Record Store Day is to collectors what Easter is to chickens; it's so easy to count your eggs before they're hatched. (Sorry if I hurt your brain.) This year, it's Saturday, April 19. With so many exclusive releases, for a certain crowd, it's about camping out in line to assure you acquire all the vinyl you covet. For others, it's a shrewd jockey to find the most valuable items to flip on Ebay, Discogs, whatever.
But even if you are a casual music fan, a music lover but not collector, or any other subset of record appreciation, Record Store Day offers a rewarding experience in terms of giveaways, special performances, meet and greets with bands and, you know, being with your people. Here are the participating stores in the Orlando area that you will want to consider while planning how to get the most out of this song and dance of a day.
1. Park Ave CDs
2916 Corrine Drive | 407-447-7275 | facebook
PACDs is the store in Orlando if you have your eye on specific releases for Record Store Day. It might have something to do with its celebrated national reputation, the badass staff who are on top of everything in the music world or the fact that they are focused on current releases primarily, but they get first dibs on available releases, so they should be your first stop for die-hard collectors or traders. Show up early and get in line, because there will be a line. The good news, though, is the line has its own set of perks: Every 20 minutes, PACDs will give away tickets to upcoming Orlando shows, many of which are sold out (Taking Back Sunday, the Used, Bastille, 1975, Dropkick Murphys and more).
All day, a rotation of quality local DJs will spin while folks shop, and everyone who makes a purchase is welcome to pick from the giveaway table of freebies. Bluebird Bake Shop will be hanging out with cupcake samples to sweeten the deal, and Enemy Ink will be screen-printing on location. If you've never been, it's a party, and it lasts all day. But for fans of Manchester Orchestra, whose new album Cope came out this week and will be reviewed in next week's issue, here's the real story. At 2 p.m., the first 200 people to buy Cope will be invited to an exclusive meet-and-greet and signing with the band. (Don't forget to wish PACDs a happy 30th anniversary while you're there!)
2. Rabbitfoot Records
Two locations! 3548 Hopkins Ave., Titusville | 321-362-8153 | facebook
309 E. 1st St., Sanford | facebook
Rabbitfoot Records is a trek for Orlandoans at either location, but their ever-increasing scene cred is undeniably awesome, especially since opening the second location in Sanford. Both locations will be participating in Record Store Day, but punk fans may want to delay heading out until closer to 6 p.m. when Against All Authority guitarist Joe Koontz will perform at the Sanford store.
3. East-West Music and More
4895 S. Orange Ave. | 407-859-8991 | facebook
It should come as no surprise that one of Orlando's oldest independent record stores will be participating in Record Store Day (they have done so since it started in 2008). Head over and show some love, and you might just learn a thing or two from knowledgeable co-owner Hanna. Their selection will not be as wide as PACDs for special releases, so call ahead if you are seeking a particular item on the RSD list.
4. Rock-n-Roll Heaven
1814 N. Orange Ave. | 407-896-1952 | facebook
R-n-R Heaven is probably the independent record store in town that I frequent most often for hard-to-find vinyl, but they are active participants in Record Store Day, too, and their selection of more recent releases is no slouch either (though it sometimes pangs the wallet, thus the heart). Expect to see fewer releases than you will at PACDs, but keep in mind there are plenty of ways to observe the holiday without buying into the flashy specials. I have yet to walk in and mention an artist to owner Ray Ehman without his head dropping in a deep nod of recognition, and frequently he teases me with awesome stories from the scene I'm only just discovering. Rock-n-Roll Envy.
5. Retro Records
59 N. Bumby Ave. | 407-898-2484 | facebook
Retro Records is maybe the most unassuming record and CD store in town, tucked away in the Milk District and providing the perfect pastime while awaiting a sandwich order at Pom Poms, but they are an official Record Store Day location, too, so stop on by if you want to avoid the mania of PACDs or if you're in the market for pop culture collectibles. They will have whatever releases they can get in store, so call ahead if you have something specific in mind.
P.S.A.: The following weekend, Sunday, April 27, is the annual (MASSIVE) Record and CD Show at Central Florida Fairgrounds. Some of the records there may skip, but you probably shouldn't.