At one time in Sydney, you would have to wait in line at the record store on a Saturday morning. When the shop owner had finished reading the morning paper, he would 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 Sydney this Saturday and browse some record stores. These are our top picks:
Red Eye Records
Red Eye Records have ensured their survival by moving with the times and reinventing themselves for the digital world. Their online store sells exclusive and rare records from around the world, as well as out-of-print and rare Australian items. On Record Store Day, there is limited edition vinyl on sale and an in-store performance from Deep Sea Arcade.
Hum on King
Hum on King are enthusiastic participants in Record Store Day, with an in-store record signing from Megan Washington, free competitions and giveaways. There’s a stack of limited edition vinyl up for grabs from the likes of The Beatles, Bowie, Morrissey, Lou Reed, The Flaming Lips, Sigur Ros, Arctic Monkeys and more.
Repressed Records know how to hold a Record Store Day party (they also know how to make events on Facebook, so things will be busy on Saturday). Starting bright and early, the Newtown store is having a sale on band t-shirts, CDs and vinyl. Repressed have a vast selection of exclusive records for Saturday, including M. Ward, The Ramones, The Sex Pistols and The Velvet Underground, and they’ve even promised to put their young staff on for added enthusiasm.
The Record Store
On Saturday, The Record Store in Darlinghurst is taking a different tack, celebrating the art of scratching with Scratch Jam, an open deck scratch session. And if you get thirsty during the demonstration, there are beers for sale in-store all day. Later in the afternoon Hermitude will be doing a demo and an album signing.
Inertia Records Tour Bus
If you feel like you can’t decide which record store to visit, you could apply for a spot on the Inertia Records Tour Bus, especially for Record Store Day. Leaving at midday, the bus will travel to Sydney’s finest indie music stores, spinning limited edition vinyl on the way.