Apr 22, 2023 - Business

Twin Cities shops celebrate Record Store Day amid climbing vinyl sales

Animated illustration of a golden coin on a record player spinning as if it were a vinyl record.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Saturday is Record Store Day (RSD), an annual day to celebrate independent record shop culture with community events, exclusive vinyl drops, parties and more.

Why it matters: Whether you're new to records or a loyal collector, the day is arguably the best time of the year to check out a local shop.

State of play: Vinyl is back, baby. Old-school records made up 70% of all physical music sales in 2022, beating out CDs for the first time since 1987, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.

What he's saying: "Spotify exists, but having some sort of physical media you can hold is more personal," said Joel Eckerson, who co-ran Minneapolis record shop Dead Media for seven years and now co-owns Disco Death Records.

  • CDs scratch and skip and cassettes wear out, but vinyls are resilient — a record from the '70s can still sound crisp and clean, he added.

Plus: Though Gen Z is still a part of their clientele, Disco Death sees shoppers of all ages, from new-to-the-scene college students to Gen Xers rebuilding their collections, Eckerson added.

How it works: Stores that participate in the official Record Store Day event can stock the exclusive vinyls, like limited-run represses of popular albums and studio sessions from Taylor Swift.

  • But: Stores also can organize their own parties and exclusive drops independently if they're not interested in that year's releases.

Where to shop on Saturday

🌍 Disco Death Records: It's not an official RSD participant, but the south Minneapolis shop is dropping more than 700 records today, many from international artists.

  • Expect giveaways, a vintage market and nighttime performances by local bands.

😱 Cheapo Records: The Minneapolis, St. Paul and Blaine locations of the used-vinyl store are all stocking RSD picks, including an unknown amount of copies of that (very desirable) Taylor Swift record.

  • Tip: The Blaine location will likely have shorter lines, the store said.

🪩 Urban Lights: The St. Paul shop, which is reportedly the state's only Black-owned record store, will have a full slate of DJs from noon-6pm and "more dope vinyl than you can drop a needle on."

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