Locally-run music shops Cat's Music, sister store Monster Music & Movies, and indie spot 52.5 Records celebrate the inaugural "Record Store Day" on Sat. April 19. It's a wide-reaching event during which hundreds of like-minded indie record shops across the U.S. "simultaneously link and act as one."
"This will be a very big deal for us," says Galen Hudson of Monster and Cat's. "We have several events going on that day. We'll also have sales going on all vinyl — new and used, all day — used DVDs, and box sets, and free stuff and free goodie bags while they last."
Hudson's staff will stay busy giving out gift cards every hour, registering people to vote, and helping the Red Cross conduct a blood drive.
Cat's Music on James Island will conduct a Guitar Hero competition and late-afternoon performances by In Reverie, The Fire Apes, and The Modern Day Monks. Cat's in Summerville features mixtape man DJ Chuck T on the turntable.
Monster will feature a full day of live music, starting at noon. Performers include reggae band Tropix International; rock bands Souls Harbor, The Fire Apes, Robert Bradley's Blackwater Surprise, Blindsyght, Near Fatal Fall, Moonless Moth, Valkyrie, The DaliDrama, and The Defilers; and hip-hop acts Marly Mar and DJ Chuck T.
"Record labels have been generous with promotional items for us to give away," says 52.5's Clay Scales. "We'll have CD samplers, limited 7-inch singles, and free copies of Paste." His shop on King Street will also officially unveil a Lending Library & Community Activism Bulletin Board, and offer free donuts and coffee from 1-6 p.m.
"For most indie record stores, the rumors of our demise are not just greatly exaggerated, they're downright confusing," say organizers.
This may be the first, but it won't be the last; plans are already in the works for Record Stre Day 2. Get that stylus ready. —T. Ballard Lesemann