Typically celebrated in April but postponed this year due to the COVID-19 shutdown, Record Store Day is an annual event intended to highlight and commemorate the unique culture of independently-owned record stores. On a typical year, vinyl-lovers across the country flock to their local record stores to shop and congregate with fellow music-appreciators. Record Store Day is usually marked by exclusive releases from recording artists, discounted prices, and occasional special performances or meet-and-greets with musicians.
This year, Shake It Records aims to revive the holiday as enthusiastically and as safely as possible, by breaking it up into three Saturdays, one of which has already passed: August 29, September 26, and October 24. Precautions are being taken to ensure that visitors can enjoy perusing the shop without fear of putting themselves or others at risk. All customers must wear a mask in order to enter the shop, and only a limited number of people will be permitted to enter at a time, with a one out, one in admittance rotation being enforced if necessary. The staff also promises clean surfaces and available hand sanitizer and gloves.
The last Saturday in August marked the beginning of Shake It’s Record Store Day celebration. Jim Blase, who co-owns the store with his brother Darren, thinks things went “as well as [they] could’ve hoped.” Initially, Shake It staff expressed concerns about keeping clientele safe and refrained from promoting the event as openly as they normally might. Still, Jim says they saw a steady stream of visitors all day. “Some people had to wait outside,” he recalls, “but everybody was really cool and they did their part.”
In observance of Record Store Day, Shake It has been stocking up on rare and eclectic vinyl finds. The most highly anticipated upcoming releases range from an alternative version of Fleetwood Mac’s Rumors to a record from indie pop duo Tegan and Sara to a reissue of Paul McCartney’s first album. Doors open at 9 a.m., and no Record Store Day titles can be put on hold, so visitors vying for a particular album should plan to arrive early. As per usual, customers can only purchase one copy of each exclusive release (Shake It’s website declares that “flippers” should sleep in).
Although concerts may feel like a faraway memory, Record Store Day (or in this case, Record Store Days) at Shake It offers new possibilities for appreciating music during a pandemic. Customers who are willing to mask up and socially distance will have the opportunity to score some uncommon musical treasures. The store’s Instagram page says it best: working together, all good things are possible.
4156 Hamilton Ave., Northside, (513) 591-0123, shakeitrecords.com