‘Every day is Record Store Day here. We’ve been doing it 50 years,” says a chipper Skippy White when he answers the phone at his famous Egleston Square shop.
Indeed, and for consumers who most often click to browse and buy music online, Skippy White’s would be a great place to visit Saturday for this year’s edition of Record Store Day.
The fifth annual celebration of independent, brick-and-mortar purveyors of music — an idea that originated with Chris Brown of the Bull Moose chain of record stores in Maine and New Hampshire — has become increasingly popular.
Each year the list of artists contributing special, limited-edition releases expands, and many stores offer sale pricing and live events. It’s all meant to remind music fans how much fun real life browsing of the stacks of wax can be, where finds are often an accidental delight and a knowledgeable music freak is on hand to offer recommendations.
“I usually give away a bunch of beer and hide some special treats in the shelves,” says Angela Sawyer of Weirdo Records in Cambridge, which caters to those with eclectic, eccentric, and experimental tastes. She has also invited local rockers the Needy Visions to host karaoke on the sidewalk outside the store during the afternoon.
“I’ll be running a sale, 15 percent off everything,” says Russell Reitz of Listen Up! Music in Natick, where he says Record Store Day has been a major boost in exposing the stacks of vinyl he has in his shop year-round. “It’s gone through the roof,” he says of that format’s resurgence in recent years.
Newbury Comics, New England’s largest music chain, will host live acts at many of its locations — including a performance by chart-toppers Fun. at the Faneuil Hall store at 1 p.m. and former Replacements bassist and Guns N’ Roses replacement bassist Tommy Stinson at the Norwood location at 3 p.m. — and has ordered many of the limited-edition goodies.
There are more than 250 separate pieces being released by artists and labels specfically for Record Store Day.
“Collectibility is the biggest factor,” says Carl Mello, director of purchasing for Newbury Comics.
So expect to see a lot of colored vinyl, quirky packaging, picture discs and a raft of 7- and 12-inch vinyl singles and albums, plus rare live recordings on CD and DVD, many of them limited-edition pressings.
Among the items Mello expects to be popular are a Bruce Springsteen single for “Rocky Ground,” a live release from country/Americana duo Civil Wars, as well as items from Ryan Adams, the Clash, and Leonard Cohen.
Reitz expects a limited edition version of Miles Davis’s “Forever Miles” and Katy Perry’s offering — a pink vinyl 12-inch Thin White Duke remix of “Part of Me” — to move briskly as well. (Speaking of the thin white duke, David Bowie is selling a 7-inch picture disc version of “Starman.”) Reitz is pleased that there is a “smattering of everything,” from jazz to reggae to pop in the offerings.
Newbury’s Mello advises music hounds to set their alarm clocks. “The history of [Record Store Day] has been show up right when the store opens and hope you get a copy,”
he says. “So if somebody really absolutely has to have something, get there early.”
Partial list of participating stores
Nuggets, 486 Commonwealth Ave., Boston,
Skippy White’s, 1971 Columbus Ave., Roxbury, 617-524-4500
Weirdo Records, 844 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 857-413-0154, www.weirdorecords.com
Armageddon Shop, 12b Eliot, Cambridge,
Listen Up! Music, One South Ave., Natick,
Somerville Grooves, 26 Union Sq., Somerville, 617-666-1749, www.somervillegrooves.com
Jellys Discs, 246 Park Ave., Worcester, 508-752-9056, www.jellysdiscs.com
Newbury Comics, various locations,
Boston, Cambridge, Natick
Live performances will include:
Fun. at the Fanueil Hall store at 1 p.m.
Duke Robillard at the North Attleborough store at 2:30 p.m.
Tommy Stinson at the Norwood store at 3 p.m.
Lenny Lashley at the Avon store at 3:30 p.m.
For a complete list of store locations and live performances go to www.newburycomics.com
For a full list of special Record Store Day releases, participating stores and more information check out www.recordstoreday.com.