Twin Cities record stores gear up for vinyl event of the year

The second of three drops celebrating this year’s annual Record Store Day is coming up this Saturday, Sept. 26.

Meg Bishop

Record players find themselves at home on dorm side tables and in apartment living rooms. They’re best enjoyed on solemn evenings or during study hours. Whether it’s grandma’s record of Lionel Richie or a vinyl of Harry Styles you found on sale at Urban Outfitters, listening to your favorite music on vinyl sets a mood that Spotify can’t replicate.

Record Store Day (RSD), which began in 2008, is the one day a year that indie record stores get a moment in the spotlight. This year’s original RSD was postponed back in April and then again in June due to COVID-19 concerns. Now, RSD has been broken up into three separate days: Aug. 29, Sept. 26 and Oct. 24. This Saturday, Sept. 26, will be the second day of RSD special vinyl drops. To prepare for the upcoming drops, Twin Cities record stores are gearing up with hot vinyl finds and rare music couture.

Cheapo Records houses the largest selection of Minnesota music. The store is packed on RSD. Some large stores bring out live bands and food for the day, but Cheapo does things differently. The store has never used anything extravagant to draw people in on RSD, according to Pat Wheeler, manager at Cheapo’s Minneapolis location.

“We’ve never done a lot. We don’t have a band playing. We don’t have food,” he said.

A big part of the profit for some smaller record stores comes from hosting live events.

“Not being able to host live events is really damaging. [We] had comedians set to perform,” said Adam Taylor, manager of Hymie’s Vintage Records.

Hymie’s Records is located on Lake Street, near where the 3rd Precinct burnt down.

“The entire neighborhood has seen a 30% to 40% decrease in sales,” Taylor said.

After the first RSD drop in August, the store’s numbers were down from last year’s, but Taylor is reluctant to be discouraged. “I’m still here, and Record Store Day is always fun.”

Student shoppers are also ready to take on the day, even with new store restrictions, such as waiting lines and stores only allowing less than half capacity of customers in the store at a time.

“My favorite is Agharta Records in St. Paul also because it’s right next to Black Coffin Tattoo. It’s a pretty chill strip over there with fun stuff,” said Caitlyn Speier, a University of Minnesota third-year studying prelaw.

Some 2020 RSD vinyls include: Coolio / “Gangsta’s Paradise,” Fleetwood Mac / “The Alternate Rumors,” The Notorious B.I.G. / “It Was All A Dream: The Notorious B.I.G. 1994-1999.”

The full list of RSD 2020 vinyl’s can be found on the Record Store Day website.

A&E ran around town to bring you a go-to Record Store Day list, featuring all of this year’s participating Twin Cities locations to help you support independently owned record stores and embrace the eclectic tradition of vinyls.

Minnesota’s COVID-19 restrictions require that everyone must wear a mask inside public businesses.

Cheapo Records
Both locations:
2600 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis
71 N Snelling Ave., St. Paul
RSD hours and guidelines: 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Only 20 people are allowed in the store at a time.

Hymie’s Vintage Records
3820 E Lake St., Minneapolis
RSD hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

The Electric Fetus
2000 S 4th Ave., Minneapolis
RSD hours: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Agharta Records
2512 University Ave. W, St. Paul
RSD hours: opens at 10 a.m.

Extreme Noise Records
407 W Lake St., Minneapolis
RSD hours: opens at 1 p.m.

Roadrunner Records
4534 Nicollet Ave. S, Minneapolis
RSD hours and guidelines: 9 a.m.-10 a.m.
Donuts will be offered to those in line starting at 8 a.m.! Five customers are allowed in the store at a time. Regular store hours begin at 10 a.m., but with a twist. They will have many new releases in stock.

Know Name Records
6009 Portland Ave. S, Minneapolis
RSD hours: 9:30 a.m.-9 p.m.

Rock Paper Scissors Goods
2403 Lyndale Ave. S, Minneapolis
RSD hours: 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

SolSta Records
4022 E 46th St., Minneapolis
RSD hours: 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Eclipse Records
419 Wabasha St. N, St. Paul
RSD hours: opens at 10 a.m.