So, when is it?
This year, Record Store Day is April 18. Every year, RSD is held on the third Saturday of April to celebrate the culture of the independently owned record store.
How can I find a participating store by me?
Use Record Store Day's search bar that can look up record joints by state, city or zip code.
What constitutes as a "record store" nowadays? Does Best Buy or Urban Outfitters count?
Here's how the official Record Store website considers a legitimate store:
A stand alone brick and mortar retailer whose main primary business focuses on a physical store location, whose product line consists of at least 50% music retail, whose company is not publicly traded and whose ownership is at least 70% located in the state of operation.
So that means Best Buy, Urban Outfitters, Target, Whole Foods or whatever other of your favorite department stores now hawking vinyl discs are not included here. We're talking about your small-town, little American indie stores. No corporate giants and definitely no online retailers (sorry, Amazon).
What are some of the big releases this year?
There are lots of exclusive releases that come out every year on Record Store Day with this year being no exception. Some of the most exciting exclusives this year include:
- The White Stripes will issue Get Behind Me Satan as a two-disc LP
- Grateful Dead will issue Wake Up to Find Out as five-disc LP
- Johnny Cash will reissue Koncert V Praze (In Prague-Live) on a red vinyl disc
- Garbage will reissue The Chemicals on a fluorescent orange 10" vinyl disc
- A$AP Rocky will issue LPFJ2 on a 7" colored vinyl disc
- Slayer will issue When the Stillness Comes with a 7" picture vinyl disc
- MC Lyte will release her Legend album on vinyl and have it only be available for RSD 2015
Check out the full, exhaustive list of 2015 releases and exclusives right here.
Do artists perform on RSD?
Yes! Loads of indie acts hit local stores to perform and some hold exclusive listening parties. Some bigger names playing showcases this year include Foo Fighters, Gwar, OK Go, Dawes, Damien Rice, Twin Peaks and many more.
Check out a full list of performers and listening parties right here.
What does it mean that Dave Grohl is the ambassador of Record Store Day 2015?
The Foo Fighters frontman joins a long line of dudes who have been the face of supporting local and indie stores. He joins Public Enemy's Chuck D (who held the title in 2014), Jack White (2013), Iggy Pop (2012), Ozzy Osbourne (2011) and more.
As part of his ambassador duties, Grohl will not only put out a four-track, 10" record titled Songs From the Laundry Room that includes early versions of previous tracks along with a never-before-heard song "Empty Handed." The band will also play at a Niles, Ohio indie shop Record Connection on the day of festivities.
Read Grohl's heartfelt ode to record stores here and watch him gush about indie outlets and show the first record he ever bought below:
Is there anything bad about Record Store Day?
Depends who you ask. Earlier this year, indie labels Sonic Cathedral and Howling Owl attacked the holiday saying the event was "not beneficial to small, backs to the wall labels" like themselves. They argued that "every day should be record store day" and actual fans should be supporting the smaller stores no matter what day of the year it is. They cited that in an age where U2 put shoved their new album on everyone's iTunes account, record stores need more help than ever and having one day of the year dedicated to smaller shops isn't helping enough.
Meanwhile, Universal Music Group (the largest record label in the world, mind you) defended the tradition calling it, "the single best thing that has ever happened to the indies" and that "a few years ago stores were begging us to bring out stuff."
Critics have also called out RSD for OKing pop-up shops that seemingly would take traffic and fans away from the longtime, indie stores the holiday is supposed to be supporting.
We're also going to throw it out there that a woman has yet to be named an ambassador of Record Store Day. It's been eight years, people...
Is there RSD merch?
Yup! Buy an official RSD knit hat, pint glass, hoodies or other items at the official store.