By Cameron Lee
April 21, 2017
We all know vinyl records have made a huge comeback over the last 10 years. That deep sound, the crackling, and creative packaging offer something music lovers cherish in this low attention span digital world. Record Store Day has been the single biggest reason why vinyl has become so popular globally. In 2007, RSD was conceived by a collection of record store owners in the Baltimore area in a simple brainstorming session. The idea was sparked by Free Comic Book Day (First Saturday of May) to create a buzz around record stores to ultimately increase sales.
The first Record Store Day happened in 2008 and was headed by Metallica in a well publicized effort to create some attention at Rasputin Music in San Francisco. They spent hours meeting and chatting with their fans and since then, RSD has grown substantially each year with internationally known artists participating. In-store appearances on Record Store Day have yielded the likes of the Beastie Boys, Foo Fighters, Jack White, Chuck D, and many more. In 2009, Jesse “Boots Electric” Hughes (Eagles of Death Metal) declared himself “Record Store Day Ambassador” and since then, there has been an honorary ambassador each year. This year, the honor was given to the talented Annie Clark, better known by her stage name, St. Vincent.
A look inside the numbers globally show that Record Store Day has made a huge impact. In 2007 vinyl records sales were at $55 million, growing each year and reaching new heights in 2015 when sales rose to $416 million. Earlier this year, Consequence of Sound reported that vinyl sales grew 26% in 2016, and although many seem to think we may be close to the pinnacle, sales seem to be continuing to rise internationally.
In Charlotte, Scott Wishart opened Lunchbox Records in 2005. Originally in a small space in the heart of Central Ave., they moved last year to a larger building with more room for in-store performances for days like RSD and special events. Last year, country music star Kacey Musgraves made a special appearance at Lunchbox for Record Store Day. “This year we are more prepared than last. Items arrived earlier, we are settled into the new space and we didn’t just move in a week ago like last year,” said Wishart.
Fresh off their new album release, Swear I’m Good At This, New York indie pop-rock duo Diet Cig will make a special in-store appearance and performance this year before their show at Snug Harbor with Daddy Issues, and Alright. Rare vinyl releases from the late, great Prince, David Bowie, and Notorious B.I.G in addition to releases from Bruce Springsteen, Andre 3000, The Cure, Fleetwood Mac, and The Smiths will help make the 10th Anniversary of RSD another big one. Some of the more unique and creative releases this year will include a Black Angels glow in the dark record, Peter Tosh LP that smells like weed (Happy belated 420), and a Black Lips tape box in a Happy Meal container.
With the sales of vinyl increasing, so has the viability of record stores across the country. “The growth has been great and a constant challenge to re-evaluate what we are doing and ways to make it more efficient. When I opened the store 11 years ago I never dreamed records would become as popular as they have again,” Wishart said. With the music industry shifting tremendously over the last decade, vinyl offers a tangible item for music lovers to appreciate and cherish for years to come.
Here are some things you should expect at RSD 2017 at Lunchbox Records:
- Lunchbox will be opening at 9 a.m. and closing around 9 p.m. on Saturday. 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday at 835 Central Ave.
- A limited number of prints of the original location by artist David French will be available for sale.
- Everyone who purchases an item will receive a RSD Lunchbox Records tote bag.
- Record Store Day items are limited to one per customer, per item to discourage re-sellers and eBay flippers.
- Everything in the store is 10% off on Saturday and Sunday including LPs, CDs, DVDs, 7″s, 10″s, books, stickers, and patches excluding Record Store Day releases.
- Diet Cig will be performing in-store at 3 p.m.
- You can enter a contest to win test press of the new Gorillaz LP, Humanz!