CityBeat has always been a champion of local businesses, especially record stores. And while sales of vinyl records were up 30 percent in 2015, according to a recent Forbes article, a number of articles have also pointed out that independent record store sales only make up a smallish percentage of the numbers.
That's why an event like Record Store Day, which happens Saturday, April 16, remains important to local shops. The annual celebration of independently owned stores first took place in 2008 as a means to get people out to shop at stores that were struggling. It was a humble affair in the beginning, but the event has grown to more than a thousand record stores all over the world and includes a smorgasbord of limited edition vinyl releases that are only available that day.
"We'll have some of the limited releases and some sales, but for entertainment, we'll have DJs all day and hip-hop acts playing beats," says Mark Hamilton, owner and proprietor of FeeLit Records, an East Village shop (909 E St.) that's one of the 18 stores in San Diego County participating in Record Store Day. "I don't normally have people waiting for me to open in the morning and it's a steady flow of business all day long." Hamilton says.
Stores from Carlsbad (Spin Records, 370 Grand Ave.) to Hillcrest (Record City, 3757 Sixth Ave.) to Mission Hills (M-Theory Records, 915 W. Washington St.) will have festivities throughout the day. There will be hundreds of limited releases this year, from David Bowie, Johnny Cash and RSD ambassadors Metallica, to name a few. Times vary so check out recordstoreday.com for full list of participating stores, and also try to remember the real reason this was all started.
"I do get a kick out of it when people say, 'Happy Record Store Day,' like it's our birthday or something," says Zack Wentz, a local musician and writer who also works at Off the Record in North Park (2912 University Ave.). "It's kind of cute and sweet, and for a moment I remember, 'Oh yeah, we're a record store and an endangered species so hurray for us for still being alive.'"
We're confident local author Richard Louv's book launch event for Vitamin N: The Essential Guide to a Nature-Rich Life will be swell (it takes place 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 19, at Point Loma Nazarene University). Still, we've heard a lot about the event already from other media outlets, so what kind of alt-weekly would we be if we didn't recommend a book event that's a little more, well, alt? So check out legendary punk band NOFX, who are appearing at Warwick's bookstore (7812 Girard Ave., warwicks.com) on Thursday, April 14, at 6 p.m. to promote their disturbingly funny new memoir, The Hepatitis Bathtub and Other Stories. Yeah, there's some nature, but most of the stories are just LOL-worthy tales of a veteran band's life on the road. Tickets are $27, but that admits two and includes a copy of the book.
BARDS BEHIND BARS
Authenticity makes for great theater productions, but not even the best playwrights can fully understand themes of incarceration and redemption like actual inmates can. I'm Good: Incarcerated Men Getting Over Obstacles Daily is a unique combination of the "Out of the Yard" rehabilitation program at the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility and the San Diego State University School of Theater, Television and Film. Written by inmates and performed by students, the staged reading will give audiences an unfiltered glimpse into the harsh realities of prison life and the inner transformation that can take place there. Part rehabilitation project, part creative initiative, this powerful play will be performed for free at the SDSU Experimental Theater (5500 Campanile Drive) Wednesday, April 20 through Saturday, April 23, at 7:30 p.m. (the April 23 performance will be at 1 p.m.). playwrightsproject.org