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National Record Store Day is here again

Audiophiles, listen up! Vetigo Music is celebrating National Record Store Day this Saturday with live bands, DJs and specials.
Record Store Day Image created by Nathan Kukla

Record Store Day Image created by Nathan Kukla /Image created by Nathan Kukla

Underwriting support from:

The deets

If you are downtown on Saturday, stop by Vertigo and check out the live performances, maybe find that crowning piece of vinyl for your collection, or just bask in the presence of other people who love music, too. The lineup includes:

In addition, local band Valentiger will be recognizing National Record Store Day with a vinyl giveaway and music video premiere.

Crowds waiting in the rain outside Vertigo Music for RSD

Crowds waiting in the rain outside Vertigo Music for RSD /K_to_the_ukla

Audiophiles, listen up!
In case you have not heard, tomorrow is National Record Store Day. Started in 2008, the official Record Store Day website describes it as a celebration of the unique culture that develops around independently owned record stores.

Vertigo Music (129 S. Division), one of the few remaining independent music retailers in the Grand Rapids area, will be marking the day with live performances from local bands, DJs, food and, of course, records.

In 2008 leading up to the first Record Store Day, Vertigo owner Herm Baker was skeptical about how many people it would bring into the store but decided to embrace it and make it a party. With an estimated 80% of the total sales on Record Store Day being vinyl records, he now describes it as “the new Christmas” for independent shops, allowing them to pay the bills and stay in business.

Formats they are a changing

While advancements in digital technology have changed the format of the information and entertainment for consumers, it has also changed the nature of the industries that provide them. The record industry often produces new albums with digital formats or with download codes packaged inside LPs, which provide the aesthetic of the record experience in the artwork and packaging. In recent years, vinyl has experienced somewhat of a resurgence, which Herm attributes partially to nostalgia but also that “people want something that they can physically touch and hold.”


The early bird gets the rare release.

Along with special deals from national and indie labels, many artist are offering special limited-edition releases for the occasion. Herm is expecting 3,000 new LPs to arrive today and has “stashed some great, used vinyl” for the event. The Record Store Day website will also be offering special editions and rarities.   

In preparation this year, Vertigo underwent some remodeling, and will stock some affordable turntables for those looking to listen to their newest vinyl. Special guest musicians, My Chemical Romance also happen to be in town for a sold-out show at the Orbit Room and will stop by for a limited time to sign autographs and meet the first 100 fans.


Digital versus vinyl

Record enthusiasts will swear that vinyl records provide a different and more enjoyable audio experience than any other recorded form of music. When asked about the debate between digital versus vinyl audio quality, Herm agreed that analog is better but added that it has to be recoded on analog equipment. He recently listened to a new album that had been produced with analog equipment and said he “had forgotten how great vinyl can actually sound.”

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I have a modest collection of records. Modest that is, in comparision to some people I know.

It started with the 45 "Cantia Song" from Star Wars and Elton Johns "Benny & the Jets", which I still have.

But, the 1st record I ever bought with my own money was Joan Jett & the Blackhearts

"I Love Rock & Roll"

I admit, I still have a crush on her but I will always love rock n' roll.

The Police - OUTLANDOS DE AMORE or the AMERICAN GRAFFITI soundtrack. I am not sure which, but I think probably the soundtrack. I remember being blown away by how many  songs were on it and it seemed like a good value for the first one. I LOVE ROCK AND ROLL was definitely an early purchase. 

These were my earliest purchase, around 13 years ago, and I haven't stopped yet. 

You can't go wrong with the debut of The Police.   And America Graffiti Soundtrack, with 41 songs highlighting early rock and roll, makes a sound foundation to build any collection upon.

Q: From these classic albums where have your musical tastes taken you?

Talking Heads, "More Songs About Buildings and Food." Some of the songs are still among my favorites, including the cover of Al Green's "Take Me to the River." The Polaroid-composite cover art is classic, too.

This being your first purchase demonstrates that you are a man of great taste and intelligence.

For more information and video footage check out The Grand Rapids Press coverage of Record Store Day by John Sinkevics as well as more pics of My Chemical Romance on