Rock Holiday

It’s more than a vinyl geek’s holiday — Record Store Day helps keep some local stores in business

“It used to be that [only] people who bought records knew they sounded better — and now that’s kind of common knowledge,” Bob Gallagher, owner of 4,000 Holes, says. “Vinyl is still the coolest thing out there.”

But Gallagher says vinyl’s cool factor has hardly been enough to keep business steady over the past few years.

“We’ve been suffering for quite a long time. Back a couple years ago, I thought we were going down. Fortunately not,” he says.

Record storeowners like Gallagher have watched as customers pinched pennies during the recession, as record stores closed nationwide, as iPods rose and downloadable music surged. And they watched as album releases came to be commonplace — hardly events that customers will line up around a block for when they can just download it at home.

They’re all changes and strains that independent record stores nationwide felt when, in 2007, Record Store Day was founded. It was a day for all independent stores (from Amoeba Music to stores like the Long Ear in Coeur d’Alene) — a holiday to celebrate the unique culture of those shops and a day that, for some, could make a difference if they stayed open or closed in the wake of so many changes.

Tony Brown, who owns Unified Groove Merchants (a store a half-mile from 4,000 Holes), says that Record Store Day was one of his store’s best days last year. Though he says, “every day is record store day” to him, he appreciates how many people — new faces and regulars — come through his door each year.

Gallagher says Spokane should feel proud for sustaining small stores like his and Brown’s — that’s a sign of cultural vibrancy, he says.

“It may be low level, but it’s still culture,” he says.

If that support and vibrancy wasn’t there, Gallagher says he knows 4,000 Holes would have closed by now.

“I’ll tell you the truth, Spokane saved us. We said, ‘We want a record store in Spokane. Do you?’ And Spokane said, ‘Yes.’”

Celebrate Record Store Day this Saturday at Unified Groove Merchants, 2607 N. Monroe, 326-4842; 4,000 Holes, 1610 N. Monroe, 325-1914 (see Sound Advice, page 46, for live music); Recorded Memories, 1902 N. Hamilton, 483-4753; The Long Ear, 2405 N. Fourth, Coeur d’Alene, (208) 765-3472.

There’s a shit-ton of exclusive stuff dropping nationally for Record Store Day. Our local stores won’t know until after press time what they’re getting, but here’s some stuff you’re likely to see copies of at Unified, 4,000 Holes and the Long Ear. (LS)

Black Keys
“Tighten Up”/“Howlin’ for You” (12” vinyl)

Bon Iver/Peter Gabriel
“Come Talk to Me”/ “Flume” (7” vinyl)

Bruce Springsteen
“Wrecking Ball”/“Ghost of Tom Joad” (limited edition 10” single)

Built to Spill
“Water Sleepers/Linus & 7” Lucy” (7” single)

Coheed and Cambria
“Guns of Summer”
(7” picture disc)

Dave Matthews/Tim Reynolds
“Squirm” Recorded live at Performing Arts, Las Vegas (7” vinyl)

David Bazan
Live at Electrical Audio (CD)

Apple O and Green Cosmos (released on vinyl for Record Store Day)

“Rocketskates” (7” single w/ M83 remix)

Duty Now For The Future (CD and vinyl reissue)
Fresh, What We Do (12” single, 45 RPM)

Drive-By Truckers
“Your Woman Is a Living Thing/Just Maybe” (7” single)

Elvis Costello and the Attractions
Live at Hollywood High EP (7” vinyl)

Flaming Lips/Stardeath/White Dwarfs
Dark Side of the Moon (12” seafoam green vinyl)

Gogol Bordello
“We Comin Rougher”/ “Trans Continental Hustle” (12” green vinyl)

Helio Sequence/Menomena
“Pilgrim’s Progress”/“Converter” (split 7” single)

Jakob Dylan/Courtyard Hounds
“See in you Spring” (7” vinyl)

Jeff Beck
Emotion & Commotion (12” vinyl)

Jimi Hendrix
Live @ Clark University (12” colored vinyl)

Joe Strummer & the Mescaleros
Global A Go-Go (12” vinyl)
Streetcore (12” vinyl)

Josh Ritter
So Runs the World Away (vinyl)

Julian Casablancas
11th Dimension (7” vinyl)

Magnetic Fields
69 Love Songs (10” vinyl box set)

Blood Mountain (2 LP and 1 LP reissue, vinyl)

“Siberian Breaks” (single-sided disc with 12-minute track and etched side)

Modest Mouse
The Moon and Antarctica (Tenth Anniversary Vinyl Edition reissue, 180 gram vinyl)

Monsters of Folk
Monsters of Folk (double LP set, clear blue vinyl)

Mountain Goats
Life of the World to Come (DVD)

“Exogenesis: Symphony (parts 1-3)” /“Uprising” and “Resistance” live (7” vinyl)

Neko Case
Middle Cyclone (12” clear vinyl)

Owl City
“Fireflies”/“Vanilla Twilight” (7” vinyl)

Cowboys From Hell (vinyl reissue)
Vulgar Displays of Power (vinyl reissue)
Far Beyond Driven (vinyl reissue)

Passion Pit
Little Secrets (7” red vinyl)

Quarantine the Past: The Best of Pavement (12” vinyl)

Queens of the Stone Age
Feel Good Hit of the Summer EP (10” vinyl picture disc)

Chronic Town EP (12” blue vinyl)

Roky Erickson & Okkervil River
True Love Cast All Evil (pre-release 12” vinyl)

Rolling Stones
“Plundered My Soul”/“All Down the Line” (7” vinyl, featuring track from Exile on Main Street sessions)

Sex Pistols
Great Rock N Roll Swindle (180 gram double vinyl set)

Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings
“Day Tripper”/“Money” (7” vinyl)

Sonic Youth
Confusion Is Sex (12” white vinyl reissue)

EVOL (12” pink vinyl reissue)
Hits Are For Squares (double LP)

“Hunted Down”/“Nothing to Say” (7” translucent vinyl reissue)

Tegan & Sara
AOL Sessions EP (CD)

Them Crooked Vultures
“Mind Eraser, No Chaser”/”Hwy 1” (10” vinyl picture disc)

Tom Waits
Mule Variations (12” vinyl reissue)

TV on the Radio
Dear Science (12” vinyl reissue)

Velvet Underground
Live in 1969 Vol. 1 & Vol. 2 (12” vinyl)

Raditude Happy Record Store Day (CD)

Kicking Television (4 LP vinyl reissue set)

I Need That Record: The Death or Possible Survival of the Independent Record Store (DVD)


Auditorium Chamber Music Series @ University of Idaho Administration Building

Thu., Jan. 27, 7:30-9:30 p.m. and Tue., April 5, 7:30-9:30 p.m.
  • or

About The Author

Leah Sottile

Leah Sottile is a Spokane-based freelance writer who formerly served as music editor, culture editor and a staff writer at the Inlander. She has written about everything from nuns and Elvis impersonators, to jailhouse murders and mental health...