How local shops are celebrating Record Store Day (or not)

Dearborn Records
Dearborn Records Courtesy photo

An annual event that began in 2007, Record Store Day is held on the third Saturday in April each year to celebrate the culture of the independently owned record store. We checked in with the majority of record stores in metro Detroit to find out what they have planned this Saturday. Many stores have special hours on RSD; those are all printed here.

Dearborn Music

22501 Michigan Ave., Dearborn; 313-561-1000; Open 8 a.m.- 9 p.m.

Co-owner Rick LeAnnais writes that Dearborn is planning a 20 percent sale on all vinyl and used CDs. He also says the list of Record Store Day titles "is so diverse this year," and that his favorite memory "is watching our customers fill their RSD list; another would be watching a customer giving up a title because he overheard another customer say the only record he was looking for was sold out." He cautions that "if you just have one piece you're looking for, show up early and be patient — there will be lines."

Detroit Threads

10238 Joseph Campau Ave., Hamtramck; 313-872-1777; Open 11 a.m.- 9 p.m.

Detroit Techno Militia will be playing music all day. 

Encore Records

417 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor; 734-662-6776; Open 11 a.m.-8 p.m.

"We may have a small jazz combo playing on the sidewalk in front of the store," owner Bill McLelland says. "We don't usually order too many of the special RSD exclusive items, opting instead to stock up on other desirable titles, both old and new. For example, we will be selling our original Beatles' Yesterday and Today 'butcher cover'! It's always fun to see people lined up outside your store waiting to come in and spend money on awesome music that will enrich their lives for years to come."

McLelland offers a common sentiment on the evolution of Record Store Day. "It's too bad that RSD has jumped the shark and gone up its own output valve in a way, when vinyl pressers have to delay classic reissues and new releases for what are in essence novelty/gimmick items," he says.

Flipside Records

414 E. 14 Mile Rd., Clawson; Open 9 a.m.- 8 p.m.

Flipside is opening early, at 9 a.m. "This year we will have exclusive RSD releases, free giveaways, free pop and candy, and 20 percent off everything used in our store," says owner Todd Fundaro. "Some of the titles we are excited about include Integrity, the Runaways, Husker Du, Iggy Pop, and the Valentines; (there are) plenty of other great ones coming out too. In general, the vibe on RSD harkens back to the '90s, when record stores had special events, midnight releases, and in-store promotions.

"If you're looking for something specific, the best thing to do is to get here early to line up. We really appreciate our customers continuing to support local establishments like ours for their music needs, and are happy to see that people don't just come for the exclusives in the morning, but enjoy the whole store all day and many other days of the year."

Found Sound

234 W. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale; 248-565-8775; Open 10 a.m.- midnight.

"Record Store Day at Found Sound: bands playing; three of them," employee Chris Butterfield says. "Devious Ones, the Cheetahs, and Prude Boys: music at 8 p.m., free show, as always. I'm most excited to see all those smiling faces, both regulars and tourists — like church on Easter.

"It's a holiday that just happens to offer limited releases, but the spirit of the day transcends reissues on 180 gram.

"My best advice to anyone foaming for an ultra-hyper-limited release is to remember that life is bigger. We love and appreciate our customers, and we're grateful for their business. Just breathe, baby. Everything will be OK."

Hello Records

1459 Bagley Ave., Detroit; 313-300-5654; Open 10 a.m.- 7 or 8 p.m.

"We love the idea of RSD and, as a store primarily focused on used records and local music culture, we choose to celebrate the day with our customers by having a too-good-to-be-true-but-it-is-I-swear 50 percent off sale" on used records, owner Wade Kergan says.

"We don't carry the official RSD releases, but new records that we do stock are 20 percent off," Kergan says. "We will have DJs playing records all day, including a very special set by a member of the infamous 12 Tech Mob. We will also collaborate with our excellent neighbors at St. CeCe's to provide food and beverages."

The store's eastside location, Hello Again, will have the same deals, with live bands playing all day.

Kergan bemoans "the carpet bagging of Cassette Store Day; we love tapes, but do they need a day? Maybe just a moment of hiss for our degrading tape comrades." On a more serious note, he gives a "shoutout to the shops that are gone but not forgotten: Record Time, Sam's Jams, Car City Classics, E's Records, Record Collector, Play It Again, Neptune, Dub Plate Pressure, Schoolkid's, Coachman's, Funhouse Noise & Toys, Desirable Discs, New Moon, Off the Record, and Harmony House."

Lo & Behold! Records & Books

10022 Joseph Campau Ave., Hamtramck; 734-664-1186; Open 11 a.m.- 9 p.m.

Nothing special is planned at Lo & Behold! for Record Store Day, says owner Richie Wohlfeil, who adds that special RSD releases are often flipped on eBay, then begin a steady decline in value.

"Record Store Day is just another corporate holiday now, influenced by larger record companies banking on hype to sell a bunch of records to people that they probably don't need for prices exceeding the actual worth of the music in question," he says.

"Furthermore, these bigger companies that've taken over Record Store Day have also blocked up all the pressing plants across the country for the last few months, making it next to impossible for a small independent label like myself to get a release pressed in a reasonable time. It ends by just being another story where the little guy gets priced out somehow."

Melodies & Memories

23013 Gratiot Ave., Eastpointe; 586-774-8480; Open 9 a.m.- 8 p.m.

"We are excited by many of the releases for this RSD 2016," Dan and Denise Zieha write. "The list is so deep. We are pretty excited this year to be teaming up with Bob Marley Beverage Co. for a great promo that day with many free giveaways. Also, Frijid Pink with be having a meet and greet with a few sets and (94.7 WCSX DJ) Doug Podell will be by to meet his fans with some promo items." "We have a jam-packed day and lots of new and used vinyl restocked along with CDs, and Record Store Day stock as well. We are opening early and will also for the first time have record players in stock. We also may have some other surprises up our sleeves."


4100 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-831-0864; Open 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

Peoples will be open regular hours and as usual, they will not stock new Record Store Day titles.

Record Graveyard

2610 Carpenter St., Hamtramck; 313-870-9647; Open 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

"We try to order Record Store Day records, but we are a small store and are ignored," owner Jeff Garbus says. "I have had a record store since 1981, and that's all I have sold forever. So I don't know why they say vinyl is on a comeback, because it never went anywhere? Always been here, never left; but you gotta write about something."

Solo Records

30118 Woodward Ave, Royal Oak; 248-549-0581; Open 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.

"This RSD we will be giving away the limited RSD promo items, plus we will be raffling off three new turntables," the "girls at Solo" write to us. "While there is lots of cool stuff being put out this time around, the titles we're most excited for are the Goblin score for La Via Della Droga, Third Power's Believe reissue, and all those great jazz titles."

"Our favorite memory so far has to be from a couple years ago on RSD when a boy no older than 8 or 9 came up to the counter with Zappa and Devo releases and proceeded to school all us girls on the origins of those particular releases," they say. "Remembering to be kind and civil to others is probably our main insistence for people coming out. We're all here that day because of our mutual love of music."

Street Corner Music

26020 Greenfield Rd, Oak Park; 248-967-0777; Open 9 a.m.-8 p.m.

"We here at Street Corner Music know that as exciting and rewarding as Record Store Day can be, it can also be treacherous and frustrating," employee Aaron Anderson writes. "This year we have a little extra help for our customers. In addition to our usual early morning start, fresh coffee, and cookies, we will have John Olson of Wolf Eyes/Violent Ramp/Universal Indians fame performing a musical invocation to ward off evil vinyl spirits and bad record juju. At 8:30 a.m. on Saturday morning, customers waiting in line will be bathed in the spiritual sound of Olson's horn, which will guarantee that they have a better chance of getting the RSD releases they need, finding the rarest used records in the bins, and generally having a better Record Store Day than anyone else."

"As far as this year's RSD releases, we gotta root for the home team here — looking forward to the Third Power reissue and the Dilla Diary release," Anderson says. "Also, an unreleased James Brown Revue double LP from 1974 and a live Sun Ra from 1966. Crap, there are singles by the Deviants, Shaggs, Rockin' Vicars, and the Mickey Finn too. Oh yeah, and Bebe Godzilla, if you can find one. I would love to see a wider-reaching and more inclusive Record Store Day. I mean, we're getting there; each year I see more stores participate whether they sell RSD releases or not.

"Record Store Day doesn't have to be Gallagher picture discs and Dave Matthews box sets. It can and should be parties, sales, bands, DJs, food, a celebration of music and the oddball characters who listen to it on an outdated and not-too-convenient format."

Stormy Records

13936 Michigan Ave., Dearborn; 313-581-9322; Open 11 a.m.- 8 p.m.

"We are having a storewide sale on vinyl, CDs, and tapes," co-owner Windy Weber says. "We are only bringing in a tiny handful of new RSD items this year, as we prefer to celebrate the store and its 17 years of being in business. The sale is a big thank you to all the people who have been supporting us these last 17 years. We're open normal hours, and we're hoping for a steady day with no bumps or troubles."

Third Man Cass Corridor

441 West Canfield St., Detroit; 313-209-5205; Open 10 a.m.- 6 p.m.

A special pre-release colored vinyl version of the White Stripes' double LP compiling all of their Peel Sessions recordings will be available at the store. There's also a green vinyl 7-inch release of Jack White singing with the Muppets, and a few other cool specialty titles. Hot dogs and cold drinks will be given out all day, and there is a long schedule of DJs, readings, and performances. Their mobile record-selling truck will be parked out front, with exclusive releases sold from there. Among the performers, there's Casual Sweetheart, Jenny Junior and Jackie Rainsticks, Birdcloud, Liquor Store, and a reading by John Olson. Liquor Store has members of Home Blitz and the Terrible Twos, so they're liable to be awesome. Check for full details.

Two Jerks Records

22 E. Cross St., Ypsilanti; 734-829-9112; Open noon-7 p.m.

The store will be sampling bottles of Beer for Breakfast, a Dogfish Head brew that pays tribute to the Replacements, for those old enough to drink. 

UHF Records

512 S. Washington Ave., Royal Oak; 248-545-5955; Open 9 a.m.- 8 p.m.

Few stores take Record Store Day as seriously as UHF, who have ordered a plethora of exclusive titles as well as restocking the entire store with new and used vinyl. There will also be in-store performances with Bastardous at 2 p.m., John Krautner at 3 p.m., and Voyag3r at 4 p.m.

Underground Sounds

25 E. Liberty St., No. 249, Ann Arbor; 734-327-9239; Open 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

"We don't have any events for RSD, just to bring in as many of the coveted releases as possible," owner Matt Bradish says. "I'm excited about the White Stripes Peel Sessions LP. I think it's their best work; I've heard most of it on bootleg CDs, and it's a thrill. Jack is so polite to John Peel."

Bradish likes the aspect of the day that's about making people happy, but bemoans the customers who are obviously eBay flippers.

"I don't do this so you can engage in extortion," he says. "A favorite memory is selling the Sleater Kinney box set on color vinyl to a high school girl with blue hair. She was so excited and happy; I felt honored to sell her the last one, and I had a feeling like I had met the future Kathleen Hanna."

Bradish cautions that things get going early. "Our line starts forming around 3 a.m. Get there early. I don't think this year has that 'gotta have it' item like the Cake or Dave Matthews box sets from past years; hopefully this means less disappointed people."

Weirdsville Records

61 Macomb Place, Mount Clemens; 586-468-2665; Open 9 a.m.- 8 p.m.

Used records are 20 percent off. Customers who spend more than $70 will receive a special Record Store Day T-shirt designed by Weirdsville. 

About The Author

Mike McGonigal

Metro Times music editor Mike McGonigal has written about music since 1984, when he started the fanzine Chemical Imbalance at age sixteen with money saved from mowing lawns in Florida. He's since written for Spin, Pitchfork, the Village VOICE and Artforum. He's been a museum guard, a financial reporter, a bicycle...
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