Whew, another Record Store Day has been and gone at Amoeba San Francisco, and what a whirlwind it was! The special international holiday created to celebrate the independent record store in all its resplendent glory brought with it special guest DJs galore, prize giveaways and, of course, mega-limited special edition releases by popular, record store-lovin' artists.
Over at the Haight Street store we had a salivating group of customers waiting with bated breath outside our doors for 10:30 am to finally arrive. When the doors opened at last, there was a mad rush for the limited edition 7"s, vinyl, CDs and DVDs that artists such as Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen, Pavement, Guided By Voices, Metric, The Flaming Lips, and many more had released in honor of RSD. We sold through almost everything within just a few hours -- some, like the Jesus Lizard singles collection, went in mere minutes! Employees worked like barkers, calling out artists' releases and getting them to the frantic masses as quickly as possible. The Information Counter was lit up with zillions of phone calls, checking on the status of any number of artists' special releases.
At noon we began our giveway drawings, ably hosted by our own spirited Zack, who took to the intercom with game show host-like zeal. Various customers won $50 gift certificates and their choice of a myriad of prizes, including Guitar Hero and a special prize pack from heaviest heavy rock label Southern Lord. These giveaways were met with cheers and screams of delight, both from being caught up in the moment and encouraged by their host!
We had a number of guest DJ sets to celebrate! The first was from The Whooligan, who works with local hip hop crew 40 Love. Whooligan was smooth as butter and spun a variety of hip hop hits and deep cuts, working the ones and twos with his own particular brand of finesse.
Then Kylee from Loquat took over, and she turned it around with a wide variety of electronic beats, bringing the store to a fevered pitch.
Our third guest DJ was none other than Kelley Stoltz, who brought the sunshiney, retro 60s rock one would expect from an artist who specializes in bringing those types of sounds to the now in a flawless, modern fashion. From the Kinks to personal fave the Move, Kelley brought sparkling, catchy tunes to RSD 2009. To find out what happened when Kelley took Record Store Day into his own hands and went on a major shopping spree after his DJ set, keep an eye out for an upcoming "What's In My Bag" feature with him!
Next came the inimitable John Vanderslice, who is sweet as pie. He eased into his DJ set with some drum heavy jazz cuts, followed by Bowie and Leonard Cohen (no doubt inspired by Cohen's three night stand at the Paramount in Oakland this past week), then back to the big band swing sound. He was able to simultaneously greet fans, bowl them over with his charm and DJ at the same time! JV will be back at our store soon, this time playing a free, all ages instore at Amoeba SF Monday, May 18! Click here for more info.
The final scheduled DJ for this RSD was Aesop Rock, who brought hip hop jams to the store for his hour long set. A crowd of fans and on-lookers gathered to check out his specialized DJ skills.
As a surprise ending to the DJ sets, our Naomi spotted the fabulous turntablist DJ Qbert shopping the aisles and asked him to come up and DJ for us! He obliged and hit the stage for a feverish, beat-filled set, to the great pleasure of the customers!
Thoroughly wiped out from the fury, shelves ravaged, Record Store Day 2009 came to a blissful, satisfied close. One can only wonder what thrills will come during RSD 2010! We say bring it on!