It’s April, the sun is shining, buds are blooming, bees are buzzing and kids are playing in the streets, so it must mean Saturday is Record Store Day.
For those who don’t know, RSD was started in 2007 with the idea of encouraging music lovers (i.e., people who still actually purchase music) to focus on spending their music-buying dollars at their local independent record stores by enlisting record companies and artists to offer exclusives — less than 5,000, limited-run vinyl, CDs, cassettes (they’re back!) and various sundry promotional stuff.
Traditionally, participating store owners place orders from the increasingly extensive list and pray to the RSD Inventory Gawds that they get most of what they ordered.
There’s usually a bunch of fun oddities, reissues and rarities in all genres and eras, including a vinyl and DVD featuring a rare “John Cage Meets Sun Ra,” a “This is Devo Box” featuring colored vinyl versions of the band’s first six albums, "Lullaby Renditions of Weezer" songs, and Sly and the Family Stone’s legendary set at Woodstock. Also look for that "New Jack City" soundtrack on silver vinyl you’ve been coveting.
(Of course, if you don’t make it to your participating local indie record store, you can just wait for stuff to to show up on eBay by Saturday afternoon.)
There’s one RSD release that you can get after the big day: “Where the Hell is Akron, OH? Vol. 2.” It's been compiled by the Akron Recording Co. (ARC), the North Side studio that periodically hosts shows and live recordings.
As suggested by the title, this is the ARC’s second Akron and Northeast Ohio-centric RSD day release. Also, as with last year’s edition, all of the tunes were recorded and produced at ARC, making for an interesting snapshot of some of the music being made by your friends, neighbors and probably some of their kids.
Vol. 2 includes a wide range of cuts.
• Fuzzed-up, blues-tinged psyche rock about a “Ghetto Ghoul” from Mollo Rilla, whose eponymously named debut album will be released with a show in Cleveland in May.
• Cleveland emcee, singer, guitarist Peachcurls sings and raps about his “Stash.”
• There's plenty of old-school garage rock via the Beyonderers and King Buu.
• A dash of melodramatic proggy weirdness from Oregon Space Trail of Doom.
• Plus some synthpop from Samantha Grace.
“Where the Hell is Akron, OH? Vol. 2” will be available at local RSD participating stores such as Square Records (824 W. Market St.) and Time Traveler (118 W. Market St.) and will be on streaming services beginning Saturday.
Speaking of classics, the Akron Civic Theatre will take it way back with three R&B and doo-wop acts. Friday night, break out your bobby socks, saddle shoes and poodle skirts, freshen up your conk (or hot comb) and roll your smokes up into your T-shirt sleeve.
It’s an evening of the Drifters, Cornell Gunter’s Coasters and the Platters.
That’s a lot of classic vocal group and harmony on one stage: The Drifters belting out “Stand By Me” and “Under the Boardwalk,” the comedic Coasters with “Charlie Brown,” “Poison Ivy” and “Love Potion No. 9” and the romantic crooners the Platters of “My Prayer,” "The Great Pretender" and “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" fame.
Malcolm X Abram can be reached at email@example.com or 330-996-3758. Like him on Facebook at http://on.fb.me/1lNgxml, and follow him on Twitter @malcolmabramABJ.