Friday, April 13, 2012

Record Store Day 2012: Rhode Island

Even though we hail from the littlest state, Rhode Islanders will have quite a few options to choose from on Record Store Day this year. Okay, technically some of these shops are in Massachusetts, but you barely even have to cross the border to get to most of them.

In Your Ear (Warren, RI): Like the Big Blue Bug, Coffee Milk, Del's Lemonade, and Buddy Cianci's toupée, In Your Ear is a Rhode Island institution. I was just in the store yesterday (because for me it's pretty much always record store day), and they had some free RSD swag kits they were assembling, as well as a big RSD sign in the window. Owner Chris Zingg told me he still wasn't sure what limited edition releases they would get. He usually puts out a nice selection of $1 records and brings up some crates from his super secret basement stash in honor of the day as well. After battling your fellow Rhode Islanders to score the Afrika Bambaataa/MC5 split 7", stop into Del's for a refreshing iced lemonade (they're once again open for the season on weekends).

Olympic Records (Providence, RI): Olympic will be getting some of the limited RSD special releases, and their pinball machines will be operational as well. Just down Wickenden Street, Round Again Records will not be officially participating in RSD, but Steve will be there selling records just as he has nearly every Saturday since opening the store in 1979.

What Cheer! Antiques (Providence, RI): This funky little antiques and record shop in the Wayland Square neighborhood is right across the street from my old apartment. Be sure to pay your respects (note, the plaque commemorating my four year residence at the location is currently being refurbished). They usually mark everything down in honor of RSD and they'll be getting some limited edition RSD releases.

Newbury Comics (Providence, RI and N. Attleboro, MA): I just can't see heading to the Providence Place Mall for RSD, but I have no doubt that local independent chain Newbury Comics will get a good selection of limited edition releases.

Armageddon Shop (Providence, RI): This is the place in Providence for punk rock, heavy metal and other assorted forms of rock and roll mayhem. It's actually a rather sedate little shop on Broadway with a super polite owner who won't toss you out of the store if you're shopping for Pointer Sisters records. They will be getting some of the limited releases as well. Analog Underground is just down the street, and while they are not on the official RSD list, I'm sure they have something planned as well.

Luke's Record Exchange (Pawtucket, RI): I could swear I've read four or five articles in the Providence Journal about how the closing of Luke's Record Exchange marks the end of an era. But there they are on the official RSD 2012 list. Are they still there? Kinda, sorta, not really. Luke's retail shop has been closed for a while now, but I spoke to Luke and he told me he'll be open at the old location this Saturday, April 14 to sell off some of his remaining stock and personal collection. However, he doesn't think he'll be open on RSD, and is not participating this year and will not have any of the RSD limited edition releases. Got it?

The Time Capsule (Cranston, RI and Seekonk, MA): Both Time Capsule locations will be participating in RSD this year.

Sunset Records (Somerset, MA): Sunset is a tiny shop that is little off the beaten path, but it's a terrific spot for fans of 60s psychedelia and garage rock.

Update: Music Box in Newport, RI and Looney Tunes in Wakefield, RI are also participating in RSD 2012. Another "border shop" close to Rhode Island that is participating is Mystic Disc in Mystic, CT. Willimantic Records in Willimantic, CT is not too far from certain parts of Rhode Island as well.

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