At once "a huge pain in the ass" (actual quote from a record-store manager) and an outlandishly lucrative holiday for (most) brick-and-mortar music retailers, Record Store Day 2018 will happen Saturday, April 21. A celebration of independent record shops (are there any other kind in 2018?), RSD—now in its 11th year—is an excuse for labels to flood the market with rarities, repackaged classics, deep-catalog obscurities, and common af titles that can be found in bargain bins for 1/10 the price. (It also results in major labels hogging vinyl-pressing plants, causing annoying delays to the release schedules of much smaller indies. A pox on that.) On RSD, collectors, record-flipper scumbags, vinyl novices, and even music journalists flock to shops, and for one day (okay, two days if you count Black Friday RSD), music emporia feel—and smell—like it's 1973 again.
While RSD hasn't announced the list of releases yet, I can report that Seattle-based Medical Records will be reissuing Spectrum's Highs, Lows & Heavenly Blows for the occasion. A 1994 album by former Spacemen 3 guitarist/vocalist/keyboardist Pete "Sonic Boom" Kember, Highs is a sublimely dreamy bliss-scape of analog synths and crystalline guitar meditations. The LP hasn't been available on wax since its original issue on Silvertone Records 24 years ago. Even the CD version of it sells for $55-$70, and a Hong Kong dealer on Discogs is peddling the vinyl for $330, so this Medical reissue will be a godsend for fans of the brilliant Spacemen 3 diaspora.
Check out participating Seattle stores here and read the RSD press release below.
The eleventh annual worldwide party that celebrates the culture of the indie record store is set for Saturday, April 21, 2018. Stores around the world will open up their doors to celebrate with their customers, the musicians who make the music they sell, and the staff who sell it.
In its first ten years, Record Store Day (the Day) has grown exponentially and is now celebrated by millions of people, in thousands of independent record stores, worldwide. It has spurred the growth of at least one physical media format, inspired new stores to open their doors, and helped existing stores to grow and expand. Thousands of artists have celebrated with performances, in-store events and limited edition special releases. Unknown numbers of people have had a damn good time at their local record store.
In that time Record Store Day (the Organization) has also grown, now working year-round to promote indie record stores and innovate to allow those who run them to improve their business. RSD's Black Friday, RSD Vinyl Club, Vinyl Tuesday, and individual release promotions for all genres are part of what RSD does regularly.
In August 2018, RSD will host their third Summer Camp, a conference just for the special type of small business that is the indie record store. Record Store Day is also a founding partner of Making Vinyl, the world's first conference devoted to the vinyl format.
Still to come this year are the announcement of the Record Store Day 2018 Ambassador and the list of special, limited edition releases available at a record store on April 21, 2018. Follow Record Store Day at recordstoreday.com or on social media (@recordstoreday on Twitter, @RecordStoreDay on Facebook and @recordstoredayus on Instagram) to keep up with all the exciting party details to come!
About Record Store Day:
Record Store Day, the organization, is managed by the Department of Record Stores and is organized in partnership with the Alliance of Independent Media Stores (AIMS), the Coalition of Independent Music Stores (CIMS) and promotes independent record stores year-round with events, special releases and other fun things.
Record Store Day, the global celebration of the culture of the record store, takes place annually in April.