By Spensaur Cooper
Photos by Spensaur Cooper & Gene Bae
The 5th Annual Record Store Day provided Amoeba Berkeley with a reminder that the East Bay loves its music. An hour prior to open on that beautiful Saturday morning, folks had already created a line that passed Cafe Mediterranean, and for good reason too.
Record labels big and small released hundreds of titles specifically for Record Store Day this year. In Berkeley, we seemed to have more titles than we ever had before so instead of our normal corral set up, we provided a few different stations in the center of the store to accommodate the overflowing of new releases. Highlights from our shipments included The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends LP, Phish's Junta Deluxe (Pollock Version) LP, Devo's Live in Seattle 1981 LP, Lee Hazlewood's The LHI Years LP, The Pharcyde's Bizzarre Ride II, as well as countless others.
As the line from outside poured into our RSD aisles, things got hectic but customers worked together, handing albums to others who could not reach and looking out for their fellow record enthusiasts.
Beginning at noon we kicked off our afternoon of DJ sets with Mike Schulman, head honcho of Slumberland Records, who played everything from cheery reverberant pop, to darker 80's post-punk and even some rocksteady ska to round out his hour.
Following Mike, KALX DJs took over for the rest of the afternoon with sets from some of their top DJs, including lounge & retro pop from Rubberband Girl, an all-Bay Area punk set from Jesse Luscious, Latin rhythms from Marcos Juarez, funktified jams from This Mutha, and a danceable set from Oracular Beartacular.
|Mike Schulman||Rubberband Girl||Jesse Luscious|
New releases and DJs were hardly the only thing Amoeba Berkeley had going on for this year's Record Store Day. While last year's festivities saw the release of a once in a lifetime used jazz collection, this year saw the debut of a used rock collection that featured exceptionally clean and unopened copies of classic catalog titles. For now, these records are located at the end of our rock vinyl section, but will be filed back into their proper artist slots throughout the store in the coming weeks.
After folks stood in our 'round-the-store line to check out, they were greeted by our awesome register staff who kicked butt at keeping the epic line moving quickly. For the early birds, we handed out special Record Store Day goody bags, which included a wide array of swag including sampler CDs, 7" and 12" promo records, posters, stickers, and other random promotional trinkets from labels across genres.
And if people were buying all of these records, how were they going to play them? All three Amoeba locations had the customers covered with our Turntable sale. At Amoeba Berkeley, all of our turntables were 20% off. Whether it was our remote controlled Jenson turntables or our audiophile-approved Pro-Ject turntables, everyone has saved big this weekend and can actually play their Record Store Day purchases.
While we did sell out of a lot of our Record Store Day titles, we do still have some titles left, so definitely pop into the Berkeley store for anything you didn't find! A gigantic thank you goes out to the Berkeley staff, who worked tirelessly all week to make sure all the records were ready to go out in time for the day and who all pulled together to make this year's Record Store Day a memorable one!