This Saturday is the third Saturday in April, and you know what that means? Well, this year it means it is the day before Easter, but it also means that it is Record Store Day (which is arguably one of the best holidays.)

RSD 2014 logo

Record Store Day was started in 2007 by a group of record store owners and employees as an attempt to help drive awareness about and celebrate the culture surrounding independent record stores, not only in the US but around the world. There are participating stores on every single continent except Antarctica, although rumor has it they will be participating next year (that’s not true.) Many stores have special performances, artists come together to create special limited edition releases, and it’s just good vibes for any music fan out there.

This year there are some great releases. Jake Bugg has one, Dawes has a split 7″ with Conor Oberst, even the boys in One Direction are participating this year. Yes, One Direction are going to be pressed in wax. What a time to be alive.

However, Record Store Day can be stressful. There are lines, things are released in limited quantities, and hey let’s be honest: music fans can be snobby. But don’t let this get you down this RSD, here are some tips to help make your day a little easier.

Know what stores in your area are participating

Just because it is a record store doesn’t mean it is participating. Or they may be participating, but not in official conjunction with Record Store Day. This list is pretty handy. Make sure you know where to head before you head out for the day.

Know the difference between releases

There are three different types of RSD releases:

  1. RSD Exclusive Releases: Exclusively available on RSD at officially participating stores. They will not be available anywhere else in this format (except when people re-hock them on ebay for way more than what they originally went for.) Sometimes however, there are a lot of issues of these releases. So it is possible that stores could have some hanging around for a while. No guarantees, obviously.
  2. RSD Limited Run/Regional Focus Releases: Same as above, only released on RSD at officially participating stores BUT they are released in limited quantities. Like, 1,000 and below. Sometimes way below. Also sometimes they are only available in certain regions and not nationally. So if there was something you had your heart set on, make sure you are actually in the right region first.
  3. RSD First Release: Available first on RSD at officially participating stores, HOWEVER, they will be released in the same format at some point in the future (usually a couple months later.)

Get there early

Seriously, if you want to do anything but just casually browse, you are going to want to get there early. In some places, lines start forming before doors even open like it is some sort of Beatles concert. But let’s be real, if you just want to casually browse then RSD is not the day to shop.

Team up with friends

Shop in groups. Have a general idea of what everyone is looking for and spread out. Even better? Team up with friends that live in other areas/states. Your local NYC shop may be picked clean by the time you get there, but that shop in Denver where your cousin lives could be well stocked with your picks until well into the afternoon. Swap. Pay for shipping. Teamwork makes the dream work.

Fooditude is real

Take breaks. Stay hydrated. And EAT. Often. Fooditude is a real thing, people. Don’t be that guy, everyone hates that guy. Which brings me to…

Just be cool, man

Don’t be a jerk. We are all music fans here. Despite how you may be feeling in the moment, this is not the cornucopia at the hunger games. Don’t get punched in the face over the last LCD Soundsystem boxset because guess what? It is being released again later on. Just be cool man. For God’s sake just be cool.

Where will you be celebrating Record Store Day 2014?

photo via record store day



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