Shawn Blanchard is the manager of Friendly Beaver Records, located at 136 Main St. in East Toledo.
The calendar says there is just one holiday this weekend, but it’s wrong.
Taking place the day before Easter is Record Store Day, itself a savior of sorts for independent music shops. Area record stores annually depend on the international event to keep the doors open and the records spinning, including a new store in East Toledo.
Friendly Beaver Records, 136 Main St., opened Jan. 1, a precarious time to start a business that depends on foot traffic.
“We opened at the beginning of [a record-setting] snow season, so it’s been kind of slow going,” said Broc Curry, president of Innovation Concerts, which books concert at several area venues including Friendly Beaver neighbors Mainstreet Bar & Grill and Frankie’s Inner-City.
Curry, who operated the former Shakin’ Street Records on Adams Street for about five years, said he is using Record Store Day as an opportunity to relaunch the new music store, “especially with all the bad weather — we’ve been closed half the time.
“Last year’s event was the biggest event we ever had at Shakn’ Street, so we’re hoping that will help things here.”
The reason Curry closed Shakin’ Street and opened Friendly Beaver was to help centralize all of his business interests, said Curry, who had an office at Headliners, a club on North Detroit Avenue
“And I liked the idea of starting fresh, so that’s what we did,” he said of the move and name change.
Friendly Beaver records operates in what was previously an apartment in a storefront for about eight years, Curry said. “And it was trashed. We renovated it in like a month and are happy with how it turned out.”
Broc Curry is the owner of Friendly Beaver Records.
This year, Record Store Day happens to coincide with 419 Day, which celebrates the buy-local movement in the Toledo area, and Curry sees that as an added benefit.
“It’s kind of neat that it falls on 419 Day. All the clubs have big events planned.”
Even though the seventh annual Record Store Day is a chance for avid fans of records to add hundreds of titles and special releases to their collection such as this year’s Cake box set and the Ghostbusters’ 30th anniversary soundtrack re-release on glowing vinyl, it’s all about the record stores’ vitality.
“It’s our biggest day of the year by far,” said Erica McClure, who works at Finders Records in Bowling Green. “The biggest misconception is, it’s just the day to get special limited edition records. It helps keep independent record stores in business.”
Rob Kimple, who owns RamaLama Records — which will celebrate its 10th anniversary with a concert next month — in West Toledo agreed that it’s “by far the biggest day for us” and the overall resurgence of the medium has helped too.
“We’ve always sold vinyl, but people are looking for it in leaps and bounds now. It’s probably overtaken our CD sales.”
Kimple said RSD customers range in age everywhere from pre-teens to septuagenarians.
Friendly Beaver sells both used and new records. The store will be open at 9 a.m. Saturday for Record Store Day.
Other indies also participating in the event include the four area Allied Record Exchange stores and Culture Clash Records, which was “part of the coalition of stores that started Record Store Day,” according to store buyer Shane Shirley.
Maybe the best thing Record Store Day has done is given indie stores a chance to compete with the chains and the superstores.
“Big box stores usually don’t do vinyl,” Curry said. “It’s been a boon for mom and pop stores. It’s just a better experience, a more personal experience.”
But a little nostalgia doesn’t hurt either.
“Music lovers want to come to a store like this where you can hold the records in your hands and enjoy the experience,” Curry said.
If you go ...
Gabe Beam, manager at the South Reynolds location of Allied Record exchange says, “Every day is Record Store Day for us.” In addition to the event specials he said his store will have a sidewalk sale, weather permitting, to unload some of the store’s overstock. Here is a list of participating stores with their hours and promotions being run in addition to the RSD specials:
Allied Record Exchange
Address: 1720 S. Reynolds Rd.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Promotions: Used records are marked down 25 percent.
Other locations: 1734 W. Laskey Rd., 419-474-3472; 3550 Executive Pkwy., 419-536-9890; 3253 Navarre Ave., 419-697-5538.
Culture Clash Records
Address: 4020 Secor Rd.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Promotions: Its own record, Breaking Glass, a compilation of Toledo music from the 1960s, ‘70, and ‘80s; in-store performers Mark McGuire, a national recording artist, and The Best, one of the bands featured on Breaking Glass.
Address: 128 Main St., Bowling Green
Hours: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Promotions: Ransom giveaways, grab-bags, and T-shirts for paying customers.
Friendly Beaver Records
Address: 136 Main St.
Hours: 9 a.m. to “at least 11 p.m.”
Promotions: Buy three, get one free on CDs, DVDs, and Blu-rays; first 50 customers to make purchases get a free.T-shirt.
Address: 3151 W. Central Ave.
Hours: 10 a.m. to at least 7 p.m., or “whenever people leave.”
Promotions: Ten percent off new stock, 20 percent off used; in-store performances by Dooley Wilson and Todd Albright; grab bags.
For more information, go to recordstoreday.com.
Note: Customers have been known to show up early, similar to Black Friday. Rob Kimple of RamaLama Records said his first customer got in line at 6:30 a.m. last year.
Contact Bob Cunningham at firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6506.