Story by Sarah Spohn
It can be described as a very merry Christmas for record collectors — you know the date, it’s Record Store Day! Saturday, April 13, 2019 marks the 11th annual Record Store Day (RSD), which celebrates the most holiest of music formats: vinyl records. Each Spring, music lovers line up outside of local record shops, awaiting special releases, limited edition vinyl, casettes and never-before-seen box sets.
Lansing vinyl lovers — get in line now. The Record Lounge in REO Town is hosting a special in-store Record Store Day event, with live music, coffee, and more. There will be a contest giveaway for a mid-century inspired stereo stand/record cabinet from Homemade Capital City, and merch from ALT Printing Co.
Store owner Heather Frarey has participated in the event since the beginning of her shop, and the first ever RSD, both in 2008.
“The biggest thing is making sure I make a good order,” Frarey said, “that is the main thing, and then hoping they can fill most of it.” This year, the store received 27 boxes of inventory — the largest order in store history.
Some of this year’s highlights include Record Store Day Ambassador, Pearl Jam’s live Seattle Easy Street Records performance from 2005. Frarey met Pearl Jam members when they played an in-store performance at WhereHouse Records, following their release of their album, Ten.
A 7-inch Red Hot Chili Peppers vinyl will also be released. Michigan’s own, The White Stripes, The Raconteurs, The Dead Weather, and solo Jack White will all have releases via Third Man Records. You can also expectspecial releases from Foo Fighters, Weezer, Bob Dylan, Ben Gibbard, Elvis Costello, Green Day, and Greta Van Fleet.
Independent record stores submit their orders, and are not notified how many copies they’ll receive of each special edition release. It’s a gamble, but that’s what makes it that much more fun for customers.
“It’s like Christmas and Black Friday for sure — the atmosphere is always fun, and I have never had anyone be asses in line, or to anyone else while waiting.,” Frarey said. “We have always had good luck that way.”
Last year, eager customers lined up outside the shop at 6 a.m., to be able to dig through the crates first. This year, The Record Lounge is in their newest location, with 850 square feet in the REO Town Marketplace, and will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 13.
For those who arrive before sunrise, Runabout Coffee Co. will be providing caffeinated beverages. Runabout Coffee Co. founder Doug Mains describes the coffee and record shop pairing as completely magical.
“Many (seriously, a ton of people) in the specialty coffee world have spent an ample amount of time in the music industry,” Mains said, who met Frarey through his band, Doug Mains & The City Folk. “Specialty coffee draws creative people because it requires constant innovation, and a unique focus on craft.”
Mains enjoys how both craft coffee and listening to records enable you to sit down, and take a breather from a busy world. “Folgers in our cups gave us much, but not enough — Limewire gave us much but not enough, because enough is only that which we are capable of appreciating. A record has no simple skip button and a truly quality coffee doesn’t come from a Keurig. Stop, sit, listen, and sip — lessons we all need.”
Runabout Coffee Co. plans to rename some of their lattes to pay homage to great tunes, and will be offering free coffees with the purchase of a mug.
Live music will be provided from 2 to 4 p.m. by The Stick Arounds, a group of self-proclaimed “avid record collectors” and other Michigan musicians.
“We’ve been good friends with Heather Frarey, owner/operator of The Record Lounge, for years now, so when she asked us to put something together for her new space, we were thrilled,” Jeffery Gower (The Stickarounds) said.
“The Stick Arounds will be playing songs that are available on our two albums, both of which are available on vinyl,” Gower said. “We are joined by our good friends Ozay Moore, who is a hip-hop artist, and Johnny Aimcrier, who is a member of local alt-country band, The Aimcriers.”
For more information, and the complete list of special releases (worldwide), visit the Record Store Day website.