By Jay Cridlin
Times Pop Music/Culture Critic
The first Record Store Day, in 2008, was a bit of a mystery. What was this day? And could it help reverse the trend of record shops dying nationwide?
"It was a time where the role of the record store was precarious," said Mojo Books and Records co-owner Melanie Cade, whose store, at the time, had been open less than a year. "Everybody was a little unsure whether record stores would be around in a few years."
What a difference a decade makes. Record Store Day, which celebrates its 10th edition Saturday with another glut of new, limited and exclusive vinyl releases, is going stronger than ever — "It's like Christmas," Cade said. And so is Mojo, which will celebrate its 10th anniversary that same day.
"It's like a big great party, a special thing that you can do with your customers and the local music community," Cade said. "It's a celebration of record store culture."
A dozen local record shops will celebrate Record Store Day with giveaways, live music, free beer and much more. Some tips before you go:
• Spend a few minutes perusing "The List" at RecordStoreDay.com — it's a rundown of every new, limited and exclusive release dropping on Saturday. This will help narrow your search — and in some cases will be necessary to get the titles you want as soon as doors open.
• Call your local record store to check their RSD inventory if you must, but remember that stores don't know they're getting until their open and sort their shipments, and sometimes that doesn't happen until Friday. Some stores also post their inventories on Facebook.
• As any record store employee will tell you, remember that Record Store Day isn't just about rare and exclusive titles. They'll be happy if you buy any vinyl album, new or used.
Here's what local shops are doing (or in a couple of cases, aren't doing) for Record Store Day.
Mojo Books and Records: There will be drawings, discounts, giveaways to the first people in line, a vegan bake sale and free PBR after 3 p.m., and music starting at 3:30 p.m. from DieAlps!, Luxury Mane, Jensen Serf Company, Permanent Makeup and more. 8 a.m. to 11:45 p.m. 2540 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. (813) 971-9717, mojotampa.com.
Daddy Kool Records: Look for storewide and sidewalk sales, limited eiditon T-shirts, a pop-up vendors' market, concert ticket giveaways, free beer from New Belgium and more. 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. 666 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. (727) 822-5665, daddykoolrecords.com.
The Sound Exchange: Another anniversary celebration, as the Sound Exchange celebrates 30 years in business at its three Tampa Bay locations: Tampa (14246 N Nebraska Ave., (813) 978-9316), Brandon (805 W Bloomingdale Ave., (813) 651-9316) and Pinellas Park (7688 49th St. N, (727) 545-0042). Look for giveaways, discounts and more. Brandon shoppers can get 10 percent off their bill at the Stein and Vine next door. All shops open at 9 a.m. soundexchangetampabay.com.
Planet Retro: In its new location, Planet Retro will once again host a full day of music, with bands like DieAlps!, Car Bomb Driver and Radarmen starting at 8 a.m. There will be kegs of free beer, and donations accepted to benefit Girls Rock Camp St. Pete. 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. 226 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. N, St. Petersburg. (727) 218-7434, planetretrorecords.com.
Bananas Music: The massive vinyl clearinghouse will host live bands including the Vultures, Reality Asylum and Zerobabies. There will also be free Coppertail beer, giveaways and grab bags, and more. 2887 22nd Ave. N, St. Petersburg. (727) 327-4616, musicfinder.com.
Microgroove: More music all day at this Seminole Heights hangout, with Ninehorn, Awkward Age, Dave Decker and more starting around noon. Commune + Co. will serve nitro-tapped coffee, and PBR will sell beer. And the Independent next door will offer 10 percent off your tab with a Microgroove receipt. 4906 N Florida Ave., Tampa. (813) 667-7089, microgroovetampa.co.
The Disc Exchange: Jonathan Di Renzo will perform outside, while inside, there will be discounts throughout the store, including BOGO deals on all vinyl $4.95 and under. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. 6712 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. (727) 343-5845.
Steelworker Records: In addition to RSD titles, the store has ordered about 350 imports from labels around the world specifically for Record Store Day, as well as a large collection they've been sorting and holding for the occasion. Noon to 7 p.m. 708 W Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Tampa. (813) 666-4933, steelworkerrecords.com.
Kingfish Records: One of the more far-flung RSD sites in Tampa Bay is Kingfish, located inside the Oldsmar Flea Market. They've been participating for six years, and will have giveaway T-shirts, CDs, pins, posters and more, with several giveaways and in-store discounts. 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. On the main breezeway at Aisle F of the Oldsmar Flea Market, 180 N Race Track Road, Oldsmar. (727) 455-9923. kingfishrecords.com.
Dunedin Records: Tampa Bay's newest entry into the RSD foray is Dunedin Records, opened by audiophile Frank Schiano in 2015. The store specializes in turntable repairs and upgrades, but has ordered a bundle of RSD inventory. "I've been working like a dog for three weeks, getting ready," Schiano said. 757 Main St., Dunedin. (727) 423-4108, dunedinrecords.com.
Vinyl Countdown/Gulfport Records: Once again, Record Store's official website lists the Vinyl Countdown (facebook.com/thevinylcountdown) as a participating store. Once again, they are not. The punk-leaning shop has steadfastly refused RSD's increasing major-label participation, arguing on their website that "we didn't want to invest in records that would turn our customers off." So don't come here looking RSD exclusives. Do come here for their well-curated collection of punk and metal. As for Gulfport Records? It, too, is listed on RSD's site, but it's out of business.
Park Ave CDs: This one's on the far side of Orlando, but it might be worth the drive. The shop will host an in-store autograph signing and meet-and-greet with Sublime With Rome, whose Unreleased Demos 2017 12-inch is a Record Store Day exclusive. Wristbands are required and limited; the band is scheduled to appear from noon to 2 p.m. The store itself will be open 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. 2916 Corrine Drive, Orlando. (407) 447-7275. parkavecds.com.
Contact Jay Cridlin at [email protected] or (727) 893-8336. Follow @JayCridlin.