by Josh Levi
This just in: Vinyl is BACK! Now in its fifth year, Record Store Day has made its international mark, recognized by labels, bands, and collectors worldwide. Celebrating the cultural impact of the independent record store, RSD offers everything from live performances to special discounts to limited edition RSD exclusives at record shops across the U.S. This year, Record Store Day will take place on Saturday, April 21 featuring celebrations at several of the city's heavy hitters.
Below is a comprehensive guide to St. Louis' Record Store Day events, including information about the happenings at Vintage Vinyl, Euclid, Apop, Record Exchange, Reunion Revolution, Slackers, CD Warehouse, CD Reunion and Music Reunion.
An official list of Record Store Day releases can be found online here.
Vintage Vinyl (6610 Delmar Boulevard)
One of St. Louis' forerunners in the independent record store community, Vintage Vinyl will offer hours of non-stop live music, a rotating local DJ spin and free Schlafly Beer and Monster Energy Drinks. Customers are free to scour the shelves in search of that classic Patti Austin or Pavement LP.
MC'd by the inimitable Johnny Vegas, St. Louis' number one "Stag-tender," Record Store Day will commence with hundreds of indie retail exclusive releases and fourteen hours of fun and inebriation.
Highlighting the day's events will be an exclusive performance from '80s power pop machine, Dear John, at 1:00 pm. After releasing a sole 45 in its brief existence, Dear John's recording has risen to cult status, resulting in a 30-year anniversary reissue from Jason Rerun and Matt Harnish through BDR Records. In honor of RSD, BDR is releasing a special CD-R to accompany the Dear John 45 single. Saturday's performance will be the first Dear John show in 30 years, featuring original members Bob Kuhlmann and Larry Wilke with Bob Chekoudijan (of the Retros) on bass.
Live Music Schedule:
10:00am - This City of Takers 11:00am - Illphonics 12:00pm - Tower Groove Records showcase with Bunnygrunt Warm Jets USA The Skekses 1:00pm - Dear John 2:00pm - Bob Reuter's Alley Ghost 3:00pm - Rough Shop 4:00pm - Sleepy Sun 5:00pm - Beat Street
10:00am - Jesse Raya & Holly Renshaw 11:00am - Louis Kwok 12:00pm - Jason Stoff 1:00pm - Mike Cracchiolo & Bert McClimans 2:00pm - Dana Plonka & Roy Kasten 3:00pm - Mike Tomko 4:00pm - Kiernan Maletsky 5:00pm - Dean Minderman
Vintage Vinyl will be open from 10 a.m. until Midnight.
Euclid Records is on the next page; the rest follow. Euclid Records (601 E. Lockwood Avenue) After witnessing last year's celebration at Euclid, many may wonder how they'll be able to top themselves. Have no fear, as this year Euclid Records will transform the one-day celebration into an all-weekend extravaganza! Packed to the brim with local DJs, Euclid will also feature performances from both local and national acts, including Mucca Pazza and JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound. Receiving the achievement award for balls-to-the-wall energy, Euclid Records will be offering tons of limited edition releases from the likes of Uncle Tupelo, Phish, Iggy Pop, Devo, the Flaming Lips, and many more.
As record collectors everywhere wait with anticipation for exclusive Record Store Day releases, Euclid's Anna Zachritz and Jack Probst share the sentiment. "I am really looking forward to releases by The Flaming Lips, Feistadon!, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. and Paul Simon's Graceland on 180 gram vinyl." Says Probst.
"I'm really looking forward to releases from Tortoise, Adrian Younge, DJ Food, and Rainer Maria," says Zachrtiz.
This year, Euclid Records makes its RSD debut with a 7" single by the Baseball Project, the latest in line of the Euclid Sessions 45 series. Recorded live in their New Orleans location last year, "El Hombre" b/w "Harvey Haddix" receives official Record Store Day distribution, with 1000 pressings making their way into independent record stores nationwide. Made up of Steve Wynn (of the Dream Syndicate and Gutterball), Scott McCaughey (of Young Fresh Fellows, R.E.M., and the Minus 5), Linda Pitmon (of the Miracle Three), and Peter Buck (of R.E.M. and the Minus 5), the Baseball Project focuses on the musical storytelling of the sport's long history.
In addition to the live music action, Euclid has assembled a team of the city's finest DJs. This year, the list includes club staples Billy Brown, 18andCounting, Ashley Hohman, Parisian, Joe Luckey, and Alexis Tucci Hansen, as well as KDHX's Al Swacker, Thomas Crone, Rob Levy, and Cat Pick.
"I am really looking forward to the party we are having all weekend long. We have a great line up of bands and DJs Friday, Saturday, and Sunday," says Zachritz. "It's just a really fun weekend for us and personally, my favorite weekend in the history of weekends."
If a full-on blowout wasn't enough for you, Euclid will be providing food and drink for purchase outside the store, offering BBQ from Highway 61 Roadhouse, and both non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages from Cyrano's.
"It's kinda like a big family. We make personal connections with our customer base. We know people by name, we know what they like, we know what they don't like and we know music left and right," says Zachritz. "It's hard to find that kind of relationship at a corporate store."
"Record Store Day is very important to us here at Euclid Records," says Probst. "The holiday recognizes independent record stores across the country. We all come together to celebrate the one thing that we absolutely love: music!"
Live Music Schedule:
Friday, April 20 p.m. 6:00 - Superfun Yeah Yeah Rocketship 7:00 - Doom Town 8:00 - Magic City
Saturday, April 21: 11:00 a.m. - Mucca Pazza 12:00 p.m. - Big Brother Thunder & The Master Blasters 1:00 p.m. - Sink The Bismark 2:00 p.m. - Judge Nothing 3:00 p.m. - The Painkillers 4:00 p.m. - JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound 5:00 p.m. - The Jans Project 6:00 p.m. - Finns Motel 7:00 p.m. - Sleepy Kitty
Sunday, April 22:
12:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. - The Tower Groove Review with Beth Bombara Ransom Note Tone Rodent The Feed 3:00 p.m. - Tenement Ruth 4:00 p.m. - Bob Reuter 5:00 p.m. - Black Fast 6:00 p.m. - Troubadour Dali
Information on Apop is on the next page. Apop Records (2831 Cherokee Street)
This year, Apop has taken its party out of the confines of the store walls and onto the streets, with their very own part of the block relegated to the weekend's celebrations. Extending the party throughout the store and into the courtyard, the store will provide donated kegs from Schlafly and New Belgium. Offering exclusive RSD releases, deep discount sales, and giveaways in the shop, Apop continues to provide a soundtrack for those living life on the fringe.
As one of many record store clerks in the St. Louis area, Apop's Gabe Karabell has seen a recent, renewed interest in vinyl. "Vinyl has made a tremendous resurgence in the past few years, but I can't tell if this is a fad or not," says Karabell. "There's no denying the audio and aesthetic advantages vinyl has over to all-digital mediums, but could either of those be driving commercial forces? The people who are serious about vinyl are in and out of record stores throughout the year simply because music is part of their lives."
Rumored to be planning a hi-jack of Apop's RSD festivities, eccentric ringmaster Rob Severson of Pancake Productions/Googolplexia will be offering his Pancake Productions Springly Sampler MMXII! Featuring 30 exclusive unreleased cuts from a diverse cross-section of River City's music community, the sampler will feature: Eskimo Village, Quief Quota, Spelling Bee, Justin DiCenzo, Bunnygrunt, Normandie Wilson, MSIF, BUTT, Googolplexia, mammal complex, the Pat Sajak Assassins, The Vanilla Beans, Fire Dog, Dubb Nubb, Fishboy, Bug Chaser, the Union Electric, Bassamp & Dano, spoken word by Michael Allen and more.
Live Music Schedule:
12:00 pm - Middle Class Fashion 12:45 pm - Volcanoes 1:30 pm - Ou Ou 2:15 pm - What We Won't See 3:00 pm - Spelling Bee 3:45 pm - Pink Sock 4:30 pm - Nee 5:15 pm - The Fagettes 6:00 pm - Catholic Guilt 6:45 pm - Trauma Harness 7:30 pm - Execution Techniques 8:15 pm - Shaved Women
The day will be complete with intermittent DJ spins between sets from Ryan Snowden, Vijay Nair, and KDHX's Jeff Hess.
Record Exchange, Reunion Revolution, Slackers, CD Warehouse, CD Reunion and Music Reunion are on the next page. Record Exchange (5320 Hampton Avenue)
Since 1977, Record Exchange has played a significant role in the lives of record collectors, boasting one of the largest vinyl inventories nationwide. Dealing exclusively with used media, Record Exchange will not have exclusive RSD releases this year. They will, however, have a giant sidewalk sale out front, where customers will be able to search to their dusty fingers content with Record Exchange's vast used vinyl collection at discounted/clearance prices (weather permitting). Although the actual store will be running at normal speed, Record Exchange's online presence, 247 Action Auction will be giving away three $50 gift certificates this Saturday.
"We really support record store day as a whole, not just Record Exchange." says Record Exchange's Tim Morrison. "Next year, we will be supporting Record Store Day nationwide."
Reunion Revolution (3257-1 Domain Street)
Established two years ago, Reunion Revolution has provided the greater-St. Charles area with everything from antiques and collectibles to vintage audio equipment and antique military paraphernalia. If you are looking for that rare Dylan side or a coin operated machine, this store has it all. Consisting of mostly 45s, 78s, and several thousand LPs, Reunion Revolution serves as a time capsule of vinyl's true heyday. Kicking off the festivities, the store will offer live music from two acoustic acts between late morning and mid-afternoon. And as always, discounts and special deals are always offered.
"I discount everything they purchase. If anybody spends any money, they get a discount. That can be anything from 10-50%," says storeowner Robert Smith. "If people are making large purchases, that's 50% off used inventory!"
Reunion Revolution will extend its business hours from 10:30 am to 6 pm.
Slackers (Locations Vary)
In celebration of Record Store Day, three of the area's locations will offer both RSD specials and live music. Comprising bands from each of their respective regions, Slackers will host a line-up of varied acts, including a performance from Cursive at the Columbia, MO store.
As a huge supporter of the holiday, Slackers will offer the same discounts at all of their locations: Buy 2, Get 1 free on used CDs and vinyl, 20% more when you trade in vinyl, free $.99 used album with any vinyl purchase, and 20% off Skullcandy headphones.
Live at Slackers in Columbia:
2:00 pm - Rip Rap 3:30 pm - Jimmy Angelov 5:00 pm - The Spit 6:30 pm - Cursive
Live at Slackers in St. Charles:
4:00 pm - Kevin Willingham 5:00 pm - I Have A Bomb 6:00 pm - Apollo Mudd 7:00 pm - Locrian Manor 8:00 pm - Lame Boyz
Live at Slackers in Alton:
12:00 pm - Breakmouth Annie 1:00 pm - Al Bundie's Army 2:00 pm - Ardor Glowing 3:00 pm - Men Working in Trees 4:00 pm - Bruiser Queen 5:00 pm - 33 On The Needle 6:00 pm - Superfun Yeah Yeah Rocketship
A list of exclusive Record Store day releases at your favorite Slackers can be found here. Be warned, not all releases will be available at the stores due to limited orders and quantities.
CD Warehouse (11828 Tesson Ferry Road)
Housing CDs and DVDs, CD Warehouse promises that everything in the store is on sale at super low prices. In addition to this year's event, CD Warehouse will participate in a fundraiser for The Greek Fire's drummer, Johnny Venus, who was diagnosed with Leukemia earlier this year. Live Nation has donated a selection of "bus stop posters," on sale for a $20 donation. All proceeds go towards Venus' Leukemia fund.
CD Warehouse will be open from 10 am to 9 pm.
CD Reunion in St. Charles (10 Hawks Nest Plaza)
Nestled in the cove of Hawks Nest Plaza in St. Charles stands CD Reunion. Owned by the hardworking visionary, Cliff Hardesty, this CD Reunion location will kick off the RSD celebration in conjunction with Hardesty's two other stores located in the plaza, Glad Rags and Red Fish Blue Fish. All day long, customers can find specials at all three stores, including a special "vinyl beer" at RFBF. CD Reunion will also showcase live performances from local acts such as Hobo Empire, Everyday Jake and the Hometown Heroes and more.
There will be discounts and specials on their huge inventory of new and used vinyl, CDs, movies, and Record Store Day exclusives. "We ordered a lot and a pretty good fill... It was a big list this year, we definitely ordered a ton stuff," says CD Reunion employee, Sarah Ell. "It's like Secretary's Day. It's the only day I get!"
Music Reunion in O'Fallon (21 Ofallon Square)
Serving as CD Reunion's sister store, Music Reunion will offer a plethora of extreme discounts and Record Store Day deals.
Music Reunion's Linda Thomas is excited for this year's festivities. "We've got live bands, music playing, all kinds of specials and deals, a $3 dollar bin of CDs! All vinyl is a percentage off, all regular record store deals," says Thomas. "The store ordered exclusive limited editions. We've got a buttload coming in. Festivities all day, gift certificate give-a-ways. We've got a ton of stuff up our sleeves!"
This year, Music Reunion will extend it's business hours from 9 am to 10 pm.
Although the following stores will not be participating in RSD this year, it will be business as usual on this upcoming Saturday. CD Reunion (Hazelwood) will be open from 11am until 8pm. Offering a wide variety of southern soul, R&B, gospel, and new urban black contemporary, Hudson's Embassy will be open from 9:30am to 6pm. For the metalhead in all of us, Granite City's Metal Hedz will be open from 11am until 6pm.