"Folks who work here are professors. Don't replace all the knowers with guessors -- keep'em open -- they're the ears of the town." - Tom Waits, on the important of independent record stores.
If you're a nerd like me, April 16 isn't just another Saturday. It's Record Store Day, the day independent record stores hock a bunch of exclusive releases, and celebrate the beauty of the old school record store, with actual physical product, charming (or not so charming) clerks and all that dust and incense.
Phoenix is blessed with a couple of great stores, and most all of them have some killer events worked up for RSD.
Stinkweeds (12 W. Camelback, Phoenix)
Stinkweeds has been around since 1987, and the the CenPho store has built a reputation for being the hub of all things indie. In addition to offering RSD exclusives, free food and on-site screen printing by Tumble Tees, the store will be hosting live performances from Portland band Menomena, and locals What Laura, Kinch, Colorstore, Prime 8s, and Tetra String Quartet, who will be playing classical pieces and indie pop between sets by the other bands.
In addition, Stinkweeds is holding a Facebook contest leading up to the event. Users who change their profile picture to that of their favorite album cover and leave a comment on Stinkweeds' page extolling the good word of record stores will be entered into a drawing for a $20 Stinkweeds gift card and a RSD gift bag. The winner will be drawn shortly before April 16.
Zia Record Exchange (various Valley locations)
In addition to operating the official RSD tent at Coachella (with a ton of bands signing), Zia will be releasing You Heard Us Back When, Vol. 5, featuring Gospel Claws, The Constellation Branch, Scorpion Vs Tarantula, Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers on many more (full track list here). The compilation costs $3, with the proceeds benefiting Alice Cooper's Solid Rock Foundation, the organization founded by the noted rocker you may have confused with Ozzy Osbourne, the Ambassador of Record Store Day - to build a teen center.
Each Valley location will feature live music, including Whiskey Six, DFactor, Roll Acosta, Gospel Claws, Snake! Snake! Snakes! and Scottish rock band Bliffy Clyro (details here).
Zia will also be debuting Frank Kozik's RPM line of vinyl figures, designed by Kozik to honor RSD and the 80s Austin, Texas scene that has influenced his work.
(Full disclosure: I was an assistant manager at Zia until a few weeks ago.)
Revolver Records (918 N. 2nd St., Phoenix)
Revolver was recently honored by Seattle label Light in the Attic as Record Store of the Week, and on Record Store Day, they will be reppin' the Phoenix underground scene, with live music from Vegetable, French Quarter, Eddy Detroit, Avon Ladies, Destruction Unit, Rumspringer, Andrew & His Feisty Felines and The Pods.
In addition to the RSD exclusives, the folks at Revolver have been stocking up on extra cool 45s and LPs to put out on the sales floor, and promise food, a puppet show, live ice sculpting and a dog walking event, which all sounds pretty kooky and fun.
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Hoodlums, formerly on Arizona State University's campus before a fire at the student union claimed its space, has been open at the corner of McClintock and Guadalupe for two years now. The store is in a tiny space right next to Changing Hands bookstore. They'll be open at 10 a.m. to sell the exclusives from big-time artists like Bruce Springsteen, Green Day and the others listed on this poster.
"We encourage you to get to the store early, as quantities are going to be extremely limited on this stuff... Last year, we had over 50 people lined up at the door before we even opened, and we had our biggest day in the store's history," the owners said on their web site.
Other Valley stores such as Tracks in Wax, Bookmans, Thrifty Joe's Books & Music and Rockzone will also be open, and the Musical Instrument Museum is getting in on the action, offering $3 off regular museum admission from April 16-22 for guests showing their receipt for a CD or vinyl record purchase made on April 16 at one of the Valley's independent record stores or at the MIM Store.