At one time in Melbourne, The Mighty Music Machine record store would open early on Saturday mornings. When the shop owner had finished reading the morning paper, he’d fling open the doors to a long line of local vinyl collectors and teenage music lovers. For the rest of his Saturday, people would come and go, browsing for new records, before going home to unwrap their covers and put them on in the living room.
While there’s nothing wrong with nostalgia, this is no time to dwell, because this Saturday is International Record Store Day, a yearly event that celebrates the independent record stores keeping the flame alive.
Founded in 2007 by a consortium of record storeowners in the United States, International Record Store Day is held on the third Saturday in April every year. This year, independent record stores around the country are having sales, featuring in-store performances and selling special release vinyl. It’s a celebration of a romance that has been lost to many and a reappraisal of the value of community spirit in music.
So if you’re interested in recapturing the spirit, take a walk through Melbourne this Saturday and browse some record stores. These are our top picks:
Polyester Records are perennial Record Store Day enthusiasts, with 20 per cent off selected stock and special release vinyl from Animal Collective, Arcade Fire and Lee Hazlewood. Live in-store from 11am will be a stack of DJs including Sugar Mountain DJs, My Disco DJs and Lost Animal DJs. To finish things off, Max Crumbs will be performing at 5pm. If you get hungry while you browse, you can nibble on a Record Store Day cupcake, supplied by Sticky Fingers Bakery.
At the Fitzroy store, the RRR Breakfasters will be opening proceedings at 11am before Alan Brough, Darren Hanlon and Geoffrey O’Connor (among others) pop in for live sets.
Pure Pop Records
Pure Pop Records is a tiny record store famous for its in-store performances, nestled in front of Senor BBQ in St. Kilda. There are live performances all day on Saturday from 2pm as Michael Shaun, Ekephant, Simon Imrei and The Twoks take to the stage.
Northside records is another vibrant store in the north having a sale on Saturday, with 20 per cent off CDs and 10 per cent off vinyl. If you like music merchandise, they are also selling exclusive Northside Record Store Day t-shirts. The Psyde Projects and The Put Backs will be playing live sets too.
If you head down Swanston Street and find your way into Block Place, Melbourne icon Basement Discs is one staircase down. On Saturday, they are featuring live performances all day from 10am, selling limited edition Record Store Day vinyl and holding music trivia with Derek Guille from the ABC and Brian Nankervis from Rockwiz. Live acts include Chris Wilson, Saint Lude and Davey Lane & Mikey Madden.
A stalwart Melbourne record store , Greville Records has decided against live bands this year, instead choosing to fill the floor with as much stock as possible. Special edition Record Store Day vinyls have been ordered, so you can check in store for available items.