Record Store Day brings vinyl back into the limelight

RSD half record pngBy Nate Johnson

As vinyl records continue to recapture their share of the music market, so grows Record Store Day.  Founded by a coalition of independently-owned record stores in 2007 to emphasize the need to support local record stores against the crush of online options, the event returns this Saturday, April 18, bigger than ever.

This year’s celebration offers the largest selections of RSD-exclusive releases ever, over 300 mostly limited edition records, CDs, and, yes, even cassettes from artists including the White Stripes, the Foo Fighters, U2, Phish and Willie Nelson, along with non-exclusive new releases coinciding with the holiday.  Local vinylphiles will have no lack of places to queue up as three stalwarts of the vinyl scene and one (relative) newcomer will open early to give fans a crack at these treats.

While diehards will be in line even earlier, Culture Shock, Toad Hall, and Kate’s Pie Shop Café & Records will all be opening their doors at 8:00 a.m. and Beloit’s Tin Dog Records, in for their first RSD, will open shop at 11:00 a.m.  All four stores will offer sales on non-RSD items and special giveaways, and all locations are sure to dig into their vaults for some prime gems.  Culture Shock alone will be unveiling thousands of records new to the store’s shelves, which, according to owner Lauren Davis, “We’ve been hoarding for this special day.  We believe in giving an incentive to buy local when buying vinyl!”

Besides the records themselves, each location will offer their own special events for the occasion.  One of the biggest sideshows for the day will be a special early-season appearance by the Fork & Stein Urban Gourmet food truck, serving up their beer-infused treats including a “Pop Life” chocolate stout cake pop and a new slider created with a surprise from the beer cellar at Dogfish Head, who just happens to be the official beer of Record Store Day 2015.  Dogfish Head will also be a focus in Beloit, as Tin Dog’s neighbor, Bushel and Peck, will be featuring the popular Delaware’s beers in honor of the day.

All three Rockford locations will be hosting live music throughout the day, starting with James Rawson entertaining the crowd at Culture Shock starting at 7:30 a.m. and continuing throughout the day.  Another must-see is the collaboration between Toad Hall and Rockford Art Deli, as RAD will be doing live screen printing at Toad Hall during the event, offering up freshly inked t-shirts.  Speaking of shirts, both Toad Hall and Tin Dog will be debuting new store shirts that day for their faithful.

Whether a vinyl aficionado or new to the format, Saturday promises to be something special for everyone who attends.

Culture Shock, 2239 Charles St.
7:30 a.m.: James Rawson
8:00 a.m.: DJ Fuzz
12:00 p.m.: James Rawson
6:00 p.m.: Taboo Blah Blah
6:45 p.m.: Seasaw
7:30 p.m.: Tentacles Everywhere
8:15 p.m.: Joie De Vivre

Kate’s Pie Shop, 6685 E. State St.
(final schedule TBA, music starts at 6:30 p.m.)
James Rawson
Jordan and His Stupid-Silly Songs
Aliens of Modern Cinema
Warren Franklin

Toad Hall, 2106 Broadway
(final schedule TBA, music starts at 12:00 p.m.)
Brendan Crave
Andrew Robinson
Jerry Dale Harris
Eighteen 11
James Rawson

Tin Dog Records, 312 State St. Beloit.

You can see the entire list of the Record Store Day releases at

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