which is finally seeing a record release — and on white-Russian colored vinyl, too. There’s also the “Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol.1,” which is being released as an actual cassette tape as it was in the movie. And New York indie-band Ra Ra Riot will only have 450 of its “Two Hearts Beat as One,” 7-inch available country wide.
Scarcity is the point. Record Store Day is a bit of a crap shoot, it’s the reason collectors will drive hundreds of miles from their neighborhood record shop.
Of course, participating stores don’t even know which records they will have in stock until the last minute, Gregory says. He still was waiting on shipments earlier this week.
“The stuff that is limited gets split up,” he says. “We’re not guaranteed to get anything.”
Rasputin will have the “Lebowski“ soundtrack, and Gregory expects the “Guardians” tape will get a wide distribution, so they hope to have it in stock.
A full list of this year’s official releases and participating stores in the area is available on the Record Store Day website, www.recordstoreday.com, but here is a list of other RSD exclusives to look out for:
• Faith No More, “Motherf—r” 7-inch vinyl, 5,000 available
The first new material from the alt-metal pioneers in nearly two decades and the band isn’t pulling punches. A full album is slated for release on the band’s own Reclamation Records in April.
• Korn, “Korn,” 12-inch vinyl, 1,500 available
This is the 20th Anniversary Collector’s Edition of the Bakersfield nu-metal band’s breakthrough record. It’s been remastered for vinyl and comes with gatefold jacket (just like the good old days).
As a bonus, a (very) small number of clear vinyl LPs have been randomly inserted into the black vinyl run, according to the Record Store Day website.
• The Ramones, “Morrissey Curates The Ramones” 12-inch vinyl, 7,755 available
A “greatest hits” collection, so don’t expect new or unreleased material. The selling point here is that the songs were compiled by Morrissey as a tribute to the band, whose final original member died in June.
• The Beatles, “Long Tall Sally,” 7-inch vinyl, 7,000 available
This reissue of the band’s 1964 EP leads with the Little Richard classic, which the Beatles recorded in one take, with no edit or overdubs. Also included on the record are “I Call Your Name,” “Slow Down” and “Matchbox,” which features Ringo on lead vocals.