After two years of adapting to the pandemic, pivoting to smaller, more frequent (and often online and contactless) “drops” instead of one central holiday, and overcoming supply chain issues, Record Store Day triumphantly returned last year to its traditional April timeframe and with some sense of normalcy, just in time for its 15th anniversary! What started as an annual celebration of all things vinyl, marked largely by niche indie releases and celebrating independent stores, RSD has ballooned over the years to become a cultural phenomenon, now bringing a massive number of new, collectible, and limited-edition releases and reissues from artists small and large, and prompting tons of festivities at independent record stores across the nation. This year’s installment, which takes places this Saturday, April 22, has tapped Nashville residents Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires as its U.S, ambassadors, and they’re dropping a RSD First 12″ EP to mark the occasion.
Being the music-obsessed city that we are, Nashville has historically gone all out every year, and though the pandemic did dampen festivities a bit for awhile, 2023 feels like the most normal and full-fledged RSD celebration since 2019, with events planned at virtually every independent shop in town! To help you keep track, we’ve put together this annual guide, detailing all the stores, sales, performances, events, and releases you should be privy to in order to help navigate Record Store Day, as well as some evening shows, RSD related and otherwise, if you’d like to make a whole day of it.
As we first pointed out in 2019, this holiday has felt a bit more bittersweet in recent times, as there’s a noticeable drop in shops from just a few years ago. Fond Object, The Vinyl Bunker, and Atomic all shuttered awhile back, and more recently we lost Boulevard Records and New Life Record Shop, with downtown institution Ernest Tubb Record Shop narrowly escaping closure. After this weekend, Madison’s CD Warehouse, an official RSD participant will shutter as well (though, on one brighter note, relatively new downtown shop Swaggie is a new addition to our list this year). We hope that serves as a sobering reminder that even in a music-loving city such as this, at a time when vinyl is seeing a massive resurgence, local record stores are still small businesses, and in a town becoming increasingly more expensive and inaccessible to navigate, it’s more important than ever to support them as much as you can, all year long, even after the RSD fun ends.
Read on for the full Record Store Day rundown, and start planning your day!
Famed local record store Grimey’s only got to celebrate one full-scale Record Store Day in their new shop, which they relocated to in late 2018, before the pandemic, but as RSD pivoted to smaller, more frequent “drops” for a few years, they were a leader in Covid safety, and in contactless and online sales. Keeping up with the system established at last year’s in-person RSD return, the shop will have a special Record Store Day line where patrons will be presented with a “menu” of available releases and asked to write down their picks, which will be fetched and rung up by employees; in other words, you should expect a slower moving line, but a smoother experience, which rewards arriving early.
WHERE: 1060 East Trinity Lane; RSD exclusives will be available in the rear entrance, across from Anaconda Vintage. Parking is limited.
WHEN: The shop opens at 10 a.m., but expect eager patrons to line up much earlier. Grimey’s asks that you do so around back.
WHO: No live music has been announced for this year (we hope to see a full-scale Grimey’s RSD celebration in the future, like they regularly hosted at the old shop), but the WXNA DJs will be there spinning from noon to 5 p.m.
WHAT: Expect a really comprehensive selection of Record Store Day exclusives and a lot of inventory. In addition, food from The Secret Bodega pop-up and free cookies from Hi-Fi, voter registration from Headcount, and a chance to win tickets to the upcoming Re:SET festival.
WHY: Though other shops in town have certainly upped their game and might be a tad less crowded while featuring more activities this year, Grimey’s is still arguably the city’s most famous record store, and in our experience has the largest selection of releases available.
The Groove is another East Nashville fixture, and has really upped their Record Store Day game over the years with lots of live music, vendors, and a great selection of exclusive releases. Like Grimey’s, a line tends to form very early, but if your intention is to stick around, eat and drink, and socialize after shopping, their plans for this year are looking like a great hang.
WHERE: 1103 Calvin Ave; RSD releases are typically set up in a special row inside the store, with music outside.
WHEN: The shop opens at 9 a.m., and music begins at 11:30 a.m.
WHO: It’s a stacked lineup this year, with Future Crib, Jive Talk, Wilby, Brian Brown, and more, plus a special guest to close things out.
Here’s the schedule:
11:30 a.m. – Dēdo
12:20 p.m. – Molly Martin
1:05 p.m. – She Returns from War
2:00 p.m. – Patzy
2:50 p.m. – Jamiah
3:40 p.m. – Brian Brown
4:30 p.m. – Future Crib
5:20 p.m. – Jive Talk
6:10 p.m. – Wilby
7:05 p.m. – Special Guest
WHAT: Expect a great selection of RSD exclusives and inventory, live music presented by Acme Radio Live, food trucks, drinks, vendors, a charity raffle, and more.
WHY: With its proximity to Grimey’s, it’s easy to hit both, but The Groove might be a good bet for folks who want more vendor and entertainment choices, or for the chance of a slightly shorter early line.
Vinyl Tap has been one of our low-key favorite Record Store Day stops for years, as their selection is competitive and their crowds typically a bit more manageable. This year, they seem to be giving every other shop in town a run for their money with a really-expertly curated musical and DJ lineup, plus food and vendors and drink specials running all day long!
WHERE: 2038 Greenwood Ave; A table of RSD exclusives will be set up inside, and music will take place across both indoor and outdoor stages.
WHEN: The shop opens at 9 a.m., with other festivities slated to kick off at 11:30 a.m.
WHO: Vinyl Tap has the biggest lineup of the day, with performances from the likes of William Tyler, Alanna Royale, Faux Ferocious, Eric Slick, Erin Rae, and more, plus DJ sets from a bunch of local faves, and a drag performance from Lexi Von Simmons!
Here’s the performance schedule:
11:30 – Love Montage
12:30 – Rock Eupora
1:30 – Full Mood
2:30 – Eric Slick
3:00 – Drag Performance by Lexi Von Simmons
3:30 – Alanna Royale
4:30 – Faux Ferocious
4:30 – $avvy
12:00 p.m. – Hannah Delynn
1:00p.m. – Brit Taylor
2:00p.m. – Erin Rae
3:00p.m. – William Tyler & the Impossible Truth
4:00p.m. – Dead Dogs
5:00p.m. – Joelton Mayfield
WHAT: Vinyl Tap’s RSD festivities have grown so much that they appear to have the biggest celebration of the bunch this year, and certainly the coolest musical lineup. In addition to bands and DJs, expect a food truck park, an East Nashville Beer Works tent, venders curated by Be Good Market, merch printed by Music City Creative, 15% off non-RSD vinyl, and more.
WHY: You could potentially have better luck scoring what you’re looking for without camping out for hours, and the musical lineup is worth checking out whether you care about shopping for RSD exclusives or not! This is probably the best option for locals who want the most laid-back neighborhood hang.
In the past, The Great Escape (with locations in Madison, West Nashville, and Murfreesboro) felt like something of a RSD hack, previously opening as early at 7 a.m., allowing for a chance to snag some releases and still make it to another store by opening. However, like last year, they’re opening their doors an hour later than they did pre-pandemic, but that still gives you a chance to shop hop should you so choose. Though better known for their used selection, The Great Escape does carry new RSD exclusives.
WHERE: 105 Gallatin Pike N (Madison Superstore) and 5400 Charlotte Ave (West Nashville).
WHEN: All locations are set to open at 8 a.m.
WHO: Country singer Victoria Hallman will be at the Charlotte Ave store from noon to 1 p.m. to meet fans and sign copies of the RSD release of long-lost album From Birmingham To Bakersfield.
WHAT: While The Great Escape might not stock quite as many releases as some other shops, our experience is that their selection is still quite good, and usually features the most popular titles. In addition to RSD exclusives, both Nashville area locations are hosting store-wide sales, and giving away up to five free items from their $.99 selection.
WHY: Since they’re better known for comics, toys, games, and used vinyl, The Great Escape might not be on the top of as many folks’ minds when it comes to Record Store Day, which combined with their earlier opening time can make them a less-crowded option. Additionally, they have a lot of cool non-RSD inventory to browse.
For Franklin residents, Luna seems to be the best, most comprehensive experience in town, offering a selection of releases and a shopping experience that rivals any of the Nashville shops. If you’re a Nashville resident, there may not be a need to make the trek instead, though an early opening time and the ability to queue inside The Factory at Franklin as early as 6 a.m., with all of its amenities, does sound appealing. Luna is also the only store who’ve outlined their online plans, which is to make the remaining releases available for purchase on their site by 7 a.m. Sunday.
WHERE: 230 Franklin Rd Ste 12D (inside The Factory at Franklin); Releases will be inside the shop and available to browse in a single-file line.
WHEN: Luna opens at 9 a.m., and The Factory opens at 6 a.m. for those who wish to line up inside. Those who arrive before 6 should line up by the Liberty Hall entrance outside.
WHO: No live music is planned at Luna; their event is vinyl-focused.
WHAT: Nestled inside The Factory at Franklin, Luna is one of the best-curated record stores around, and they plan to order thousands of RSD exclusives, carrying nearly everything they can. Additionally, used vinyl will be 20% off. And, since it’s in The Factory, there are plenty of coffee, food, and shopping options in the same building.
WHY: Whether you live in Franklin or want to go for more low-key, indoor RSD experience, Luna will have a comparable selection to Grimey’s, The Groove, and Vinyl Tap with likely less of the chaos.
ADDITIONAL RECORD STORES
McKay Books (636 Old Hickory Blvd) – Mostly known for their used selection, McKay does officially participate in Record Store Day, so they’ll stock some exclusive releases just like the shops above. Their RSD event is simply vinyl-focused, with no extra actives planned, but they do also have a massive selection of non-RSD items to peruse as well. McKay opens at 9 a.m., and early shoppers will also get a free RSD exclusive poster.
Swaggie (211 Union Street) – Downtown record shop Swaggie have only been open a couple years, and may have been too new to participate in the last RSD, as we didn’t see them listed last year. This time though, they’re both signed on as an official participant, and teasing Record Store Day on their social media, so it appears that they’ll be stocking exclusives; we just don’t know how many or whether they have any further plans for the occasion. If you’d like to find out, they open at 9 a.m., and are the only downtown locale officially participating.
CD Warehouse (2143 Gallatin Pike N) – Long-running chain CD Warehouse officially participates in Record Store Day, making them, like McKay, another likely to be overlooked option that could prove to be less-trafficked. On a bittersweet note, this weekend marks their last in business, but they do appear to still be stocking RSD exclusives, and are running sales on the rest of their inventory. They plan to open at 9 a.m. on Saturday, and are open again Sunday for one final farewell.
Third Man Records (623 7th Ave S) – Jack White’s Third Man Records had historically been one of our favorite stops on Record Store Day, since even though they didn’t carry anything aside from their own releases, they’ve typically had a full slate of performances, activities, and exclusives. Since the pandemic, however, they’ve pulled back on their participation, and this year are simply offering 10% off of records and merchandise with proof of receipt from any other local record store, making them a fun 2nd (or 3rd or 4th) stop if you plan to make a day of it. Normal hours are 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Phonoluxe Records (2609 Nolensville Pike) – Though it’s been in business for 35 years and has one of the absolute best selections of vinyl in town, Phonoluxe Records seems, for whatever reason, to be more under the radar than the likes of Grimey’s, The Groove, or Vinyl Tap. Unfortunately, they don’t appear to stock RSD exclusives, but they are putting out hundreds of new arrivals for the occasion, and if you’re simply looking for a spot to score great finds, check it out and thank us later. Phonoluxe is open normal hours, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Carpe Diem (212 S Margin St; Franklin) – Franklin’s first record shop Carpe Diem has been a little off our radar in Record Store Days past, but the small but well-curated shop not only has a killer used selection and other wares, but also plans to offer a full-slate of RSD exclusives. Shopping begins at 10 a.m. with live music and food offered next door at Kimbro’s Pickin’ Parlor all afternoon.
Alison’s Record Shop (994A Davidson Dr.) – West side destination Alison’s Record Shop has a great selection of vinyl, but, per usual, they won’t have any official RSD releases. Still, if you’re making the rounds or find yourself on that end of town (it’s a great post-McKay stop, if that’s where you choose to get started), they’ll be offering 15% off of everything, and are open normal hours, noon – 5 p.m.
ADDITIONAL LIVE MUSIC
Beyond just the official Record Store Day celebrations throughout the afternoon, there are plenty of other musical happenings on Saturday. If you want to keep the music going all evening, here are some other shows to consider, loosely RSD themed and otherwise:
Record Store Day & Earth Day After Party: The Wild Feathers, JD Clayton, Tré Burt, The Young Fables, Dr Hz and the Lab Rats, Ducky Neptune
Plus: vinyl DJ sets by WXNA, live lathe cutting, food truck, drink specials, special merch, silent auction
@ The Vinyl Lounge
7pm | 21+ | $20-75
Rites of Spring Day 2: A$AP Ferg, Sean Kingston, Maude Latour, Yaubryon
@ Vanderbilt Alumni Lawn
6pm | All Ages | $35-50
20 Year Anniversary Party: The Clones, Quichenight, Mark Fredson, Stephie James, Jamas, Derek Hoke, Tim Carroll, Joe Marc’s brother
@ The 5 Spot
6pm | 21+ | More
B|_ank w/ Alex Silva, Total Wife, Isolation Room
8pm | All Ages | $10
Jack the Underdog w/ Press Pause, PITRE!, Between 4th & 5th
@ Springwater Supper Club
8pm | 21+ | $10
half•alive w/ Tessa Violet & Dev Lemons
@ Marathon Music Works
7:30pm | All Ages | SOLD OUT
Theo Katzman w/ Benjamin Jaffe
@ Brooklyn Bowl
8:30pm | 18+ | $30-35
The Druids, RIFFT, Silent Monolith
@ Betty’s Grill
8pm | $10
@ The East Room
8pm | 18+ | SOLD OUT
@ City Winery
8pm | All Ages | $20-35
LOCAL RELEASES TO LOOK OUT FOR
There aren’t generally a ton of Record Store Day exclusives from local artists, but among this year’s picks are some particularly cool ones, including from 2023 RSD ambassadors Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires, and what’s sure to be one of the year’s most sought-after releases from last year’s ambassador (and still part-time Nashvillian) Taylor Swift:
Amanda Shires – Live at Columbia Studio A LP (RSD Exclusive)
Arlie – Wait LP (RSD Exclusive)
The Black Keys – Live At Beachland Tavern March 31, 2002 LP (RSD Exclusive)
Dolly Parton – The Monument Singles Collection 1964-1968 LP (RSD Exclusive)
Jason Isbell & Amanda Shires – The Sound Emporium EP LP (RSD First)
Stephen Sanchez – Easy On My Eyes LP (RSD First)
Taylor Swift – folklore: the long pond studio sessions 2xLP (RSD Exclusive)
NATIONAL RELEASES TO LOOK OUT FOR
Record Store Day has, admittedly, morphed into a lot of fluff and obvious cash grabs. To help you navigate the full list of national releases, we’ve combed through to find what we think might be worthy additions to your vinyl collection; a mix of rarities, overdue re-pressings, first time runs, and more:
The 1975 – Live With The BBC Philharmonic Orchestra 2xLP (RSD Exclusive)
Arooj Aftab – Live in London LP (RSD Exclusive)
Beach House – Become LP (RSD First)
Billy Joel – Live At The Great American Music Hall – 1975 2xLP (RSD Exclusive)
Bjork – the fossora remixes LP (RSD Exclusive)
Blur – Blur Present The Special Collectors Edition 2xLP (RSD Exclusive)
Brian Eno – Forever Voiceless LP (RSD Exclusive)
Broken Social Scene – You Forgot It In People (20th Anniversary) 2xLP (RSD First)
Butcher Brown & Bruce Hornsby – Secret House LP (RSD Exclusive)
Chief Keef – Mansion Musick LP (RSD Exclusive)
The Cure – Show (2023 Remaster) 2xLP (RSD Exclusive)
David Byrne – The Complete Score From “The Catherine Wheel” 2xLP (RSD Exclusive)
DIIV – Live At The Murmrr Theatre LP (RSD Exclusive)
Dirty Projectors + Bjork – Mount Wittenberg Orca (Expanded Edition) 2xLP (RSD First)
Doctor Who – The Amazing World Of Doctor Who 2xLP (RSD First)
Duran Duran – Carnival Rio! LP (RSD Exclusive)
E-40 – Revenue Retrievin’ – Day Shift 2xLP (RSD First)
Eric Carr – Rockology 2xLP (RSD Exclusive)
Frank Turner – Tape Deck Heart 2xLP (RSD First)
Frou Frou – Off Cuts LP (RSD Exclusive)
Garbage – Witness To Your Love EP LP (RSD Exclusive)
Grateful Dead – Boston Garden, Boston, MA 5/7/77 (Live) 5xLP (RSD Exclusive)
Heroin – Discography 2xLP (RSD First)
Husker Du – Tonite Longhorn 2xLP (RSD First)
Jerry Harrison – The Red and The Black 2xLP (RSD Exclusive)
Joan Jett & The Blackhearts – Up Your Alley LP (RSD First)
Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros – Streetcore (20th Anniversary) LP (RSD Exclusive)
Jonathan Richman – Jonathan Goes Country LP (RSD First)
Keith Richards – Vintage Vinos 2xLP (RSD Exclusive)
Larry Lovestein & The Velvet Revival – You 10″ (RSD First)
Macho Man Randy Savage – Be A Man LP (RSD Limited Run)
Madonna – American Life Mixshow Mix (In Memory of Peter Rauhofer) LP (RSD Exclusive)
Maya Hawke – “To Love A Boy”/”Stay Open” 7″ (RSD First)
Midlake – Live At Roundhouse 2xLP (RSD Exclusive)
The Midnight – Red, White and Bruised: The Midnight Live LP (RSD Exclusive)
Miles Davis – TURNAROUND: Unreleased Rare Vinyl from On The Corner LP (RSD First)
Nas – Made You Look: God’s Son Live 2002 LP (RSD First)
Norah Jones – Little Broken Hearts: Live At Allaire Studios LP (RSD First)
Ol’ Dirty Bastard – Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version 2xLP (RSD Exclusive)
Orville Peck – Bronco 2xLP (RSD Exclusive)
Paul McCartney And Wings – Red Rose Speedway LP (RSD First)
Pearl Jam – Give Way 2xLP (RSD Exclusive)
Pixies – Doolittle — Live In Brussels 2009 2xLP (RSD First)
The Pogues – The Stiff Records B-Sides 2xLP (RSD Exclusive)
Ramones – Pleasant Dreams (The New York Mixes) LP (RSD Exclusive)
Raphael Saadiq – The Way I See It LP (RSD First)
Rich Kids – Ghosts of Princes in Towers LP (RSD Exclusive)
Ringo Starr – Stop & Smell The Roses 2xLP (RSD Exclusive)
Romeo Void – Live From The Mabuhay Gardens November 14, 1980 LP (RSD First)
Roy Ayers – Stoned Soul Picnic LP (RSD First)
Scott Weiland – 12 Bar Blues 2xLP (RSD Exclusive)
Sigur Ros – Kveikur 2xLP (RSD Exclusive)
The Sisters Of Mercy – The Reptile House LP (RSD Exclusive)
Sparks – Sparks LP (RSD First)
Sparks – A Woofer In A Tweeter’s Clothing LP (RSD First)
Stevie Nicks – Bella Donna Live 1981 2xLP (RSD Exclusive)
T. Rex – Rockin’ & Rollin’ LP (RSD First)
Tom Tom Club – Tom Tom Club (Expanded Edition) 2xLP (RSD Exclusive)
Tori Amos – Little Earthquakes – The B-Sides LP (RSD Exclusive)
Van Halen – LIVE: Right Here, Right Now 4xLP (RSD Exclusive)
Various Artists – Larry Levan’s Paradise Garage 2xLP (RSD Exclusive)
Various Artists – Nuggets: Original Artyfacts From the First Psychedelic Era (1964-1968)[50th Anniversary Box] 5xLP (RSD Exclusive)
Various Artists – Psyche France Vol. 8 LP (RSD Exclusive)
Violent Femmes – Violent Femmes (40th Anniversary) LP (RSD Exclusive)
Wilco – Crosseyed Strangers: An Alternate Yankee Hotel Foxtrot LP (RSD Exclusive)
Yes – Live at Knoxville Civic Auditorium 3xLP (RSD Exclusive)