Scenes From Josey, Good Records and Spinster’s Record Store Day Parties.
Continuing the upward trend, 2015 marked the tenth straight year of vinyl sales growing. It’s an especially interesting phenomenon given that Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo recently became the first album to hit No. 1 on Billboard based on album streams rather than physical album sales.
But Saturday’s ninth annual Record Store Day was just the latest reminder that albums aren’t dead just yet. Quite the opposite. In fact, in Dallas, things are pretty clearly improving — so much so that the mighty Good Records no longer singularly corners the market on RSD parties like it once did. To wit, there were parties at record stores all over town — Josey Records and Spinster were just two other parties we hit up in addition to Good’s — plus celebrations at a few other shops and venues, like Crown and Harp and Epocha, that started joining in on the fun for themselves this year.
Still, everywhere we went was pretty lively. More folks wanting to buy records while catching intimate sets from folks like Kurt Vile and Justin Townes Earle? That just means more brick-and-mortar record shops that the local economy can indeed support, it would appear.
More specifically, here’s what Saturday looked like up close, in the form of dispatches and photos from the affairs at Good, Josey and Spinster. Each one, we think, was able to put its own spin on how it marked the holiday. — Cory Graves
In between rows of merchandise, customers were able to check out a vast selection of 45s displayed carefully on the ground or take a breather on any of the numerous seating options throughout the store. The record listening station was rarely left empty, as person after person filled each available opening with fistfuls of vinyl to check out. The extra space also allowed for amenities like a bar serving brews for the 21-and-up crowd.
Live musicians and DJ sets took turns setting the atmosphere for the wide array of audiophiles roaming the store, while a screen printer cranked out T-shirts featuring the Josey Records logo. For a nosh factor, Samson’s Gourmet Hot Dogs was on site to satisfy the hungry audiophiles. But, above all of the perks that a space like Josey Records can provide, the extensive selection remains the most important, as more than 340 titles were added just for Record Store Day. — Porttia Portis
But a decade of throwing the same bash well means people are expecting a good time and ready to make on happen even in the face of adversity, even if a few things were different this time through.
For instance? Well, there were a hell of a lot of kids hanging out — more than usual — and they were all front-row, even, really taking in the performances happening on the famed AstroTurf stage. Later in the afternoon, it became apparent they were big fans of Marathons & Unicorns, the Denton act made up of Midlake keyboardist Eric Nichelson on guitar and his two sons, Owen and Tate, on the drums. Kids supporting kids is a cool thing to see.
Also cool? All vinyl specials for the day were beautifully reworked this year to sit on the back wall, making them easier to browse.
One couldn’t help but notice that the aisles weren’t as difficult to navigate as they had been in years past, though. The store just wasn’t that crowded; in the past, Good Records has been the spot to get your Record Store Day deals, see hours’ worth of free shows and enjoy a good time. This year just seemed calmer. We blame the construction.
Even so, owner Chris Penn tells us sales at the spot were up for its 10th straight RSD year. And the store was for sure thick with fans during peak performances from Kurt Vile, Bobby Sessions and Sarah Jaffe.
Overall, business was good, all performances were energetic and on-point, and the party at Dallas’ top Record Store Day venue went on. — Heather Abbott
“It’s our biggest day of the year,” Grover says. “It’s not like over at Good Records — things are a little more chill on this side of the river. We’re excited to share this day with the community.”
Adorned with red and black balloons, re-purposed wine box crates were filled with special-release vinyl. To mark the occasion, a full line-up of local talent was punctuated by a raffle for a pair of Audioengine A2+ speakers and some Four Corner’s Local Buzz was served on tap.
But if you arrived for the first set at 11 a.m. expecting to have your pick of the loot, then you arrived about three hours too late. At least a dozen hardcore vinyl hunters were waiting for the door to open at 8 a.m. to snatch up RSD exclusive releases like the Deftones b-sides and rarities LP or Lush’s box set.
The festivities progressed at an easy pace that fell much in line with the vibe neighborhood. People wandered in after coffee at Davis Street Espresso to the soulful sounds of Kirk Thurmond. Hip vinyl enthusiasts methodically sifted through crates as DJ Sober spun a collection of funky R&B jams. A few obviously cool parents with kids still in soccer uniforms walk in as 88 Killa started into his mid-tempo flows. The appreciative staff thanked patrons for their support as they left with armfuls of records.
Grover was right when he said Spinster’s Record Store Day would be different from the parking lot party on Greenville: The energy in his store held steady at a simmer throughout the afternoon, never fully boiling over or going cold. — Hayden Bernstein
Josey Records photos by Karlo X. Ramos, Good Records photos by Heather Abbott and Karlo X. Ramos, and Spinster Records photos by Hayden Bernstein.