Most record shops across Greater Cincinnati and the surrounding region will participate in Record Store Day, Saturday’s global celebration of independent music retailers. During the annual event, stores sell exclusive releases from a wide array of artists and genres, ranging from archival re-releases to special packages on a variety of formats from major and indie labels alike. (All of the releases have a very limited pressing run — usually only between 500-2,500 copes are made.)
For example, for this year’s RSD, you might be able to grab AC/DC’s Back In Black or Wu-Tang Clan’s Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) on cassette; a deluxe double-vinyl version of Dr. Octagon’s Moosebumps: An Exploration Into Modern Day Horripilation; Get Ready, Do Rock Steady, a vinyl box-set with 10 7-inch reproductions of rare, late ’60s Rock Steady Reggae singles; a 7-inch vinyl picture-disc single of The Police’s “Roxanne”; a 5-platter vinyl box set of material from Johnny Cash’s Folsom Prison sessions in honor of his historic album’s 50th anniversary; and a 10-inch vinyl issue of John Williams’ score from Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
And that’s just scratching a very tiny fraction of the surface. NOTE: Not all stores are carrying all of the exclusives. You could try calling local shops, but if you’d prefer to not be annoying, why not make your list and then try to hit up as many area retailers as you can?
Click here for the ginormous rundown of RSD exclusives (with links for details) and click here for the list in PDF form, so you can mark it up and send it to your phone (or, if you’re down with killing a small forest's worth of trees, print it out and do your thang).
Below are just some of the festivities planned for tomorrow at record stores throughout Greater Cincinnati. Click the store name for each shop's RSD profile (when available). The profiles include a map, website link and other store details.
Perhaps the most "dramatic" Record Store Day celebration comes from Black Plastic Records. The first Black Plastic store was opened by proprietor/musician Steve Schmoll in Northside, followed by another BP outpost on Main St. in Over-the-Rhine. Earlier this year, Schmoll shut down the Northside location and began prepping for the opening of a "newer, bigger, weirder" Black Plastic on Cincinnati's West Side. Located on the same strip of Glenway Ave. as Western Bowl (long live Zantigo's and the last record store in that area that I can remember, Woodstock!), Record Store Day is the new Black Plastic's Grand Opening. The store opens at 10 a.m. for the big occasion.
Helping to celebrate is a trio of great Cincinnati bands. Unique Post Rock three-piece Us, Today — which had its song "Spellcaster (Dr. Spirit)" premiered on Magnet magazine's website yesterday — kicks things off at 11 a.m., followed by Indie/Electro rockers Kuber (1 p.m.) and Shoegaze trio Slow Glows (3 p.m.).
The newcomers at downtown’s Herzog Music have instruments and musical equipment and offer lessons, repairs and much more. They also sell used vinyl, but that’s not the only reason they’re getting in on the Record Store Day action this year. Herzog will also be celebrating the first release from its new label outpost.
Herzog Music label release 001 (presumably — don’t hold me to that) is Where the Sidewalk Begins, a 28-minute sound tapestry by DJDQ, the local turntablist known for his work as a member of renowned Cincinnati DJ crew Animal Crackers and the Hip Hop group project Glue. He created Sidewalk in just over a month in 2002, using “one mixer, one turntable, one multi-track recorder.” The project saw a very limited release, as DJDQ simply pressed up a few copies to sell on CD-R. Despite disappearing from the marketplace almost immediately, Where the Sidewalk Begins amassed a cult following, thanks to its brilliantly head-spinning collaging of styles and moods, masterfully blending together textures and sounds from snippets of old Jazz, Blues, Indian music and even opera records. (Hear a preview here.)
Herzog Music released Where the Sidewalk Begins on high-quality 180-gram vinyl, copies of which will be available Saturday at the album’s RSD listening/release party. Click here for more on this and other events at Herzog.
Recently (and once again) voted the best “CD/Record Store” in the city by CityBeat readers in our Best of Cincinnati issue, Shake It Records always does up RSD in a big way. Among the RSD exclusives Shake It will have is a special 7-inch vinyl EP by Cincinnati Indie Rock gems Wussy, who release music in the States on Shake It’s label branch, though the RSD release is through the band’s U.K. label, Damnably. Getting Better includes Wussy’s cover of The Beatles’ “Getting Better,” plus renditions of songs by a trio of Ohio greats: “Retarded” by Cincinnati-spawned AltRock heavyweights The Afghan Whigs; “Nomenclature” by Queen City Indie Pop geniuses The Seedy Seeds; and “Runaway” by late Columbus, Ohio singer/songwriter Jenny Mae. Click here to sample the EP before you cop the 7-inch.
Shake It is getting an early start on Saturday’s RSD fun, opening at 8 a.m. and hosting morning DJ sets from Cincinnati Hip Hop legends Mr. Dibbs and Animal Crackers. Throughout the day, catch live performances by locals like Lung, Arlo McKinley and area Boogie Woogie piano prodigy Ben Levin. Rhinegeist will also be helping Shake It party, offering the first sips of its Slow Jam IPA at the store, which is also offering a 10 percent discount on your RSD purchase if you bring a canned-good donation.
If you start your day at Loveland, Ohio-based Plaid Room Records’ RSD party, you can get a good power-up of coffee and donuts in the morning to help you kick-start your crate-digging stamina. The store even compiled a list of nearby restaurants and bars for those plotting out their RSD adventures (a few even have RSD specials).
The shop has a very useful list of RSD releases it has in stock, including the quantity and prices. And the list is updated live. Plaid Room is good at helpful lists!
Like Shake It Records, Plaid Room also began as a record label. The shop’s owners have been running Colemine Records since 2007, opening Plaid Room three years ago. Colemine has issued numerous vinyl releases by vintage-flavored Soul and Funk acts of all stripes and from various locations (CD, cassette and digital versions are often also available).
Colemine has a pair of Record Store Day releases coming out Saturday. One is a color-vinyl LP re-issue of the Latin Funk/Afro Soul soundtrack to the 2010 indie film Postales, created by members Budos Band, Menahan Street Band and Antibalas under the group name Los Sospechos. The label’s other RSD release is a color-vinyl live album from Seattle Soul Jazz group the Devon Lamarr Organ Trio, recorded at a session for the renowned KEXP radio station in their hometown (give it a listen here if you Spotify).
The Devon Lamarr Organ Trio (which also released its debut through Colemine) is coming to Loveland to assist Plaid Room's RSD festivities. They'll play Saturday at 7 p.m. on the shop's patio.
Plaid Room will also have giveaways and discounts, and customers spending $75 or more get a free RSD pint glass.
Beginning at noon, the longtime Pleasant Ridge record-store favorite will be rockin’ with a plethora of Cincinnati acts performing throughout the day. The schedule includes A.M Nice (at noon); Sleepy Drums (1 p.m.); The Jimmy D Three (2 p.m.); The Ape Tones (3 p.m.); Hell Scorched Earth (4 p.m.); Shocker (5 p.m.); and The Longtime Drifters (6 p.m.). There will also be prizes, including turntables and gift certificates.
MORE SW Ohio/Northern Kentucky Record Store Day 2018 participants*:
* According to recordstoreday.com.