The windows at my favourite record store are covered in fingerprints and greasy smears because adults are just as prone to peering in through darkened glass as small children. The shop has been closed to the public (again) for the last few months as a third wave of Covid-19 swept through Canada, prompting my Visa bill to rise precipitously as I constantly ordered online in a bid to quell my crate-digging urges. With infection rates now dropping thanks to a somewhat aggressive vaccination rollout by governments, shops are tentatively reopening with strict limits on the number of patrons and masks/hand sanitizing mandatory.
I don’t mind masks or dousing myself with alcohol in the least, because while I might not be able to easily cop a whiff of old tip-on LP jackets, I can let my fingers fly through the stacks with abandon as I freely ogle aisle after aisle of unmolested albums and CDs. The timing of this return to almost-normalcy thankfully coincides with the first of two Record Store Days in 2021. The first drop will be June 12, and the second on July 17. Last year saw several delays before three dates – spread over three months – were secured (August 29, September 26 and October 24).
Photo below: Even with store openings now allowed, patrons are returning slowly to local shops.
In regards to the current state of affairs vis-à-vis Covid-19, the official RSD website says, “Things are improving but in this continued unprecedented global situation, where production and shipping is still in a state of struggle, the focus of these two drop dates is on bringing revenue to the stores – as well as to the artists, labels, distribution and every other business behind the scenes making record stores work, in a fiscally and socially responsible way. The spread of titles over two dates in two months allows some flexibility for the struggling vinyl pressing plants and distribution companies as well as provides stores time to prepare budgets and place the orders that safely get music into the hands of customers on a larger than normal release day.”
So, with these dates set, collectors can gird their wallets, stash some hand sanitizer in their record bags, and write out their LP purchase lists from the official RSD 2021 Drop List HERE.