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Record Store Day 2018:
What You Need to Know

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Record Store Day 2018 Just Around the Corner and Here's Everything You Need to Know About This How The Phoenix Metro Will Engage With This Year's Event

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By Ryan Scott
Modern Times Magazine

April 19, 2018 — It’s that time of year, physical media lovers. Record Store Day 2018 is just around the corner and this year’s annual celebration of music stores is absolutely packed with exclusive releases and celebrations. Record Store Day takes place on Saturday, April 21 this year and here’s everything you need to know if you’re planning on heading out to pick up some of this year’s exclusives, or just to support your favorite shop.

Starting with this year’s Record Store Day Ambassador, a title previously held by such musical icons as Dave Grohl and Jack White, it’s hip-hop duo Run The Jewels for 2018.

“You know, it’s one thing to go in a big record store chain like a Best Buy when your mom is buying a washing machine and you’re looking for a CD you want. But it’s another thing to actually go hang out at a record store to listen to the records before you buy them,” says Killer Mike of Run The Jewels. El-P, the other half of the duo adds, “I grew up going to record stores and when I became a part of the music scene, independent record stores were huge for me.”

This year’s Record Store Day feels particularly important for those who enjoy the experience of going to a physical place to purchase music and to participate in that community. Ironically, though Killer Mike uses it as a reference point, Best Buy recently announced that they will no longer be selling CDs. Physical music sales are continuing to decline, even though vinyl sales are on the rise. That makes it more difficult for artists to justify releasing music physically, with more and more of them opting for digital-only releases.

Those who enjoy the record store experience loath such news. There’s also the recent public offering from Spotify to consider, with the streaming giant now valued at $25 billion. Streaming is the wave of the future, and it’s going to be harder and harder for independent record stores to stay open. Events like Record Store Day serve as a reminder of just how important these places are.

Now for the nuts and bolts. What can you get your music-loving hands on while out and about during this year’s event? There are plenty of exclusives, with artists ranging from AC/DC to Frank Zappa dropping new releases that day. Several highlights include Nas’ Live From The Kennedy Center, Sufjan Stevens 10” vinyl Mystery of Love EP and, for you pop music lovers, Madonna: The First Album which is a replica of the Japanese edition of Madonna's debut.

So, what about when it comes to getting your hand on the releases you’re most interested in? “We’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating. It’s always a good idea to be BFFs with your neighborhood record store and let them know what you might be looking for. They can’t guarantee you will walk out with what you want, but it’s a good place to start,” says the Record Store Day organizers. They also caution that not every store is going to order every release and, additionally, not all stores are necessarily going to get receive everything they order. So it’s nearly impossible to guarantee that you can get everything you’re looking for at one place.

“Record Store Day titles are limited for a number of reasons, and all in all, that’s a good thing. But please bear that in mind when you find something isn’t available,” add the organizers. “The whole point of this crazy ‘holiday’ is to celebrate the record store, and if you're there with that spirit in mind, we thank you. If you didn't get something you were looking to get, we apologize and hope that someday it finds its way into your collection. Please be civil and nice to the humans around you no matter what.”  

Last, but certainly not least, where in Arizona can you head out to pick up some Record Store Day fare? Zia Records locations all around the Valley will be participating. The Record Room, Record High, Asylum Records, Revolver Records, Record Revival, Puscifer The Store, Wooden Tooth Records, Trax Records, Crates Records and Gear, Desert Island, Grace Records, Stinkweeds, Revolver Records and Trax In Wax Records are all participating. So from Jerome to Tucson, and all over the Phoenix area, there should be a store near you.

Record Store Day takes place internationally, so if you’re looking for somewhere outside of Arizona, there are plenty of shops all over the world that will be participating. For a full list of exclusives, info on locations and other information on Record Store Day 2018, visit www.RecordStoreDay.com
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