Supporting independent retailers goes hand in hand with supporting independent artists, a feat that Record Store Day has accomplished annually with their worldwide celebration in April. And the organization, which is managed by the Department of Record Stores, in partnership with the Alliance of Independent Media Stores (AIMS), announces RSD’s Black Friday event being held November 29 with special releases. Shifting the perception of Black Friday as a mass-produced, low-as-you-can-go event, the event concentrates instead on a list of special releases at independently owned neighborhood businesses.
“Whether we like it or not, the day after Thanksgiving is the start of the biggest shopping season in the country, when almost everyone buys presents for others, and may get to make a wishlist of what they’d like others to get them,” states RSD. “RSD’s version of Black Friday is an excuse to celebrate the specialness of music in our lives by putting out these unique releases. In other words, cheapness is not a main goal. Celebrating art is.”
Not to be dubbed as Record Store Day II, RSD Black Friday is carving its own niche and will only be releasing about one-third the number of releases for Black Friday as compared to Record Store Day itself. Full list can be found online or as a downloadable PDF and will feature a diverse range of releases.
Pearl Jam continue a stellar run through their year’s reign as Record Store Day Ambassadors with the first-ever vinyl release of their MTV Unplugged set, done three days after the end of their first American tour, featuring stripped back versions of seven destined-to-be-classic songs from their debut album Ten.
Lizzo and Cardi B make an appearance on the RSD Black Friday list as well, going back to 2016 to bring some of their earliest work to vinyl: both Cardi B’s mixtape Gangsta Bitch Music Vol. 1 and Lizzo’s Coconut Oil EP hit that format for the first time, in record stores on November 29. The Weeknd’s first EP—or mini-album, depending on who you speak with— 2018’s My Dear Melancholy also gets a vinyl release that day.
Longtime Friends of Record Stores Paul McCartney and Dave Matthews Band bring the love with a fun new 7” of songs from the Egypt Station sessions and a live 5 LP box set, respectively. Nick Lowe celebrates forty years of being “Cruel To Be Kind” with his pals Wilco, and Todd Rundgren extends the Squeeze tribute ‘Swindles’ series with his take on the band’s curious “Bang Bang” single. Paul Westerberg’s project with his alter-ego double Grandpaboy, Stereo/Mono, gets its first vinyl release, on double vinyl, naturally.
The New Pornographers, Jenny Lewis and The Comet is King all have releases on the RSD Black Friday list, as does relative newcomer to record store racks Lewis Capaldi.
Cover photo: Mike of Pexels