Last night felt like Christmas Eve did when I was five years old: I was so excited for Santa to come and bring me my wishlist of super-awesome toys that I couldn't sleep -- but substitute “the Record Store Day fairy” for “Santa” and “amazing new releases, special live performances, and general music-related merriment” for “my wishlist of super-awesome toys.”
Founded in 2007, Record Store Day is “a celebration of the unique culture surrounding over 700 independently owned record stores in the USA, and hundreds of similar stores internationally,” according to the official website. “This is the one day that all of the independently owned record stores come together with artists to celebrate the art of music.”
In fact, for 23-year-old me, Record Store Day might actually be better than Christmas. “Basically, it’s the music-lovers’ version of Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Christmas, New Year’s, and Mardi Gras, all rolled into one,” I wrote on RSD last year. “Be thankful independent record stores and great music exists, take advantage of the stores’ awesome holiday deals and special releases, get yourself lots of gifts, and celebrate with parties and performances."
If you, too, are a music addict and lover of the local, independent record store scene, celebrate today at one of these local shops.
Weirdo Records (884 Mass Ave., Central Square). For those looking for a true Record Store Day party, this Central Square shop is the place to be. Weirdo will be celebrating the holiday “in its own inimitable fashion,” according to its website: Visitors can take advantage of the free beer inside and then, buoyed by that liquid courage, head outdoors and treat passersby to a (hopefully at least semi-in-tune) karaoke performance. The store will also have some of the day’s special releases in stock, “but only those that were made by artists sold here the other 364 days of the year.”
In Your Ear (957 Comm Ave., Allston). Nestled underground on the western edge of the Boston University campus, this record store isn’t for the shopper who wants to quickly zip in and pick up a record or two. (It’s also probably not the best place for claustrophobics.) But if you don’t mind digging a little and have some time to spare, your dedication will surely be rewarded; that “I'm on a treasure hunt” feeling is what makes this shop my favorite shop on this list. IYE, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year and also has locations in Harvard Square and Warren, R.I., stocks records in just about every genre imaginable, plus a whole bunch of other goodies.
Nuggets (486 Comm Ave., Kenmore Square). Hop off the Green Line at Kenmore Square and head through Nuggets’ fancy-looking doorway, and you’ll be treated to another record store goldmine. Yelp! reviewers rave about the friendly, helpful staff and vast selection. “This shop is as old school Boston music scene as can be,” writes Brian D. “You have to get in there, dig through the unorganized stuff, lose your expectations, and just find stuff on your ‘Crap, I forgot I wanted this like three years ago’ list.” The man I spoke with on the phone said that the shop wasn't planning to order any of today's special releases, having been disappointed with what they ordered versus what they actually received in the past, but if you’re not after a specific recording, Nuggets is worth a trip.
Newbury Comics (various locations). Although they sell a lot more than just records, Newbury Comics is a no-brainer on the list of places to hit up today. The retailer has 29 locations throughout New England -- including one in Faneuil Hall, one on Newbury Street, and one in Harvard Square -- so whether you’re in Boston proper or out in the ‘burbs, you should have no problem finding a nearby store. In honor of today’s holiday, you’ll be able to see no-longer-so-indie darlings fun. at the Faneuil Hall location during a special performance and signing before their show at House of Blues tonight.
Planet Records (144 Mt. Auburn St., Harvard Square). Having recently moved to a new location, Planet Records "pack[s] tons of quality new and used music and movies into a well-organized, easy-to-browse space," according to their website. If you're busy, out of town, or otherwise unavailable to shop today, this store also lists a robust inventory on eBay and Amazon. Just because you're shopping virtually doesn't mean you can't buy local!
Which local record stores are your favorites?
About Angela -- It's "Ang," if you please -- or, alternately, Bill, Penny Lane, or (begrudgingly) Angus to some. I've been with TNGG since the site started and am now the TNGG Boston editor for Boston.com. I graduated from Boston University's College of Communication in 2009 and am a huge fan of live music, hockey, and Thai food. I'm also a bit of a klutz, but that's only because my mind and body are always going in approximately a zillion separate directions. Twitter: @amstefano988
The author is solely responsible for the content.