Arts & Culture

Record Store Day Roundup: The Best Places to Celebrate Vinyl in Baltimore

The annual day dedicated to independent music shops is all queued up to return on Saturday, April 20.

Calling all old-school music lovers. Record Store Day, the annual tribute to independently run vinyl shops across the globe, is all queued up to return on Saturday, April 20.

Originally launched in 2007, the initiative is meant to honor the personalized culture of sonically shopping small, as well as a record store’s ability to bring our communities together through music. Typically, local shops participate with special deals and limited-edition releases (check out the full list of this year’s RSD releases, here), so it’s also the perfect excuse to pick out some new titles to bring home to your turntable.

Whether you’re looking for something specific—or simply want to celebrate with fellow collectors—these participating stores are sure to provide an upbeat atmosphere for you to show your gratitude this Saturday.

Celebrated Summer Records
Located in the heart of Hampden, this fan-favorite shop has provided the community with a variety of punk, hardcore, jazz, soul, and indie rock selections since 2006. In honor of Record Store Day, the doors are opening bright and early at 9 a.m. Patrons can expect a wide variety of used records and RSD products to hit shelves just in time for the big day. 3616 Falls Rd

Atomic Books
Looking for a place to test out your new records or get inspired for your next purchase? After flipping through the bins at Falls Road neighbor Celebrated Summer Records, head over to Hampden’s Atomic Books for a special RSD Listening Party from 4-7 p.m. The Atomic Music Club is hosting the event inside Eightbar, the bookstore’s cozy bar and cafe. Sip on a local craft beer or cider while listening to RSD exclusives old and new, all in the company of fellow music enthusiasts. 3620 Falls Rd

Ka-Chunk Records
Head over to this Annapolis staple to shop a collection of more than 700 new, used, and hard-to-find LPs. Each year, shop owner Matt Mona designs a limited-edition RSD poster to commemorate the day. This year’s layout features elements from vintage magazines cut out and arranged in a logo to perfectly capture the store’s artsy vibe. Posters will be available for shoppers to purchase along with their vinyl starting at 10 a.m. 78 Maryland Ave., Annapolis

Mount Vernon Records
Sure, this Read Street store is a go-to for a vast variety of music and merch. But owners William Hicks and Aaron Spence also use their shop as a means to foster community with pop-up exhibits, listening parties, and DJ workshops. If you haven’t yet visited the arts hub, which debuted in October 2022, make it a Record Store Day destination. 231 W. Read St. 

Normals Books & Records
For 31 years, this brick-and-mortar store in Waverly has been serving readers and music-lovers alike with its impeccable selection. To celebrate Record Store Day in style, Normals is partnering with Mark Wadley, author and editor of Bruiser magazine, to create two limited-edition RSD graphic T-shirt designs. Shirts will be available to guests on April 20th only, on a first-come, first-served basis. 425 E. 31st St.

Protean Books and Records
The iconic industrial building in Federal Hill offers an eclectic collection of novels, manga, vintage video games, and of course, vinyl records. The team has been logging RSD inventory requests from regulars since February, so it’s safe to say there will be a well-curated collection to browse when the shop opens early at 8 a.m. on the big day. 836 Leadenhall St.

REB Records
Opened by two longtime friends with a mutual love of music, this Bel Air shop aims to share its passion for all things vinyl with the community. On Saturday, expect exclusive releases, new turntables, apparel, and various vinyl record supplies. A sneak peek at the RSD inventory highlights everything from jazz vibraphonist Dave Pike to funk superheroes Parliament. Grab some friends (and a strong coffee) and be the first in line to snag these titles and more when the doors open at 8 a.m. If the in-store shopping experience isn’t for you, all remaining inventory will be available online at 8 a.m. the following day. 4 N. Main St., Bel Air

The Sound Garden
The Fells Point fixture has appeared on more than 100 “Best Of” record store lists, including a mention from Rolling Stone in 2014. Its warehouse walls are covered from floor-to-ceiling in vinyl perfection, all available to listen to in-store for a unique “try-before-you-buy” experience. The Sound Garden inventory will feature a wide variety of Record Store Day exclusive releases, from Paramore’s latest album to a limited-edition Bill Evans recording. Doors open at 9 a.m., but we’re willing to bet a line will form beforehand. Similar to REB, all remaining inventory will be up online at 8 a.m. on April 21. 1616 Thames St.

Trax on Wax
Located in Catonsville, one of the Baltimore-area’s historic music towns, Trax on Wax is the perfect spot for both beginner and hardcore vinyl collectors. For the first time this year, the shop is skipping the reservations and holds and operating on a first-come, first-served basis. Doors open at 9 a.m., but be sure to arrive early for the best RSD selection. 709 Frederick Rd., Catonsville

True Vine
Established by friends with a love for “raw and non-traditional” music in Hampden, this haunt—now in Station North—is the place to go for music beyond our borders. Also dubbed one of Rolling Stone’s top record shops, its truly eclectic selection includes globe-spanning sounds from the “organ king of Cairo,” Belgian avant-rockers, and the Baltimore Club scene, just to name a few. 1827 N. Charles St.