Record Store Day was founded in 2007 to promote the independent record stores we love and help give them a boost in the age of megachains and online shopping. SF is definitely one of the best cities in the country for small record shops: there are ten in the city proper participating in Record Store Day, along with another 12 around the Bay Area. (Considering there are only about 700 independent record shops left in the U.S., that's a pretty good chunk.) The main draw on Record Store Day is the catalog of special limited releases on CD and vinyl, and this year's crop includes exclusive releases from Animal Collective, Arcade Fire, The Flaming Lips, Sigur Ros, The White Stripes, The Black Keys, Wilco, Florence and the Machine, Metallica, Miles Davis...and that's just a tiny chunk of the selection. But stores also like to sweeten the pot of exclusive albums with a few cool events, which we're highlighting below:
Amoeba Music (SF): Amoeba will feature live silk-screening from Junk Food Clothing, Free Gold Watch, and Anti-/Epitaph Records from 10:30 am to 2:30 pm, with proceeds benefiting the SF Rock Project. Also, they'll be giving away concert tickets all day long on their Twitter feed, so keep your eyes peeled.
Aquarius Records: Though it's not on Record Store Day proper, "SF psychedelic space rock minimalists" 3 Leafs will be doing an in-store performance at Mission-based Aquarius on Sunday at 6 pm. As they note on their Facebook page, "We're trying to make it a Record Store weekend!"
Black Pancake Records: For early-morning buyers, this Lower Haight shop is offering free coffee, "black pancakes" (those would be chocolate-covered pancakes), and a selection of over 2,000 records for just $1. If you spend $50 or more, they'll give you a 15% discount card good for the rest of the year, and they'll also be raffling off a turntable and other prizes.
The Music Store: This West Portal shop will be offering 25% off all music and movies on the first floor, 50% off all records on the second floor, free gifts to the first 100 customers, cheap drinks and snacks, and some live in-store performances (TBA).
For the full list of SF and Bay Area stores participating in Record Store Day, go here.