A Guide to Record Store Day 2016 in Phoenix

Waiting 364 days since last year’s Record Store Day probably put a serious ache in the hearts of record collectors, but that veil of sadness is about to lift. Saturday, April 16, is the day vinyl fanatics and music freaks have been rabidly awaiting. Collectors and fans will flood local record shops to try and acquire the exclusive reissues, special pressings, and rare treasures, along with the special promotional products made just for this once-a-year event. Browse the full list of Record Store Day 2016 special releases here.

It's not just a treasure hunt for goods; most of the shops plan additional activities for the day, like having food trucks onsite, giveaways, and live music. We have compiled a little guide for you to give you the scoop on what’s happening at these local destinations that satisfy your music needs. And stick around after the guide, and we’ll tell you about some of the drool-worthy releases available this year.

Zia Record Exchange
Multiple locations
The regional chain with four locations in Metro Phoenix is ready for Record Store Day in all kinds of great ways. For those who want to get the jump on things, their four Phoenix area stores will have folks from Marley Beverage Company handing out free beverages from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. for those waiting in line. As they’ve done annually since RSD began in 2008, Zia will release You Heard Us Back When, Volume 10, this year’s edition of their compilation that features Phoenix, Tucson, and Las Vegas locals, along with a complimentary anniversary edition. Proceeds from the Volume 10 comp help benefit charities. Catch some of the area musicians featured on the compilation performing live for RSD, like Labor Party at the Camelback Road store, Carol Pacey and the Honey Shakers at Zia in Tempe, and Dwarf at their Chandler location. National acts will be strutting their stuff, too, including Years & Years at the Thunderbird Road spot. The store is also unleashing its first-ever comic book, You Read Us Back When: Volume 1.

12 West Camelback Road in Phoenix
Record Store Day devotees know that to get a Stinkweeds Swag Bag, you’ve got to be one of the first 100 people in the door. Loaded with treasures like vinyl, concert tickets, posters, T-shirts, and buttons, this packet of goodies makes the event an early a.m. destination for many. There will be a lot of local live music happening, including performances by Sonoran Chorus, Twin Ponies, Fat Gray Cat, Bear State, and Snake! Snake! Snakes! The store has also gone and done a layout change for a better overall flow and to ensure an even more pleasant RSD experience. Starting at 11 a.m. and staying through lunch, the Short Leash Hot Dogs food truck will be onsite to keep you fed and fueled as you spend energy hunting for those RSD exclusives. 

Asylum Records
108 West Main Street in Mesa
This downtown Mesa spot set the bar pretty high on last year’s Record Store Day when they gave attendees the opportunity to meet metal band GWAR. Not slouching this year, the shop has Alice Cooper’s original guitarist, Michael Bruce, and original drummer, Neal Smith, hanging around all day. Bruce will do an acoustic set in the morning and an electric set in the afternoon. Asylum peeps are putting teasers out there that a special guest may be joining Bruce for that afternoon set. Will it be Alice himself? Only one way to find out.

Record High
4242 East University Drive in Phoenix
This year, the Phoenix haven for true audiophiles, complete with a music listening room, won’t be stocking any of the official Record Store Day releases, but says they will be putting out 1,000 used records new to the store, including jazz, blues, rock, and rare ’90s releases. They have been storing up those gems just for this annual happening. They will also be giving out free, reusable Record High tote bags with every purchase.

Revolver Records
918 North Second Street in Phoenix
This downtown destination for vinyl fanatics says they may have a couple of the Record Store Day exclusives but are mostly focused on putting out a slew of cool used records that they have been stashing away for this yearly event. The store is in the process of moving their Tempe location (which is currently closed) to new digs at 48th Street and Thomas.

The ‘In’ Groove
3406 East Thomas Road in Phoenix
Be one of the first 20 people in line at this Phoenix record store, and get a free store T-shirt and sticker. They’ll be open at 8 a.m., and the live music begins at 9 a.m. and includes a lengthy lineup of locals, including Ancient Egypt, Consumer, Plainfield Butchers, Skink, Sol Drop, and Thurston. The plan is to have around 22 bands play throughout the day. Hey, it’s their first RSD and they’re excited about it. Also to celebrate, the store will also have special sales going on throughout the day, like vinyl that’s normally $1 will be dropped to $.25, and all CDs are 20 percent off.

The Record Room
4211 North Scottsdale Road
In addition to RSD exclusives, this Scottsdale hotspot is offering some good discounts, like 20 percent off all used titles, and 10 percent off new non-RSD titles. In addition to slinging the goods, this little Old Town vinyl destination will be rocking with live performances by Dirty Hairy, Sol Drop, Soul Suckers – a garage band featuring the store’s owner John Rose and his brother – Christian Family, and Mission Creeps.
KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Amy Young is an arts and culture writer who also spends time curating arts-related exhibits and events, and playing drums in local bands French Girls and Sturdy Ladies.
Contact: Amy Young