Starting at midnight tonight and continuing all day tomorrow, it’s the 5th annual Record Store Day! What started in 2008 as a way to celebrate brick & mortar, mom & pop, independently-run record stores has grown into … well, the very same celebration but on a much larger scale. Tons of labels and bands are sharing exclusive releases and vinyl reissues, and music lovers—like us here at DUL—will be out and about to support our local shops. We suggest you do the same, so we’re sharing some info here about how to get involved. Read on for a list of Pittsburgh record stores and their RSD happenings, some of the day’s special releases that we’re particularly excited about and crossing our fingers to find waiting for us in the racks, plus some special local happenings—concerts and record releases—going on this weekend.
If you’re new to the goings-on of Record Store Day, you’re best off checking out my post from last year, which shares a discussion I had with Desolation Row owner Kristofer Collins. We talked about the pros and cons of RSD, the logistics, the business decisions, and how the day typically shakes out. It’s a good read, so give it a look. I’ve found a few other interesting blog posts and podcasts about RSD recently—here and here—so check those out for other opinions. And if you have a Smartphone, download the official RSD apps, for both Android and iPhone.
Here are some recommendations based on my experiences in Pittsburgh last year. Read through (or skim, at least) the long list of exclusive releases and make a short list of items that you definitely want to buy. Bring that list around with you so you aren’t kicking yourself later for forgetting about something. Most stores don’t know what they’ll have in stock until the day of, so it won’t really help to call ahead and ask (and they won’t reserve any stock for you) but you can try if you’re desperately curious. Mostly, the day is meant for wandering around and actually spending time looking through a store. Some of them will put out some new and/or used stock that isn’t normally out, too, so you can make some excellent non-exclusive finds while you’re at it. (Mind Cure, in particular, had several boxes of excellent used vinyl, and they’ll be doing the same this year.) Set out a little schedule of shops (using our handy-dandy store list below!) to bounce around between, and have fun!
Pittsburgh Record Shops
- 720 Music, Clothing & Cafe (Lawrenceville)
412.904.4592 / Email / Website / Facebook / Twitter / Yelp
Hours: Tue-Sat: 11:00am-9:00pm; Sun 10:00am-5:00pm
RSD Specials: Live DJs all day, and recording the 10 hour DJ set to be released as an mp3 on their Facebook page later that night. Exclusive mix CDs for sale, and free snacks and refreshments. See their Facebook event and flyer for more info, including a list of all 11 live DJs and the RSD exclusive titles they’ll have in stock.
- Attic Record Store Inc (Millvale)
412.821.8484 / Website / Facebook / Yelp
Hours: Mon-Fri 9:00am-6:00pm; Sat 10:00am-5:00pm
RSD Specials: Opening at midnight on Friday (!) and staying open til 5 pm on Saturday. 10% off everything non-exclusive stock. Snacks and coffee.
- Dave’s Music Mine (South Side)
412.488.8800 / Email / Website / Facebook / Yelp
Hours: Mon-Thurs 12:00pm-8:00pm; Fri-Sat 10:00am-10:00pm; Sun 12:00pm-5:00pm
RSD Specials: Updated list of exclusive RSD releases available. Sale on non-exclusive stock.
- Desolation Row (Oakland)
412.681.9111 / Email / Website / Facebook / Yelp
Hours: Mon-Wed 11:00am-5:30pm; Thurs 11:00am-8:00pm; Fri-Sat11:00am-5:30pm; Sun 1:00pm-5:30pm
RSD Specials: Open early at 10:00am. 10% off sale on all non-exclusive stock.
- Eide’s Entertainment (Downtown)
412.261.0900 / Email / Website / Facebook / Yelp
Hours: Mon-Thurs 9:30am-7:00pm; Fri 9:30am-9:00pm; Sat 9:30am-6:30pm; Sun 10:00am-5:30pm
RSD Specials: Store’s 40th anniversary sale, as well! (Ongoing now until Sunday, 04.22). Live DJ, 30% off all new CDs, LPs, DVDs, and Comics.
- The Exchange
Locations in Dormont 412.341.6591, Downtown 1 412.391.3065, Downtown 2 412.261.1007, Monroeville 412.373.1000, South Side 412.488.7001, Squirrel Hill 412.422.2123, and Oakland 412.482.9026
RSD Specials: All locations are participating in RSD and will have some exclusive merch.
- Jerry’s Records (Squirrel Hill)
412.421.4533 / Email / Website / Facebook / Yelp
Hours: Mon-Sat: 10:00am-6:00pm; Sun 12:00pm-5:00pm
RSD Specials: Giving away sealed boxes of 100 records for FREE. Sidewalk sale with $1 used records. (No RSD exclusive merchandise, but celebrating the day nonetheless!)
- Mind Cure Records (Polish Hill)
Website / Facebook
Hours: Mon-Sat 12:00pm-8:00pm; Sun 12:00pm-5:00pm
RSD Specials: Sale on non-exclusive merch.
- Sound Cat Records (Bloomfield)
412.621.3256 / Email
Website / Facebook /
Hours: Tues-Thurs 11:00am-7:00pm; Fri 11:00am-8:00pm; Sat 10:00am-7:00pm; Sun 12:00pm-5:00pm
RSD Specials: Open early at 9:00am. In-store performance at 5:00pm by Hidden Twin (psych-folk music by Phil of Modey Lemon).
There are some great concerts happening on Saturday night. Some of them aren’t RSD-related but, hey, we’re already in the mood for celebrating independent music, so let’s keep the good times rolling.
- Neighbours 7″ release show / Gooski’s / 10:00 / $5
This gang of local 60s-rockers put out a solid EP last year, and now local distributor/label Get Hip Recordings is pressing a 7″ of two of those tunes: “Real Talk” and “Without You”. This release is limited to 300 on clear red wax, so don’t miss out! Neighbours will celebrate the release at Gooski’s in Polish Hill with a full band set from The Long Time Darlings plus a solo set from Ben Hardt.
- Passion Pit + Donora / Carnegie Mellon University Carnival / 8:00 / FREE
Every April, CMU students throw a huge celebration right at the end of the semester to disrupt classes and work schedules. Oh yeah, there are some carnival rides, robot races, elaborate booths, and concerts, too. This year’s national musical act is the Boston synth-poppers of Passion Pit. Local indie-pop band Donora are opening the show, so be sure to get out there early and catch their set. The event will be outdoors on the main quad on campus, free and open to the public, so just head to that vicinity and listen for the music/crowd.
- Woods / Garfield Artworks / 8:00 / $10
One of the most popular indie, lo-fi, jammy, folk-rock bands out there, Woods has carved out a whole area of the music scene with their associated Woodsist label. Their last stop in town was at U Pitt a couple years back on a tour with Real Estate. This time, they’re with two other psychedelia-tinged rock bands, New Hampshire’s MMOSS and Chicago’s Unicycle Loves You.
If you’re like us and want to celebrate vinyl all the time, don’t miss the second annual Pittsburgh Vinyl Convention next weekend, on April 28. Put together by Mind Cure Records and I Dig Pgh, and sponsored by Iron City Brewing, this event will be held at Pgh Filmmakers on Melwood Ave. in North Oakland and have a bunch of local sellers, and some out-of-towners, too. So mark your calendars, and check out the Facebook event for more info.
Now, let’s get back to talking about the daytime tomorrow. There are tons of exclusive records on the RSD list. Seriously. Too many. Beware of major labels trying to capitalize on independent music fervor by releasing “exclusive” reissues of albums/singles you could easily find in excellent used condition for much cheaper elsewhere. We’ve scanned through the big list and come up with the following (alphabetical) short list of LPs and EPs and 7″s that we’re looking forward to scoring *fingers crossed*.
- Amanda Palmer & the Grand Theft Orchestra / “Polly” b/w “Idioteque” [8 FT] (info)
Singer and all-around interesting character from The Dresden Dolls covers Nirvana on the A-side and Radiohead (with a ukelele alone) on the B-side.
- Arctic Monkeys / “R U Mine?” b/w “” [Domino] ( copies, purple vinyl, info)
Two new songs from these rowdy British rockers.
- Beach House / “Lazuli” b/w “Equal Mind” [Sub Pop] (2400 copies, blue vinyl, info)
Single track from their upcoming Bloom and a non-album B-side.
- The Black Angels / “Lonely” b/w “Watch Out Boy” [Blue Horizon] (orange vinyl, info)
This band loves Record Store Day, and they’re releasing two brand new tracks (produced by Richard Gottehrer!) with a bonus download of a cover of The Zombies‘ “She’s Not There”.
- The Black Keys / “Sister” b/w “Moneymaker” [Nonesuch] ( copies, info)
Unreleased live tracks!
- Blitzen Trapper / “Hey Joe” b/w “Skirts on Fire” [Sub Pop] (1800 copies, yellow vinyl, info)
Previously unreleased tracks, including one cover.
- Bonny Prince Billy / Hummingbird 10″ EP [Spiritual Pajamas] (1000 copies, info)
An EP (or short LP, as they seem to want to call it) of covers of classic blues and roots tunes including Leon Russell and Merle Haggard, with a cast of talented musicians in support.
- Bowerbirds / “In the Yard” b/w “Always an Ear to Bend” [Dead Oceans] ( copies, color, info)
Single track from this lush folk-pop band’s latest, The Clearing, and a non-album B-side.
- Deerhoof/of Montreal split / “Stygian x} Bisection” [Polyvinyl] (2000 copies, clear gold vinyl, info)
of Montreal‘s Kevin Barnes provides vocals for Deerhoof’s “Secret Mobilization” on one side, and his track “Feminine Effects” is on the other.
- Destroyer / Destroyer’s Rubies [Merge] (ruby red vinyl (duh), info)
First U.S. release of this double album on vinyl, with 20-minute bonus track, “Loscil’s Rubies”.
- Jimmy Fallon / “Tebowie” b/w “Reading Rainbow” [Warner Bros.] ( copies, color, info)
Two humorous tunes from this late night host. I don’t know that “Tebowie” song, but I’ll be honest, this version of the Reading Rainbow TV theme song in the style of The Doors is one of the funniest things I have seen/heard this year.
- The Flaming Lips / The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends [Warner Bros.] (info)
2xLP full of collaborations with Bon Iver, Nick Cave, Ke$ha, Yoko Ono, Neon Indian, Tame Impala, and more?!
- Grouplove / “Don’t Fly to Close to the Sun” b/w “Tongue Tied (remix)” (info)
Brand new track on the A, live version of a fan favorite on the B.
- Luna / Rendezvous and Romantica [Double Feature] (1000 copies, info)
Dean Wareham’s post-Galaxie 500‘s indie rock band’s penultimate and final album available on vinyl for the first time ever.
- M83 / “Mirror” [Mute] (info)
Unreleased track on one side, artistic etching on the other!
- Mastodon/Feist / “Commotion” b/w “Black Tongue” [Warner Bros.] (info)
Mastodon covers Feist‘s “Commotion” on Side A, and Feist covers Mastodon‘s “Black Tongue” on Side B. Awesome! Let’s hope Feistodon sticks as a nickname and becomes a future band.
- Of Monsters and Men / Into the Woods EP [Republic] (info)
A few tunes from this buzzy indie band, including bonus track “Sinking Man”.
- Sigur Rós / Hvarf-Heim [XL] (multicolor vinyl, info)
2xLP vinyl reissue of their 2007 album.
- St. Vincent / “Krokodil” b/w “Grot” [4AD] (red vinyl, info)
Two bonus tracks from one of our favorite albums of 2011, Strange Mercy.
- Tallest Man on Earth / King of Spain EP [Dead Oceans] (info)
Contains the title track, another TMOE original, and a cover of Pau Simon‘s “Graceland”.
- Uncle Tupelo / 7″ Box Set [Sony] (info)
Hard-to-find singles from this seminal 90s folk-rock band compiled together at last.
- The White Stripes / “Hand Springs” b/w “Red Death” [Third Man] (black/red swirl vinyl, info)
Two classic White Stripes tunes from 2000 that you’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere on vinyl.
- Sundazed Records: this label reissues several singles from classic 60s and 70s bands every RSD. They aren’t necessarily worth the price markup, but it is a chance to own some great songs on vinyl that are otherwise rare and expensive. Some particularly interesting 7″s out this year are from Blues Magoos, The Byrds, Chocolate Watch Band, Gene Clark, and Small Faces, among others.
Are you excited about Record Store Day? What special releases are you hoping to score? Will you be stopping by any shops in Pittsburgh? Leave a comment and let us know! We will be about town, as well!