The needle dropped onto the spinning black circle, crackling briefly before the cacophony kicked in.
The sounds of 1960s-era British band Manfred Mann’s “Mighty Quinn” filled the small storefront space in the Center Grove area. Danny Lindsey, owner of the Vinyl Rescue Project, stepped away from the record player. Inside his store, thousands of plastic-covered records offered everything from classic rock to hip-hop to electronic music.
Unlike downloading a song off the Internet, vinyl harkens back to a time when music was a journey.
“I always thought vinyl records were the best way to listen to music. I’m not saying that it’s always the best, but I think the entire experience is better,” he said. “You’re an active participant. You have to seek out the albums, then you have to decide if you want to listen to the other side or put on something else.”
Story continues below gallery
To celebrate the music that he loves, Lindsey will be one of hundreds of independent music stores recognizing the uniqueness of vinyl during Record Store Day. Fans will be treated to food and drink, live music and special deals on T-shirts, posters and other merchandise.
Most of all, people can get their hands on limited edition releases from bands such as Bruce Springsteen, Robert Plant, Phish and Wu-Tang Clan, among hundreds of others.
“It’s a chance to get something they only made 500 copies of,” Lindsey said. “It’s about the relationship between the customer and the independent record shop. And it’s gotten to be a tradition for people. They get together with their friends and go out on Record Store Day.”
Record Store Day has become a music-lover’s holiday ever since it was founded in 2007. A group of independent record store owners banded together to help draw up support for the small, local music stores that had become small communities since rock ’n’ roll hit the scene.
“We noticed in 2007, a lot of press and lot of attention was saying that there were no more record stores,” said Carrie Collitan, a manager of Record Store Day. “The larger chains were closing, but we knew there were hundreds of independent record stores across the country.”
Part of the draw of the day are the rarities released for the event. Special vinyl and CD releases are created exclusively for the day, and hundreds of artists take part.
During the first Record Store Day, about 20 special releases were issued. This year, there are more than 400.
“That’s one way to mark how it’s grown. More artists and labels want to be a part of it,” Collitan said.
About 1,200 stores take part in the yearly event. During last year’s Record Store Day, independent stores moved 605,000 albums, representing 19 percent of all of the albums sold that week, according to Billboard.
In Indianapolis, Luna Records in the Broad Ripple neighborhood has turned the event into a daylong block party. Customers pack into the store flipping through thousands of titles, pawing over boxes of sale items and lining up for special deals.
Out back, local bands, food and beer give shoppers a place to hang out and take a break from the crowds.
Farther north in Broad Ripple, Indy CD & Vinyl will feature performances by local bands Shimmercore, Brother O’Brother and Five Year Mission. Students from Deckademics DJ School will perform alongside DJ Cool Hand Lex and DJ Metrognome.
“Our goal is to celebrate, promote and drive traffic into brick-and-mortar record stores — to spread the word that these stores are there 365 days a year and playing a very important role in their communities,” Collitan said. “They sell entertainment and sometimes solace. Whatever emotion you’re feeling, you can find them in a record store.”
This will be the second year that Vinyl Rescue Project will take part.
Lindsey founded Vinyl Rescue Project in August 2013. A lifelong fan of vinyl records, he remembers going into his neighborhood store on the westside of Indianapolis to buy the latest releases with his sisters.
“All my life, I wanted to own a record shop,” he said. “Some people might have thought I lost my mind. When vinyl died out and CDs became popular, I still collected, but not as heavy. But then I noticed that over the past several years, there were more people buying them.”
Last year, people bought more than 9.2 million records, an increase of 52 percent from 2013, according to Nielsen Music. Vinyl made up 6 percent of all physical music sales.
“People want something tangible that they can hold on to and listen to,” Lindsey said. “It’s a totally different sound from the digital download.”
His stock includes a little bit of everything — jazz, early rock ’n’ roll, gospel. He refurbishes used records, putting them through a professional cleaning process to ensure that they still play.
“I want people who are into the newer stuff to come in, and people who are my age to come in and find what they’re looking for as well,” he said.
Lindsey has ordered 99 percent of the special titles being offered during Record Store Day. He is excited for the release of the soundtrack for “The Family Way,” featuring under-the-radar music by Paul McCartney. A handful of Kinks albums also are scheduled to come out for the day that he’s looking forward to hearing.
He’ll feature sales and special giveaways as well. In 2014, he gave away a turntable and a package he called A Year of Vinyl. Every month from April to March, the winner received a new vinyl album.
While Lindsey and other record stores will see a bump in sales due to the exposure from Record Store Day, the value is in exposing more people to the artistry of vinyl and getting people interested for the future.
“What’s best for us is having everybody’s focus on us,” he said. “I make some money on Record Store Day, but it’s mostly about bringing people in that day, and they come back for the rest of the year.”
Record Store Day festivities
Vinyl Rescue Project
When: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Where: 520 N. State Road 135, Suite M, Greenwood
Indy CD & Vinyl
When: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. April 18
Where: 806 Broad Ripple Ave., Indianapolis
When: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. April 18
Where: 5202 N. College Ave., Indianapolis
When: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: 9 Johnson Ave., Indianapolis
“Songs from the Laundry”
Why: Lead singer Dave Grohl is the official ambassador of Record Store Day this year, and his band responded by releasing a special 10-inch album featuring early demo versions of hits “Alone+Easy Target” and “Big Me.” The band also covers Kim Wilde’s “Kids in America” and offers the previously unreleased “Empty Handed.”
“The Family Way: Original Soundtrack Recording
Why: The Beatles bassist composed this soundtrack for the 1967 film starring Hayley Mills, recording it before his more famous band started work on “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” Reissued on vinyl, the album is one of the most sough-after souvenirs for Beatles fans.
“I Feel You”
Why: Fans of ’80s Britpop will want to get their hands on this 7-inch colored album. Marr, who helped power the Smiths to superstardom with former friend Morrissey, covers his old band’s classic “Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want.” The A-side is another classic, this time of Depeche Mode’s “I Feel You.”
“Protect Ya Neck”
The Wu-Tang Clan
Why: The song that launched the careers of the nine-member Wu-Tang Clan gets a remaster and reissue on 12-inch yellow-and-black vinyl. Three versions of the songs are included on the A side, with four remixes of “Method Man” on the back side. Only 3,000 copies are being pressed.
“Get Behind Me Satan”
The White Stripes
Why: For the first time ever on vinyl, the Detroit duo releases one of their most ambitious albums on specially colored red and white records. Songs such as “Blue Orchid,” “My Doorbell,” “Denial Twist and “I’m Lonely (But I Ain’t That Lonely Yet)” revisit the mastery of Jack and Meg White in celebration of the album’s 10th anniversary.