International Record Store Day celebrated in Boone

Ryan Morris

Every third Saturday in April since 2007, Record Store Day has been celebrated through the release of exclusive collectable vinyl records, special performances, sales and festivities at media outlets worldwide.

Famous bands release limited-edition records on Record Store Day and distribute them randomly to participating shops. The result is a mixed bag of both popular and unheard-of music spread out among the stores.

“It’s a clusterbomb,” said Kevin Frith, owner of Fat Cats Books, Music and Video.

Boone’s Fat Cats, an official Record Store Day host location, will also host live, local music in and around their shop all day Saturday in order to tie records sales with the Boone-area music scene.

“It’s one of the bigger days we have, and people really come out of the woodwork,” Frith said.

He hopes to use the store’s commercial success on this day, which initially caught him by surprise on the first Record Store Day, as a springboard to promote Boone-area music.

“A few of the people who are playing have voiced their frustration that they haven’t been able to get a foot in the door to play around here,” Frith said. “I’ve always been surprised that [Boone] is such a closed market for music. There are so many interesting people around here. I don’t understand it.”

The musical lineup for the day was organized by Fat Cats employee Evan Schantz, who will also perform alongside local hip-hop act C. Shreve the Professor. C. Shreve the Professor is fronted by Chris Shreve, a lecturer at Appalachian State University, who stepped in to help find and provide equipment for musical acts at the last minute.

“He really made this thing happen in a short period of time,” Schantz said.

The day is usually extremely busy for Boone in terms of record sales, with many customers coming to the stores without having stepped in them before.

A number of uneasy factors play into the town’s events for the weekend, one of which is that the weekend falls on counterculture holiday 4/20, an aspect that the promoters have emphasized on flyers and posters.

“It’s just a coincidence, but there could be a lot of nonsense going on,” Frith said.

Another aspect organizers have had to consider is the town noise ordinances that are often more rigorously enforced on days like 4/20.

At Fat Cats, where the music is extended to surrounding businesses as well, the police keep a watchful eye on the crowds. Last year, a few hundred people attended the store’s events, Frith said.

For the organizers, the weekend’s events serve as a reminder that local music and record stores are still in existence.

“Vinyl is alive and well,” Schantz said. “People just need to show their love.”

For a schedule of performances and deals, search for Boone on recordstoreday.com.

Story: LOVEY COOPER, Senior A&E Reporter