A few months back, we’d have expected record stores throughout the Twin Cities to be teeming with visitors for Record Store Day.
That annual event has been postponed from April 18 to June 20, another effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.
But like the rest of us, record stores are learning to adapt to these retail-unfriendly times. They’re offering expanded online sales, “virtual browsing” where someone will flip through the racks with you, specially curated care packages, and online auctions.
There’s even a new limited edition Trampled by Turtles EP, Sigourney Fever, available only through Down in the Valley and Electric Fetus as of today.
So in honor of what would’ve been Record Story Day, here’s what’s up at your local record store. See you all in June, we hope.
“I will be here 10-6 weekdays," co-owner Mike Elias writes on Facebook. "The door will be locked. I'll be inside doing inventory and alphabetizing. I'll gladly take phone orders or set up private times for buys. Heck, I'll deliver records to your home within a certain radius. US mail is an option too as is curbside pick-up. I'd even walk your dog and go to the grocery store for you if you need help. I'm not babysitting or doing your yard work though.” You can also keep tabs on Barely Brothers via their internet radio station.
The shop’s new “virtual store hours” are 2-6 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, during which they’ll got through the racks with you via video chat. They’re also selling records online at Discogs and will ship via media mail (which, as a reminder, is something we only have because of the U.S. Postal Service, which should be immediately and fully funded).
Down in the Valley
In addition to that Trampled by Turtles EP I mentioned above, they're still processing orders of vinyl, CDs, and DVDs online, both through their website and Discogs page, They've been holding “Virtual Vinyl Happy Hour” every Friday at 5 p.m., where used LPs are sold to viewers, and Dave Pirner from Soul Asylum will be their guest tonight. They’re also offering three kinds of “care box” filled with Funko items, comics, incense, and other goodies.
Closed through May 13.
In addition to the Trampled by Turtles EP I mentioned above, they’re open online, offering free shipping via media mail for orders over $35. And on April 18-19, you can stream the documentary Vinl Nation through the Fetus website for $10.
They’d originally planned to reopen on Wednesday, Apr. 1, the store’s 26th anniversary, saying, “We will celebrate with markdowns and a sale upon our return if things calm down by then.” Things have obviously not yet calmed down—no word yet on when the event will be rescheduled.
From the store’s website: “We will browse for you! While we are closed, [owner] Adam [Taylor] would be delighted to see if he can find that special title for you and ship it to your home.” Hymie’s is also in the process of developing an online storefront.
Know Name Records
Closed through May 13.
Mill City Sound
They’ve launched a new online store, with this Twitter caveat: “It is nowhere near complete and we still have around 5000 + titles to add but WTF we had to start somewhere.”
Calls and emails “with any wants and needs” invited at 612-822-0613 and [email protected]. “I'll be here most days, getting ready for our move this spring/summer but also shipping LPs and gift certificates and pricing incoming used,” says owner John Beggs on Facebook.
Open online. Free shipping for orders of $125 or more.
The Hopkins store is holding another live auction at 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 18, and you can sign up here. You can buy up to four albums for one price, and shipping is $5. If you miss this event, they’re planning more for the future, and you can shop through eBay here.