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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Record Store Day brings special deals to Milwaukee

Photo by Ricky Labrada
Record Store Day has been around for more than a decade and is celebrated in several different countries around the world. Many deals and releases each year are unique to each region.

While streaming services like Spotify may seem to have taken over the music listening experience, vinyl still has its hold on music lovers of all ages.

Vinyl fans can join venues throughout Milwaukee to help celebrate independent record shops as part of Record Store Day, this Saturday. Celebrations begin at various times depending on store hours. 

Record Store Day made its debut April 19, 2008 after its conception in 2007, according the event’s website. Record stores all over the world offer special record releases, sales, DJs, live music and other festivities to celebrate the culture of record stores and their surrounding communities. 

Since Jesse Hughes of the band Eagles of Death Metal declared himself Record Store Day Ambassador in 2009, a new artist dons the title each year. Ambassadors have included Ozzy Osbourne, Jack White, Dave Grohl, Metallica and this year’s ambassador, Pearl Jam.

Those looking to celebrate Record Store Day in Milwaukee can visit Rush Mor Records, Bullseye Records, Acme Records, Off the Beaten Path and The Exclusive Company, located in different areas of the city. Each store will have a variety of special offers, events and entertainment.

Acme Records, located in Bay View, will have food, drinks, DJs and live music Saturday from noon to 7 p.m. Entertainment will include artists STEVE, Rexx, Dire Wolves, Elkhorn, Ghost Cuts and Scrimshaw. 

The Farwell Street location of the Exclusive Company has been participating in Record Store Day for several years and will celebrate on both Saturday and Sunday, assistant manager Jackie Howell said. One of seven Exclusive Company locations, she said the store will offer various sales on new and used vinyl, electronics, DVDs, BluRays and more both days. 

Food and coffee will be provided for customers by Fuel Cafe outside of The Exclusive Company on Saturday. DJ Von Munz will perform at 7 a.m. followed by DJ JW at 10 a.m. and DJ Avets at 1 p.m. Live music will begin at 5 p.m. with Caley Conway and continue with Saebra & Carlyle at 6 p.m. and Surgeons in Heat at 7 p.m. Additionally, customers can purchase $1 raffle tickets for the chance to win a turntable. All proceeds from the raffle will go to Planned Parenthood. 

Howell said Record Store Day is curated through all of the record labels, adding that any store that buys through the labels and their distributors can ask to participate. She said The Exclusive company works with labels like EMI, BMG, Universal and their sub labels, as well as nine indie distributors. 

Howell said the majority of The Exclusive Company’s inventory is new vinyl. She said the store has roughly 3,000 pieces of used vinyl and 15,000 pieces of new vinyl.

Howell said Record Store Day is a good opportunity to get new people into the store. She said it gives customers a chance to get to know the store’s environment and atmosphere and possibly become regulars. 

“(Our regulars) get all excited for Record Store Day, number one, because of the releases, but also because they’re just happy to celebrate us being here,” Howell said, adding that The Exclusive Company has a lot of customers that come for new releases every Friday. 

She said Record Store Day is always a busy weekend, making six to eight week’s worth of sales in one day. 

“It’s a steady stream of customers all the way to the back of the store for the whole time we’re here,” Howell said. 

Meghan Higgins, a freshman in the College of Arts & Sciences, said she started listening to vinyl a year ago after coming across records at a rummage sale. Higgins said she likes vintage things in general, and vinyl was another way to explore that interest. 

“I like the process (of listening to vinyl),” Higgins said. “It makes listening to music an event.”

Higgins said she gets most of her records from rummage sales, so a majority of her records are albums that were originally vinyl. She particularly has a lot of Beatles records. Higgins said she had not heard of Record Store Day before, but is excited Milwaukee is participating in the day. 

While Kristen Coughlan, a freshman in the College of Health Sciences, does not own a record player, she said she likes the unique sound of vinyl.

“A guy on my floor has a record player and I always want to go in and listen,” Coughlan said.

Coughlan said she likes how reminiscent the vintage style of vinyl is and that music in general is important to her.

“I couldn’t live life without music. It’s so comforting,” Coughlan said. 

Noelle Wills, a freshman in the College of Arts & Sciences, said she is trying to grow her small record collection at home. 

“It’s fun to look for new records,” Wills said. “It’s like a treasure hunt.”

Wills said she could not imagine life without music.

“Listening to vinyl is a whole experience,” Howell said. “(Celebrating vinyl) is important because it is a timeless way to enjoy music, and everyone enjoys music.”

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