In my experience of celebrating Record Store Day, I've seen stores use a few different tactics as far as stocking the special releases. Some establishments will set up a table, somewhere in the store, where a few shoppers at a time can flip through records in a calm and contained manner. Other places will have a similar setup, with all the releases at a table, but shoppers ask the store employees for the releases they want. It's like a record nerd stock exchange. This process gets loud, slightly confusing and incredibly annoying — this is where elbows start getting thrown. Then, there are places that put the releases on the shelves, usually categorized by size — twelve inches with the twelve inches, seven inches with the seven inches and so on. This is the free-for-all: more elbows, more swearing, and more crying hipsters. An example of this is Dearborn Music. The newer, bigger location makes it easier to spread out the madness and they always have a great selection of RSD releases. Melodies and Memories in Eastpointe, on the other hand, is a sleeper. After the more popular stores have sold out of everything, this is a good place to go to find what you want. Of course, there's UHF in Royal Oak, which supplies a sufficient amount, but it gets cramped and expect to stand in a long line. Seriously, bring a snack. Other stores that are good spots to hit for RSD are Found Sound in Ferndale, Detroit Threads in Hamtramck and Flipside Records in Clawson.
Record Store Day is becoming a spot on the calendar to which people look forward. Part of the experience is observing the cross section of human behavior. This is where etiquette comes in to the fold. There are some preliminary things that you need to know. First, know what records you're looking for. The list of releases is posted months in advance (they even post the cover art). This gives you plenty of time to peruse the list, study the art and make your choices. Second, you need to get there early. I advise at least an hour before the store opens. A lot of the etiquette depends on how the store is set up. If the store has the vinyl in a central location and only allows a few shoppers at a time, try to be quick looking through the stacks. This keeps the flow of customers steady and agitation to a minimum. If the selections are spread out, try to remain patient and keep your hands to yourself. Even though it's hipster Christmas, there's no need for a Jingle All the Way situation. The limited availability of the releases raises the stakes of snagging the items you want, but that doesn't justify you acting like a savage. No one wants to see a middle-aged man box out a teenaged girl for the last copy of Katy Perry’s Prism. Good luck out there!
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