My Black Friday shopping experience was a positive one. No, I didn’t claw through a mob of manic, possibly pepper spray-armed shoppers desperate for Wal-Mart’s electronics. Rather, I went to the 5th Annual Blackout At Sunrise Sale at Redscroll Records in Wallingford: a sale where a big crowd actually enhances the experience.
The three-day sale, which ends tonight at 9, provides 25% off everything but turntables, as well as all $1 LPs marked down to 10 cents. There are some free bonuses as well: spending $20 or more can get you a free Christmas LP, while $100+ merits a free T-shirt.
Owners Rick Sinkiewicz and Josh Carlson say that the sale is “always good” to them, since Black Friday and Record Store Day are their biggest days of the year. “Beyond the numbers, and more importantly, it gives us a chance to see so many friends and thank them in person for all the support,” they say.
Friday offered the most goodies: in addition to hot cider and chocolate-covered sandwich cookies (as well as exclusive records that have few, if any, copies left now,) five DJs spun records beginning at 10:30 AM: Tim Daltrey, Anthony Fantano, DJ Lokash, DJ Fresh Cut, and Maroje Tabakovic. At 8 PM, three bands performed in a “secret” location: Bust It!, No!, and Living Laser.
“The DJs we had throughout the day and the bands at the end of the night this year were great and definitely add an exciting element that we don’t have on any other day,” Rick and Josh say.
I showed up at about 12:30 P.M. to chat with Fantano; I’m a big fan of The Needle Drop and I’ve been in contact since meeting him at last year’s Blackout At Sunrise Sale. He’s certainly got some good taste: one of his first tracks was indie-chiptune band Anamanaguchi’s “Airbrushed” – a vibrant slab of 8-bit-drenched rock bliss.
Spending Black Friday at an independent store like Redscroll Records gave me a communal feeling that a major retailer simply can’t provide. Instead of killing each other to get stuff as cheap as possible, customers young and old browse peacefully; hopefully even sharing some insight along the way. I feel sorry for those whose Black Friday experience will never come close to something like that.
For anyone who might care what I picked up on Friday, here’s my list:
• Mr. President – Coco Jamboo (The Mixes) 12” (My first pick, straight from the 10-cent boxes outside. I simply couldn’t resist.)
• Battles – Ice Cream (Chocolate) 12” (The song is deliciously infectious as it is, so making its single available in Chocolate, Vanilla or Strawberry was a great move.)
• Black Flag – TV Party 12” (More punk bands should be this fun.)
• Neon Indian – Psychic Chasms CD (I can’t believe I’ve put off buying this chillwave gem for so long – I strongly recommend it.)
• V/A – Let’s Lazertag Sometime CD (I still need to listen to more of this – there’s some very interesting experimental/beat-driven stuff here.)