When it was founded in 2007, Record Store Day was a means of celebrating independent record stores and the communities they fostered. Bands and record labels released recordings that were sold exclusively in stores participating in the event as a way to draw traffic into the stores.
Nine years ago, record stores — chains and indies — were closing en masse. But the subsequent resurgence of vinyl records has prompted a record store revival. Several stores have opened in Kansas City in the past three years, including Josey Records, a 6,500-square-foot store in the Crossroads Arts District, and Mills Record Co. in Westport, which is undergoing its second expansion.
“I’ve been really busy lately,” said Kelly Corcoran, owner of Love Garden Sounds in Lawrence. “Love Garden is having its best business ever.”
Saturday, several locales will celebrate Record Store Day in Kansas City and Lawrence. Here’s what each has planned.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Kansas City Star
Josey Records Kansas City, 1814 Oak St.
Doors will open at 8 a.m. Music will start at 2 p.m. Coffee and doughnuts will be served in the morning. Starting at 2 p.m., Zip Line Brewery will offer samples of six Record Store Day-themed beers to customers 21 and older.
Josey will offer all the RSD exclusives, plus some specials of its own.
“We’ll be releasing our very own record that day,” said store manager Christian LaBeau. “It will be a compilation featuring five Kansas City bands. Drugs & Attics, the Fog, Katy Guillen & the Girls, Hearts of Darkness and the New Riddim will each have an exclusive song on the comp. The record was pressed at our very own pressing plant, A+R Records.
“We’ve been holding onto roughly 500 hard-to-find and much-sought-after used records to release that day as well.”
The band lineup (sets start on the hour): The Hearts of Darkness, Psychic Heat, Drugs & Attics, the New Riddim, the Greeting Committee, Nature Boys, Shy Boys, the Grisly Hand.
Love Garden Sounds, 822 Massachusetts, Lawrence
Love Garden will open at its normal time, 10 a.m., but will offer plenty of Record Store Day exclusives.
“Record Store Day is such a busy and frantic day that we try to keep it simple,” Corcoran said. “(We) order the records we think people want and try to sell them in the fairest way we can think of. For any purchase over $50, we give a 10 percent credit for customers to use in future visits.
“Our plans for Record Store Day are the same as the previous few years. RSD is a fun celebration, but our hope is our growth and improvement as a record store is reflected in our day-to-day business and the community that forms around the shop.”
Mills Record Co., 314 Westport Road
Mills will open at 8 a.m. Saturday offering coffee and doughnuts, and this year Record Store Day will be in three buildings.
“Not only are we having all the Record Store Day exclusives, including local, regional, unofficial and official releases, but also all the prizes and giveaways of years past in our normal two-building location,” owner Judy Mills said. “We’re in construction on our new, twice-the-size location, and for that day, we’re putting down the paintbrushes and hosting a 20-band lineup on two stages in that space. Kansas City has supported us from the beginning, so including our community in our dream nest feels exactly right.
“The 20-band fest we created is something we’re all really proud of because not only do we have established Kansas City favorites, but we’re featuring new projects that we believe in and that we want to help expose to a new audience.
“And by offering two prizes of free local studio time for the first time this year at Westend and Element recording studios, it’s our way to further our mission of supporting local, since we are local.”
Music starts at 12:30 p.m. The first three performances are every 20 minutes. From 2 to 10 p.m., sets are every 30 minutes. There will be two stages and no break in the music.
The lineup, from start to finish: A.J. Gaither OMB; the Widow’s Ride; Youth Pool; El-Rey-Tones; Momma’s Boy; Dreamgirl; Westerners; Organized Crimes; Scruffy & the Janitors; Gee Watts; Various Blonde; Bummer; Wet Ones; Quadrigarum; Sharp Weapons; the Author and the Illustrator; Aaron Alexander; BLKFLANL; Jorge Arana Trio; Yes You Are.
Records With Merritt, 1614 Westport Road
“This year we are excited to throw a bigger party featuring more bands, more giveaways, more food and drink and a curated selection of new vinyl, which has tripled in size over last year,” owner Marion Merritt said. “Kansas City is fortunate to have so many unique independent record stores, and we hope everyone gets out to support and celebrate all of these hardworking local business owners.”
The store will open at 8 a.m. Music starts at noon; there will be eight one-hour sets. Bands, in order of appearance: Mr. and the Mrs.; Sweatpantdaze; Merlin; Lord Agave; Slo Mo; Open Fields; Man vs. Animals; Tandem.
Vinyl Renaissance & Audio, 7932 Santa Fe, Overland Park
The store will open at 9 a.m. The live music starts at noon, when classic-country tribute band the Starhaven Rounders will take the stage. Here’s the big news: The Rounders will warm up the crowd for the Mavericks, who are in town this weekend for two shows at Knuckleheads, 2715 Rochester Ave.
The Mavericks will perform at 2 p.m. After their set, the Mavericks will stick around for an autograph session. Singer/songwriter Sterling Witt will perform at 4 p.m.
“We will have a ton of sales going on,” employee Mark Davis said. “We will have pretty much every Record Store Day (exclusive). And we will have a contest to give away a Rega RP1 turntable that will be autographed by the Mavericks.”
The Vinyl Underground at 7th Heaven, 7621 Troost Ave.
The store will open at 8 a.m. Saturday and offer coffee, juice and bagels and will have multiple copies of Record Store Day exclusives. Other than that, it has no special plans except to “sell records, lots of records,” store manager Sherman Breneman said.
“We ordered every Record Store Day title,” he said. “All of them will be priced below retail. No bands, no party, just records. Our motto: Come first, get what you’re looking for at the best price … then go somewhere else later to watch music.”
Barnyard Orbit, 1412 W. 12th St.
This specialty shop is inside the Space @1412, which is at 1412 W. 12th St.
“This year we will have some RSD exclusives from Colemine Records on hand, in addition to specialty items from Ubiquity Records and Numero Group,” said co-owner Joseph Powell. “We will also be featuring the new record-cleaning system from GrooveWasher.
“Special discounts will be offered on used vinyl & music memorabilia, too. Please note that although we won’t be carrying the ‘typical’ RSD titles, we encourage you and others to visit the other KC stores in addition to checking our vinyl space.”
Boss Vintage Shop, 1214 McGee St.
Owner Rico Dejoie has not ordered any RSD exclusives, but he will open at 11 a.m. and offer his usual array of vinyl rarities.
“April 16 (is) my birthday, so I’m going to have friends and members of (the punk band) Murphy’s Law … at the shop all day just hanging out,” he said. “I will not have Record Store Day items, but I will have a lot of original first-pressing records and lots of other good stuff that I’ve been collecting.”