Laura Hoenack sent a somewhat testy e-mail to Record Store Day headquarters when the date for this year’s national music-nerd holiday was announced.
“I said, ‘Would you guys consider moving the date by a couple weeks?’ ” the co-owner of Hymie’s Vintage Records recalled. “It’s good for the Bay Area stores, but it’s a little inconsiderate to us here in the Midwest.”
In particular, Saturday’s installment of Record Store Day — a tad earlier than normal — seems cruel to one of the best-loved record stores in Minneapolis and all of the Midwest. Once again, Hoenack and her husband/partner Dave were gearing up for the Hymie’s Block Party while staring down a winter storm advisory.
Despite the rather foreboding mid-April weather, though, Hymie’s proprietors and other record store owners around the Twin Cities are expecting another flood of customers for what’s often their biggest business day of the year. Record Store Day remains a popular event nationwide going into its 12th year. But in the Twin Cities in particular, it seems the buzz has never faded.
“I think people here are just eager to get out,” Hoenack theorized.
A total of 18 stores around the metro area are taking part in RSD this year. For the shopkeepers, that involves everything from stocking up on limited-edition LPs, singles and other collectibles issued exclusively for the occasion to booking live bands and brewing up coffee for the customers who line up well before the 7-9 a.m. opening times.
“The first guy in line last year told me he got there at about 4:30,” marveled Phil Borreson, co-owner of Solid State Records in Minneapolis’ Longfellow neighborhood, who credited RSD’s continued popularity in town to “a sense of community here.”
“It’s just become a day where people who are into music, particularly vinyl, get together and celebrate it.”
One of the newest and now most popular stores in town — and another one run by a youngish couple — Solid State is changing its name to SolSta Records to match up with the name of its in-house record label. It launches this week with a full-length album by the duo Falcon Arrow, who will perform in the store Saturday night.
Keeping track of local stores is now part of RSD’s M.O.: In the past year, we gained the new stores Rock Paper Scissors and metal- and punk-centric Grimm Bebop, both in south Minneapolis. We’ve also lost a few, including Treehouse Records (formerly the famed Oar Folkjokeopus) and Discland, while Flashlight Vinyl changed locations.
Thankfully, we still have Hymie’s, which the Hoenacks formally put up for sale last year, hoping to spend more time with their kids. They want to ensure that their Lake Street store carries on relatively as-is, so they’re still searching for the right buyer.
“Maybe it’ll be someone who comes out on Saturday,” hoped Laura Hoenack, who as usual pledged their block party will go on whatever the weather.
“We’ll clear away all the snow if we have to. We’ve done it before.”
What’s in store?
Here’s a rundown of what some shops will offer Saturday, in addition to the usual RSD exclusives:
Hymie’s: The shop opens and the popular free record bins go out at 9 a.m. The also-free live music outside — along with food and beer concessions — begins at 11 a.m. with Gabe Barnett & Them Rounders, followed by New Orleans-style combo the Southside Aces (noon), twangers Pleasure Horse (1:30), Lucy Michelle’s Little Fevers (3), soul/R&B singer Mina Moore (4:30) and hip-hop vets Toki Wright & Big Cats (6). (3820 E. Lake St., Mpls.)
Electric Fetus: Also a 9 a.m. opening with in-store music by the Benilde-St. Margaret Red Knotes (9:45 a.m.), Wax Lead (noon), 26 Bats! (2 p.m.) and the Pines’ David Huckfelt (4), plus DJ sets from Jake Rudh (10:30 a.m.), Micky Alfano (1 p.m.), Andrea Swensson (3) and Lori Barbero (5). (2000 4th Av. S., Mpls.)
Barely Brothers: Doors open at 8:30 a.m. and the music begins at 11 a.m. with Michael May, then the Badinovs (noon), Matt Arthur & the Bratlanders (1 p.m.), DJ Lori Barbero (2), Kiss the Tiger (3), the Black Widows (4) and Eleganza! (5). (783 Raymond Av., St. Paul.)
Fifth Element: The Rhymesayers-affiliated hip-hop outlet will open at 9 a.m. and have live painting, T-shirt-making and in-store sets by Malayz, Fruit Punch Lover Boy and DJs Mickey Breez and Baard from noon to 5 p.m. (2411 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls.)
Down in the Valley: The flagship suburban strip-mall location has a 9 a.m. kickoff and a free 8 p.m. set from former Motion City Soundtrack frontman Justin Courtney Pierre. (8020 Olson Hwy., Golden Valley).
SolSta Records (aka Solid State): The earliest riser of this bunch kicks it off at 7 a.m. with doughnuts from nearby Mel-o-Glaze, but things don’t truly get rocking until 7:30 p.m., with Falcon Arrow’s album-release party and an opening set by the Great Went. (4022 E. 46th St., Mpls.)
Other participating stores: Agharta Records (2512 W. University Av., St. Paul); Cheapo Records (2600 Nicollet Av. S., Mpls.); Dead Media (1828 E. 35th St., Mpls.); Down in the Valley (5586 W. Broadway, Crystal); Down in the Valley (13633 Grove Dr., Maple Grove); Extreme Noise (407 W. Lake St., Mpls.); Eclipse Records (419 N. Wabasha St., St. Paul); Grimm Bebop (1832 E. 38th St., Mpls.); Hi-Fi Hair & Records, which hosts a Silverteens in-store set at 3 p.m. (1637 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls.); Homestead Pickin’ Parlor (6625 Penn Av. S., Richfield); Know Name Records, which will open at 6 a.m. (6009 Portland Av. S., Mpls.); Mill City Sound (812 Mainstreet, Hopkins); Roadrunner Records (4304 Nicollet Av. S., Mpls.); Rock Paper Scissors (4806 Chicago Av. S., Mpls.)
What’s in stock?
Here are a dozen highlights among the official Record Store Day limited editions being stocked Saturday:
Bob Dylan, “Blood on the Tracks: Original New York Test Pressing” (vinyl edition of the pre-Minneapolis version of the album)
Prince, “The Versace Experience: Prelude 2 Gold” (Fashion Week promo cassette for 1995’s “Gold Experience” album)
Prince, “His Majesty’s Pop Life / The Purple Mix Club” (Japanese edition 1985 extended mix EP)
Jose James, “The Dreamer” (10th anniversary of Minneapolis native’s debut, double vinyl)
Justin Courtney Pierre, “Open Mic at the Lo-Fi, Vol. 1” (four-song EP, 12-inch vinyl).
Janis Joplin and Sly & the Family Stone, “Woodstock: Sunday, August 17, 1969” (their full festival sets, each on double vinyl)
Green Day, “Woodstock 1994” (double vinyl)
Captain Beefheart, “Trout Mask Replica” (vinyl reissue via Jack White’s label)
Courtney Barnett, “Everybody Here Hates You” (new 12-inch single)
Ol’ Dirty Bastard, “Intoxicated” (unreleased 12-inch single)
Jeff Tweedy, “Warmer” (10 new songs, vinyl)