In the back room of her record store, Deon Borchard is pawing through a box, excitedly calling out things she finds inside: CDs, bags, buttons, samplers. Every year this box of freebies — which gets sent to her by the organizers of Record Store Day — seems to get fuller as more and more record stores sign up to participate around the world.
Local stores like Coeur d’Alene’s Long Ear, Moscow’s Deadbeat Records and Spokane’s 4,000 Holes, Recorded Memories and Unified Groove Merchants join more than a thousand stores worldwide to mark the celebration, now in its fourth year.
Borchard says this year’s Record Store Day comes at a great time for the Long Ear, the Coeur d’Alene record shop she’s owned for the last 37 years. More customers have been walking through the door lately. Business is up. The economy, it seems, is changing for the better.
“It’s like a fresh breeze is blowing in. We’re starting to get that turn around,” she says. “It’s a big sigh of relief. It was pretty scary for a while.”
Borchard says that Record Store Day isn’t her store’s best sales day of the year, but it’s certainly a great day to remind people that record stores are still alive and kicking.
“It reminds people of record stores, like, ‘Record stores, I remember record stores! I’ve heard about them but I’ve never been in one!’” she laughs.
The music nerd’s holiday started as a way to bring attention to the unique experiences that record stores breed, but with the tanking economy Record Store Day has also become a day to raise to flag for shopping at local, independent businesses. It’s also a day when the stores get some of the hottest, most sought-after releases.
Richard Terzieff, who owns Recorded Memories in Spokane, has been getting lots of calls about the Built to Spill Ripple limited picture disc and the Rolling Stones Brown Sugar 7-inch. Other big releases that you’ll likely see locally are the Deftones vinyl release of cover songs (everything from the Cardigans to Drive Like Jehu), Mastodon’s Live at Aragon (the RSD version includes two LPs and a DVD), the Nirvana Hoarmoaning EP (which was previously only available in Australia) and Phish’s Two Soundchecks — the band’s first-ever release on vinyl. But other releases — like Neurosis’ Sovereign LP (on vinyl for the first time since 2001) and the White Stripes reissues on swirly, candy-colored vinyl — are going to get swiped quick, if they arrive at all.
Local stores won’t know what they’ll get until they get their box of the RSD releases on Friday. But Terzieff says he’s been surprised at some of the rare items that he’s gotten on previous Record Store Days.
“There were things there was no way in hell we thought we’d get, and we’d got,” he says.
He echoes the same sentiment of other local record shop owners: every day, for a record storeowner, is record store day.
“I love Valentine’s Day, but it doesn’t have to be just February 14,” he says. “Make every day Valentine’s Day, and make every day Record Store Day.”
Record Store Day takes place at the following stores during business hours on Saturday, April 16. Check out recordstoreday.com for the full list of RSD2011 exclusives.
4,000 Holes 1610 N. Monroe St. 325-1914 Live music by Brian Young and Blue Canoe starts at 2 pm
Recorded Memories 1902 N. Hamilton St. 483-4753
Unified Groove Merchants 2607 N. Monroe St. 326-4842 No RSD exclusives, but large sidewalk sale with 50% off items
Deadbeat Records 114 E. Third St., Moscow 865-DEADBEAT Everything in store (except RSD releases) is 15% off.
The Long Ear 2405 N. Fourth St., Coeur d’Alene 208-765-3472