SARASOTA, FL — Since launching in 2008, Record Store Day has celebrated the culture of independent record shops twice a year — on one Saturday every April and on every Black Friday.
On these days, scores of recording artists and record labels offer special releases available only through participating indie record shops. Audiophiles and vinyl lovers flock to these shops to scoop up these releases and to support their local indie record stores.
It’s been a strange year for Record Store Day because of the COVID-19 pandemic, though. Both the original 2020 spring date — April 18 — and its June 20 rescheduled date were cancelled, as many shops across the country were closed in the face of coronavirus.
In its place, the spring special releases were dropped on three dates in late summer and early fall — Aug. 29, Sept. 26 and Oct. 24. While previous Record Store Days focused on large group events and drawing crowds to the stores, these special release dates focused on socially distanced shopping and bringing in some revenue for indie record shops, many of which have seen a drop in sales during the pandemic, according to a Record Store Day news release.
Black Friday’s Record Store Day presents additional special releases, which will be available through the end of the year at many indie shops. This Black Friday features special releases from Alanis Morissette, Beastie Boys, Chris Cornell, George Harrison, Lou Reed, John Prine, My Chemical Romance, Snoop Doggy Dogg, The Rolling Stones, The Weeknd and many others. A full list of Record Store Day special releases can be found here.
“Managing the largest music event in the world during the pandemic has been challenging, but somehow the record labels and artists have managed to provide record stores with a fantastic list of special releases for Black Friday and the holiday season. It’s bittersweet, as we’ve lost some record stores and people who were loved, but we soldier on and will celebrate life with a lot of healing and wonderful music,” Michael Kurtz, Record Store Day cofounder, said in the news release.
Music lovers in the Sarasota area have several indie record shops to visit this Black Friday.
2242 Bee Ridge Road, Sarasota
This full-service record shop sells new and used vinyl records and CDs, as well as used turntables and other stereo equipment. They also offer service and repair for record players and other equipment. Shopping is available by appointment. Find the store on Facebook.
Salty Dog Records
6565 Gateway Ave., Sarasota
This indie shop specializes in metal, punk and rock. Find the store on Facebook.
1119 12th Street W, Bradenton
Focuses on garage and punk music but offers other genres as well. Also carries a selection of free and for purchase zines. Find the store on Facebook.