Amoeba Music store on Sunset Boulevard. (Ricardo DeAratanha, Los…)
If any L.A. music fans have rock 'n' roll funds left after the first weekend of Coachella, Record Store Day is a perfect way to clear them out.
The Southland has seen a small wave of specialist vinyl stores open in the last few years, and Saturday's Record Store Day (an annual event meant to highlight independently owned shops) is like senior prom for record nerds.
It's a chance to go throw down on special-occasion releases and enjoy intimate in-store performances, and keep local shops thriving in the churning sea of the new music economy. Here are a few highlights from across the L.A. area.
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HRLDRY, 4302 Melrose Ave., L.A. (323) 383-5004, http://www.hrldry.com.
This Melrose/Heliotrope shop is located at the nexus of L.A.'s punk bicycle culture, but its Record Store Day events are designed for movement of a different kind. The store will host half a dozen live performances and DJ sets from rowdy local acts, alongside a whole wall of exclusive RSD releases and discounts on new and vintage records. The best takeaway? The raffle to win a rare bootleg of the Beatles performing live at both Shea Stadium and the Hollywood Bowl.
Permanent Records, 1583 Colorado Blvd., L.A., http://www.permanentrecordsla.com.
Live sets from the Urinals and the Skabbs make Saturday a master class in ambitious L.A. punk at the Eagle Rock shop. The store will host eight full live sets starting at 1 p.m. featuring such fast-rising locals as HOTT MT, Zig Zags and Wounded Lion. For early-risers (or those still partying from Friday), Intelligentsia will be slinging coffee inside starting at 5 a.m. You'll need that energy boost to comb through the shop's special-edition releases for the day.
Origami Vinyl, 1816 W. Sunset Blvd., L.A., http://www.origamiorigami.com.
The Echo Park mainstay has a busy slate of in-store performances (including stripped-down sets from local heroes Silversun Pickups and Nick Waterhouse). But in case those are packed to the rafters, the shop has also locked down a full day of DJs including Animal Collective's Avey Tare, No Age's Dean Spunt and — full disclosure — this reporter.
Touch Vinyl, 1646 Sawtelle Blvd., L.A., http://www.touchvinyl.com.
Most of L.A.'s new vinyl stores have landed in neighborhoods on L.A.'s eastern side, but west of the 405, Touch is a welcome boutique for interesting indie and experimental acts and film screenings. The shop will host live DJs all day alongside a bevy of RSD exclusives. Between this, the All Bands on Deck show at the Santa Monica Pier last month with Poolside and Yacht and the popular Ranch festival, is it too soon to say the Westside is finding its music-scene sea legs again?
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Amoeba Music, 6400 Sunset Blvd., L.A., http://www.amoeba.com.
L.A.'s 800-pound gorilla of music retail will have hundreds of the day's exclusives (get in line early for ones from Gary Clark Jr., Nick Drake and GZA's awesome chess-set box for "Liquid Swords"). If you need something on which to listen to your haul, turntables and headphones are 25% off all day.
Rockaway Records, 2395 Glendale Blvd., L.A., http://www.rockaway.com.
The Silver Lake shop is too packed with goods to host much in the way of live sets, so it's focusing on rare and deeply discounted RSD material. The store's used and vintage items are up to half off, and Rockaway will be stocking hundreds of RSD exclusive releases. Show your new finds off afterward at the Cha Cha Lounge next door.
Mount Analog, 59061/2 N. Figueroa St., L.A., http://www.climbmountanalog.com.
If your tastes in vinyl splurging run a little less commercial and celebratory and a little more suavely evil, the Highland Park shop has scores of small-run and RSD exclusives from Chelsea Wolfe & King Dude, Public Image LTD and Roky Erickson. The shop packs the place out for its regular in-store DJ sets, and Mount Analog will host a full day of them Saturday.