Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Vinyl Enthusiasts Rally for Record Store Day

The LP’s that were first popular just after World War II have made a huge resurgence with young nostalgic crowds today. Physical copies of music are valued again in a way that many people feared would be lost with the digitization of music.

This past Saturday, music lovers across the nation celebrated the cultural value of vinyl records on Record Store Day, an event that supports record stores, spreads awareness of local bands and brings exciting new records to fans of all music genres.

Beginning in 2007, April 21 marked the 11th anniversary of Record Store Day. Seattle was buzzing with music lovers, drawn out to all the record stores for sales and new releases. Capitol Hill was no exception, from Zion’s Gate Records to Everyday Music, people came out on this sunny Saturday to celebrate vinyl with their neighbors.

“I enjoy listening to records because it forces you to value the music more since it’s not instantaneous,” said Jack Berry, a student and KXSU DJ at Seattle University who plays vinyl on his radio show. “Having a physical copy of music that takes effort to listen to makes you appreciate it more, plus it’s just fun. I like the way vinyl sounds, it’s really rich.”

It was Berry’s first year attending any Record Store Day events but he said after this experience, he’s going to come back for more next year.

Everyday Music opened two hours earlier than they normally do for the event. Opening their doors at 8 a.m., employee Marina Simdoni reported a long line already waiting out the door.

“People get so stoked about all the records,” Simdoni said. “We get special editions here that are not even in other stores.”

Simdoni was referring to a Record Store Day tradition where bands release specialty editions of their music. It could be a new color on the vinyl, a limited edition, an unreleased track or even just the first time certain songs or albums are on a vinyl record.

Record stores try to predict which specialty albums released on that day will be big sellers but that’s far from being an easy task. Especially since some releases are so limited, like Led Zeppelin’s 7” yellow vinyl release that featured two previously unreleased tracks, that a store may order 500 copies and only receive 50.

“We don’t ever know exactly what we’ll get,” Simdoni said.

Despite this unpredictability, Everyday Music did well this Record Store Day, selling out of most of their specialty albums. They also had live performances all day including Tomo Nakayama, Lady Krishna, Tomten, Naked Giants and multiple DJs and other musical artists.

Gianni Aiello, the bassist and vocalist for Naked Giants, is a Seattle local and has been coming to Everyday Music for years. Although Naked Giants has recently been touring internationally with Car Seat Headrest, Aiello is still known in Everyday Music as a regular. He spoke to how thrilled he was to play his music in a place he loves so much.

“It’s always been a dream to play here,” he said.

Everyday Music has been celebrating Record Store Day since it’s first year in 2007 but Nick Shively, a long-time employee of the store, spoke to the unprecedented success of this year’s sales.

“All of them basically sold out,” Shively said, referring to the special release albums. “That’s the first year that’s ever happened.”

He said one album that did especially well this year was the Run The Jewels vinyl box set. According to the Record Store Day website, this box included “ a clear etched vinyl 12” with Marvel Comics branding, an RTJ slipmat and sticker.”

Everyday Music wasn’t the only record store that did well at this year’s event. Stephen Benbrook, owner of Zion’s Gate Records which he opened in 1999, said this has been his best year ever for sales on Record Store Day.

Benbrook spoke to how the special releases on this day often include tracks that have not been available before or were very expensive in the past. He discussed the pros and cons of the day since he gets a lot of business but it also requires a large investment in inventory that is not guaranteed to all sell.

“It brings out people who only come out on that day,” Benbrook said. “The goal is to have those people come back sooner than next year.”

Some of the releases that were especially popular this year include Soundgarden, Prince, Jimi Hendrix, Taylor Swift and Chicano Batman. There was something for everyone at this Record Store Day. Check out their website to learn more about all the releases this year.

“My favorites that I found were definitely Living in Darkness by Agent Orange, Over the Edge by The Wipers and Sluff by Naked Giants,” Berry said. “I definitely found some gems.”

Sarah may be reached at
[email protected]

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