Music is an art, but it’s also a product. While it’s all well and good to support your favourite touring bands by buying concert tickets and a tshirt every now and then, most of us are freeloaders when it comes to listening to music at home and on our devices.
The return of vinyl is a (partial) solution to a lot of problems in the industry: it supports the artists (particularly those who choose to invest in producing vinyl) and the small local businesses that specialize in records. It’s also an aesthetically pleasing product, as easy on the eyes as it is on the ears. And the majority of new records come with a download code so you can still pack your devices with music (that you actually paid for).
(Tidal supporters, please try to convince me of this new thing’s worth because I’m not there yet.)
The annual observance known as Record Store Day will soon be upon us (Saturday, April 18), and though the day has its detractors (read Cult MTL columnist Johnson Cummins RSD pros and cons here), any occasion that shines some light on local record stores and vinyl is worth celebrating.
What follows is a rundown of what’s happening at Montreal shops, and my personal list of most interesting RSD special releases:
364 Sherbrooke W.
Hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Expect lots of exclusive North American RSD releases in stock, as well as some of the French, English and German releases, PLUS the stores’s annual sale on regular stock: 5 per cent off one record, 10 per cent if you buy two, 15 per cent for three, 20 per cent for four and 25 per cent for five.
Aux 33 Tours
1373 Mont-Royal E.
Hours: 10 a.m.–9 p.m.
Aux 33 stocks loads of RSD releases and hosts a diverse stack of live music as of 6:30 p.m., with local indie rock band Heat, hip hop act Dead Obies and blues man Steve Hill.
Hours: 9 a.m.–“till I drop”
There will be a sale on regular stock, still TBD at post time. “The more you buy, the more you will save.”
Hours: 11 a.m.–till the last client leaves
There will be loads of RSD releases and a secret guest DJ at this downtown vinyl hotspot.
Death of Vinyl
Hours: 12–6 p.m.
“Every day is Record Store Day at Death of Vinyl.” All used records, all the time.
Hours: 10 a.m.–7 p.m.
Expect plenty of RSD releases and live music from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., feat. Tricot Machine’s Catherine Leduc, Myriam Gendron, Vulgaires Machins’s Guillaume Beauregard, Clementine, Antoine Corriveau and Julie Blanche.
Hours: 10 a.m.–8 p.m.
This Mile End vinyl emporium promises 15% off everything in the store other than concert tickets and RSD special releases — they’ve posted their full list of RSD orders here.
Hours: 9 a.m.–whenever
Cross the street for a lot of RSD releases and all regular stock at 15 per cent off.
Hours: 10 a.m.–7 p.m.
This heavy music mainstay is offering deals on new and used stock, and a curated selection of RSD releases will be available as long as quantities last.
SOME COOL RECORD STORE DAY RELEASES
A$AP Rocky, “Lord Pretty Flacko Jodye 2/Multiply”
Jan. 2015 single on 7” white vinyl.
Adam and the Ants, “Kings of the Wild Frontier/Ant Music”
35th anniversary gold vinyl 7” with original artwork.
Air, “Playground Love/“High School Lover”
From the Virgin Suicides soundtrack (2000), on 7” orange vinyl.
Black Star, “Fix Up/You Already Knew”
A die-cut, star-shaped 7” from Mos Def and Talib Kweli.
David Bowie, “Changes/“Eight-Line Poem”
A 7” picture disc.
J Dilla, “Fuck the Police/“Funk the Police (Instrumental)”
A 7” picture disc in a custom-made pocket inserted into a Japanese-style, resealable clear plastic sleeve.
ESG, The Moody EP
Classic post-punk with a South Bronx funk flavour, on the green, blue and yellow splatter-coloured vinyl, 12.”
Father John Misty, “I Love You, Honeybear (acoustic)”/“Never Been a Woman”
On 7” red, heart-shaped vinyl (limited).
Grandmaster Flash/Stiff Little Fingers, “The Message”
One of Rhino’s Side by Side releases, it’s the original version of the early rap classic backed by a U.K. punk cover. Red/yellow splatter on olive green 7” vinyl.
Happy Mondays, Pills Thrills N Bellyaches
A 20th anniversary release on a yellow 12”.
Bernard Hermann, “Psycho”
The composer’s classic soundtrack on 7” coloured vinyl.
Manic Street Preachers, The Holy Bible
A 20th anniversary picture disc of the hard-listening 1994 album by the Welsh rock band.
Of Montreal, Snare Lustrous Doomings
A double-12” live album of career-spanning material.
OFF!, Live From the BBC
The all-star punk band squeezes 10 tracks onto 10”.
The Pizza Underground, PU Demos
Nine pizza-themed Velvet Underground covers by Macaulay Culkin and the gang. (For the uninitiated, this is real).
Run the Jewels, Record Store Day Release
Killer Mike and El-P offer up four tracks including one never before released (limited).
Swans, 12” EP
The very first release by Swans, from 1982, rereleased by Young God.
Amon Tobin, Dark Jovian
It’s Tobin’s first new material since 2011, five brand new tracks backed by remixes from Lee Gamble, Logos and Eprom.
The White Stripes, Get Behind Me Satan
The duo’s 2006 album is being released for the first time on vinyl, specifically two 12” discs, one red and one white.
See the complete list of Record Store Day special releases here.