Saturday, April 18, 2015, is Record Store Day, a most excellent holiday — a glorious day of music, parties, performances, signings, giveaways and most importantly Record Store Day releases. The worldwide event started in 2007 to honor the unique culture of the independently owned record store and the role they play in their communities. Pardon me, but it’s necessary to quote the great film Empire Records at this moment, and say, “damn the man.”
Obviously, downloading music is modern and convenient, but there’s something really satisfying about digging around a record store looking for an oldie-but-goodie or even a newer hard-to-find press. We don’t even have a record player in our home right now, but we do have a wall of framed vinyl albums featuring an eclectic mix that includes Michael Jackson, Billy Joel, the Eagles and The Foo Fighters. Some of the framed pieces are remnants of our youth, some were purchased from the bins of the stores we’re about to name because the albums were important to us and well… vinyl is cool.
As if this holiday isn’t great enough, the official ambassador of Record Store Day 2015 is Dave Grohl who says, “I found my calling in the back bin of a dark, dusty record store…. I believe that the power of the record store to inspire is still alive and well, and that their importance to our next generation of musicians is crucial.” Ambassador Grohl and his bandmates in The Foo Fighters will also be participating in Record Store Day by releasing SONGS FROM THE LAUNDRY ROOM, a 10” four-track EP featuring previously unreleased demos, covers and songs.
There are hundreds of Record Store Day releases with varying degrees of exclusivity and not every store gets every release, so you’ll have to do a little research if you’re looking for something specific. The official list of Record Store Day releases can be found here.
Music has a wonderful way of conjuring up memories and stories, so get your friends together and hit up one or more of our Central Florida record stores to rummage, share and celebrate. Here are our Top 5 places you can participate in Record Store Day this Saturday:
1. Park Ave CDs (2916 Corrine Drive, Orlando)
This popular location will open at 8 a.m. and have mini cupcakes from their neighbors at Blue Bird Bake Shop to help you wake up. The ambitious folks at Park Ave CDs will stock ALL of the 350+ Record Store Day-branded releases (quantities vary) and give away free Park Ave CDs Record Store Day 2015 t-shirts and coupon books with purchases. Consider yourself warned, in 2014, there were nearly 400 people in line when their doors opened! But to make it fun, they will give away concert tickets, autographed LPs, posters and other goodies every 20 minutes to those waiting in line. Some of Orlando’s top DJs including DJ BMF, DJ Smilin’ Dan, Kittybat, M-Squared will spin sets throughout the day. Park Ave CDs will also collect donations for Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, so bring some food to donate. Visit them on Facebook.
2. Rabbitfoot Records Coffee Lounge (309 East 1st Street, Sanford)
Count on Rabbitfoot for very good complimentary coffee and breakfast for those waiting in line starting at 5 a.m. (oh man, that iced coffee is good!), even though doors don’t open until 8 a.m. If you can’t take a hint, they suggest you arrive early. This Sanford shop is touting Record Store Day releases including The White Stripes, The Stooges, Jurassic 5, Phish, The Replacements, The Foo Fighters, Twenty One Pilots, Miles Davis, Clutch, The Kinks, The Swans, Violent Femmes, Grateful Dead, plus hundreds more. Pre-opening giveaways include new albums from Death Grips on CD, a 10-LP Jimi Hendrix Box Set (German Import), gift certificates, t-shirts and other surprises. If you buy a Record Store Day release while you’re there, you can take advantage of 10-30% off discounts on everything else in the shop. Visit them on Facebook.
3. East West Music & More (4895 South Orange Avenue, Orlando)
By Orlando standards, East West is a “very” old establishment, celebrating their 44th year in 2015! This “bonafide neighborhood joint” will open at 10 a.m. for Record Store Day and keep its crowd entertained with giveaways, drawings for autographed gear and live music from some of Central Florida’s finest, as part of their Parking Lot Concert Series. Of course, there will be Record Store Day releases to be scored as well. Visit them on Facebook.
4. Retro Records (59 North Bumby Avenue, Orlando)
Retro Records is a second-hand store that’s been around since 1980. You can buy, sell and trade records, CDs, and memorabilia from the ’50s through today. Here you can rummage through bins of rock, soul, jazz and country. If you’re a Beatles fan, this is your record shop – it’s considered their specialty. Stop by and say happy Record Store Day and take home something nostalgic in honor of the holiday. Doors open at 11 a.m. Call (407) 898-2484 to confirm hours and details. Visit them on Facebook.
5. Rock-N-Roll Heaven (1814 North Orange Avenue, Orlando)
This Ivanhoe Row staple, established 1977, claims to have the best selection of vinyl LPs in Florida, but we’ll let you judge for yourself. Spend Record Store Day browsing through whatever genre calls to you — metal, rap, country, oldies, disco, comedy, folk or anything we haven’t named. They’ve got it. We get the feeling if you really want to talk music or talk collectibles this is the place you should be hanging. We waiting on details for any special, additional Record Store Day festivities at this location and will update this post when possible. Rock-N-Roll Heaven opens at 10 a.m. on Saturdays. Visit them on Facebook.