Record Store Day, the favored holiday of audiophiles, returns on Sat., April 22, and Pittsburgh shops are ready to celebrate with big deals, live performances, and more. Launched in 2007, the worldwide, annual event has drawn vinyl collectors and music fans to local businesses looking to snag a rare find or exclusive release, or just to see their favorite local band rip it up.
Originally created to boost independent record stores, the event has grown into a phenomenon where customers have access to over 400 new titles, reissues, and other items released specifically for RSD. As explained by Brian Broad of Long Play Cafe, store owners pick and choose which releases to order and stock, with the hope that these choices will appeal to RSD crowds.
Broad say Long Play will have 50 or more RSD titles available for the big event, ranging from customer-requested albums from acts like Beach House, The Cure, Jason Isbell & Amanda Shires, and Taylor Swift to more obscure items.
“We just try to get what we think people might want,” Broad adds.
The selections vary based on each store, meaning that you may have to go on a day-long shopping adventure to find what you want.
Mostly, though, shop owners participating in RSD are focused on providing a place for the community to gather, have fun, and celebrate their shared love of music, all while supporting local businesses.
See below for Pittsburgh City Paper’s list of local spots to make the best of Record Store Day.
715 East St., North Side. thegovernmentcenter.com
Government Center rewards early risers with access to limited-edition RSD releases beginning at 7 a.m., and from there, it’s a wealth of music spoils. Perks include free promo items, T-shirts, and more, markdown bins with new records up to 60% off, and a sale on all used records. The live music offerings include performances by Silenus & St. Christopher with Dubravka Bencic, Warm Tape, TV Moms, Melt, Weird Paul Rock Band, and more. Badamo’s Pizza will also be on-site selling wood-fired pies.
2136 Murray Ave., Squirrel Hill. jerrysrecords.com
The most legendary used vinyl shop in Pittsburgh may not have any special new RSD releases, but it will have a huge weekend-long sale. From Fri., April 21 to Sun., April 23, check out more than 20,000 LPs and CDs, plus 5,000 classical LPs, each one priced at only a dollar. The owners also promise a ton of other great stuff for RSD, so be there or be square.
Long Play Cafe
5262 Butler St., Lawrenceville. longplaycafe.com
Head to Lawrenceville for live music, DJs, food, and more at Long Play Cafe. Arrive at 8 a.m. for deals and special releases, followed by a live music lineup that starts at 11 a.m. and includes The Phantom Tones, Cody Piper, Tied Heart, The Gretchen Emery Band, Fermented Beats, and The 10th Ward Troubadours featuring Slim Forsythe. Hear more tunes courtesy of DJ Poptone and Action Alpha, and dine on food and drinks by El Sabor, Lolev Beer, and Lawrenceville Distilling Co..
Music To My Ear
3003 Babcock Blvd., North Hills. musictomyear.com
Prices are slashed on tons of records and accessories at the Music To My Ear RSD event. Take 20% off all in-stock electronics (including turntables, speakers, amps, and more), 20% off all record washing kits and accessories, and 15% off all used vinyl records. You can also enter to win free Stage AE concert tickets.
Preserving Record Shop
1101 Fifth Ave., New Kensington. preservingunderground.com
Preserving Record Shop tells City Paper that while they do not participate in RSD “in the sense of carrying their releases,” they do typically host some type of sale on that day. Be sure to watch out for more details on the sale by checking in on the shop’s socials.
692 Washington Road, Mount Lebanon. vinylremainspg13.com
Vinyl Remains opens bright and early at 8 a.m. for a day featuring a few to-be-announced live performers and giveaways for Stage AE concert tickets.
Read Record Store Day picks by Pittsburgh City Paper staffers