Get ready to wake up early on Record Store Day


Max Goldberg / Clarion

Record Store Day is Saturday April 21. If you go, have fun and expect a few lines.

Adrienne Oliva, Editor in Chief

Record Store Day is coming in less than a month, and if you are a record collector type like yours truly, you have already marked your calendar, set your alarm for 3 a.m. weeks in advance, opened a separate saving account just for the money you intend to spend, and warned everyone you care about of your impending irregular behavior that day.

Record Store Day is a yearly event where exclusive vinyl and first pressed records are available to purchase only at local record stores, which means that the only way to reliably get some of these special presses is by getting up early and getting your hands on them at an independent shop.

By no means does anyone who take part in this holiday have to be as intense about it as I am, or any of the other people lined up outside your local record store at 1 a.m. are.

Record Store Day shouldn’t intimidate even the newest of record collectors. It should be a day for all collectors to come together and celebrate our local music shops.

Still feeling a little overwhelmed with Record Store Day? For those who are just beginning to venture into the world of vinyl, or for those who just like to make the scene, I’m here to give you a guide to having a successful Record Store Day, and then go over what I think this year’s Record Store Day must-haves are.

First of all, know where you’re going to shop. The first place I always go on Record Store Day is Strictly Discs on Monroe (Yes, near the Trader Joe’s). Though this is my first choice, there really are no wrong choices in Madison. MadCity Music, B-Side Records, and Sugar Shack Records are all good choices.

Secondly, know when you are going. Despite popular belief, many people don’t need to start waiting in line at 12 a.m. to get the records of their choice. Base your decisions of when to get in line on how many copies of your desired record are being released nationally. 5000? You could probably sleep in that day. 800? You better bring something comfortable to sit on, because you should be one of the first in line, and that line will most likely start 10 hours before the shop even opens.

Thirdly, know what you are getting. Though it can be fun to look around at all the different releases, if you hesitate on what you want, you might not get it. Make a list in advance of what you want, and have it on your phone. Remember the name of the artist and album title, and get comfortable with what the album cover looks like so you can find it easily.

Finally, I want to some recommendations that I think both new collectors and experienced ones should consider investing in.
My first pick of the year is an album by the late ’80s rock group, Living Colour. I consider Living Colour one of the most underrated hard rock bands of the late 80’s, and the group is notorious for their engaging live performances, meaning that their live album, “Live at CBGBs 12.19.89,” is perfect for any music lover’s collection.

I also suggest picking up Mac Demarco’s “Old Dog Demos.” These is the tracks that proceeded Demarco’s last studio album, and knowing Demarco’s dreamy and whimsical aesthetic, paired with the raw grief that filled “This Old Dog,” these demos are sure to be beautiful.

If you want something that is a spin on a classic, I suggest getting Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing: The Remixes.” It is just a full album of different versions of “Sexual Healing.” If you think you’d ever get sick of that song, you are lying to yourself.

Finally, the album I am getting in line at 2 a.m. in the morning for is The Resident’s “The W***** B**** Album.” The Residents are an absurdist, avant-garde group known for their unknown identities that they hide behind giant eyeballs they wear on their heads that are adorned with top hats. This album is great because it was the first album they produced as a band. After being rejected by Warner Brothers, the album was sent back to the group, and since they did not know they groups name, the package was just addressed “To: Residents,” which is how they got their name. It is sure to be an odd album, and I don’t think it is for everyone, but I am sure it is going to be fascinating.

Ultimately, the last thing I want new and old collectors to keep in mind is that the day is not about getting everything we want, but supporting the things that deserve to be supported, and in this case, those things are our local record shops that continually provide our community the music that brings us together on days like Record Store Day.