Friday, April 15, 2016

How to do Record Store Day in Missoula

Posted By on Fri, Apr 15, 2016 at 1:46 PM

John Fleming at Ear Candy Music sounds out of breath on the phone—and for good reason. Saturday is national Record Store Day, and it marks the busiest day of the year at Ear Candy as customers line up early for special deals, promotional giveaways and the chance to grab limited edition releases specially made for vinyl's grand holiday. 

"It's our biggest day, hands down," Fleming says as he continues getting ready. "I'm just hoping we don't run out of credit card paper like we did last year. It was ..." he trails off, talking with another delivery person dropping off product. "It was crazy." 
click to enlarge John Fleming with a shipment of Record Store Day limited releases for Ear Candy Music
  • John Fleming with a shipment of Record Store Day limited releases for Ear Candy Music

Crazy? Yes. But also a ton of fun for the increasing number of vinyl collectors out there. Here's a quick primer on how to tackle Record Store Day in Missoula, with a listing of special events and the most anticipated releases at local shops.

"Get here early"

That's Fleming best advice. Ear Candy Music opens two hours early on Saturday, at 9 a.m., and will most likely have a line of customers ready to grab some of the day's most sought-after releases. Fleming expects a run on Phish's reissue of Hoist on splatter-color vinyl, the Warren Zevon picture disc, the Iron Maiden picture disc and Cheap Trick's full concert at Budokan. But he's only naming those off the top of his head. "There's just so much," he says.  

In addition to special releases, Ear Candy will have raffles throughout the day and free giveaway items like posters and record bags. Ear Candy is located on the Hip Strip at 624 S. Higgins Ave.

Celebrate the local scene
Jon Van Dyke of the forthcoming Missoula Community Radio saw an opportunity. He's been looking to spread the word about the new station, as well as answer questions about their progress (they just recently hung their antennae tower, for instance). Van Dyke figured the excitement surrounding Record Store Day was as good a time as any to reach local music fans. Plus, with Total Fest ending its run last summer, that meant no more late-summer record swap in the Big Dipper parking lot. 

So Van Dyke combined all of the above to create a Record Store Day Celebration both in the Big Dipper parking lot and outside Ear Candy. "We're sort of filling a void," he says.

The celebration runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and includes music, food and raffle prizes such as a Replacements box set, gift certificates from Ear Candy and KornUtopia and a five-screening pass to the Roxy Theater. All proceeds from the raffles benefit Missoula Community Radio, which will have board members on hand to help talk up the station. 

Be cool
Scott Storer at Record Heaven explains a problem echoed by Fleming and other folks we talked to—Record Store Day is a big deal nationally, and Missoula's participating stores may not get a ton of the special releases. 

"With these limited edition pressings, we may order 10 or 15 copies and we're lucky if we get two," Storer says. "It's great that we're celebrating the industry and paying attention to vinyl, but it's also become really competitive." 

As Fleming put it, "If your local record store doesn't have what you're looking for, don't take it out on the clerk behind the counter. It's not their fault." 

Storer expects box sets to be super popular, as well as "anything by Bowie" and the highly coveted Mac Demarco demos

Record Heaven and Rockin Rudy's are, like Ear Candy, part of the official Record Store Day event, which means they'll have special limited releases on hand. Rockin Rudy's, located at 237 Blaine, opens at 9 a.m. Record Heaven, on the Hip Strip at 821 S. Higgins, opens at 10. 

Need more info? 
Rolling Stone has an "ultimate guide" to what's available on Saturday. 

Check out the official Record Store Day list of special releases here

Not into vinyl yet? The Indy's Kate Whittle put together a guide to getting started
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