Record Store Day Black Friday returns to Tulsa
Every vinyl buff knows about Record Store Day: long lines, wild exclusive releases and special in-store performances are all touchstones of the high holiday for music geeks.
Usually on the third Saturday in April, Record Store Day (RSD) boasts absurdly limited runs of exclusive LPs, generally with fun twists like colored vinyl or picture discs. Observed across the world every year since 2008, it’s a day to celebrate independent record stores and their irreplaceable culture.
But your chances to score exclusive vinyl aren’t limited to one day in the spring: There’s also RSD Black Friday, which falls this year on Nov. 29. Since 2010, the autumnal cousin to the yearly retail music blowout has offered a holiday-season resurgence of special vinyl. It carries only about a third of the exclusives in comparison to RSD proper, but what the spinoff lacks in volume it makes up in quality.
This year’s RSD Black Friday includes exclusive releases from Broncho, Cardi B, Lizzo, Willie Nelson, The New Pornographers and more. The full list is 182 items long.
Boasting four independent record stores, Tulsa has the most participating shops of any city in Oklahoma, according to the RSD website. The oldest participating store, Starship Records and Tapes (1241 S. Lewis Ave.), which started in 1972 as a gift shop, is a great place to start. They open bright and early at 7 a.m., but people may start lining up as early as 5 a.m. “There might be someone who sits in their car all night,” employee Brad Zimmerman says. “I’ve seen that happen.”
Josey Records (1020 S. Rockford Ave.), meanwhile, may have people lining up even earlier. The store is celebrating RSD Black Friday in perhaps the biggest way this year, advertising more than 175 RSD exclusives and storewide discounts. Black Friday patrons can expect in-line raffles for promotional records and gift cards starting at 6 a.m. Live music starts at noon, featuring performances by Tye Slagle and Sean Al-Jibouri, Graveyard Party, and Free Association.
While Josey celebrates its third RSD Black Friday in Tulsa, Studio Records (320 S. Trenton Ave.) celebrates its first. Started by Mike Nobles about six months ago, Tulsa’s newest record store offers a treasure trove of new and used vinyl. Doors there will open at 9 a.m.
Opening at 10 a.m. is Blue Moon Discs (2606 S. Sheridan Road, Suite E), which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. Storeowner Warren R. Showman says customers can expect special T-shirt giveaways throughout the day, as well as a 20 percent discount on used vinyl purchases over $20.
RSD Black Friday patrons can expect a kinder, gentler version of the post-Thanksgiving retail madness plaguing big box stores this time of year. Zimmerman from Starship says the holiday is marked more by community than competition. Can’t reach that limited-run release of Canned Heat Christmas Album? Just ask. A fellow vinyl head will be happy to help.
“People seem to work better together,” he said.