Record Store Day, StoopFest Round Out of Weekend of Music in Michigan


Image of vinyl records.

Story and photo by Anne Erickson

Jon Howard of Flat, Black and Circular in East Lansing, Michigan, discusses why Record Store Day 2022 is shaping up to be the biggest ever

There’s nothing like the feeling of walking into a local record store, seeing familiar faces behind the counter and rummaging through dozens, or hundreds, of vinyl records to find the perfect pick. In that spirit, Record Store Day returns on Saturday (April 23), offering a day of exclusive vinyl and cassette releases available only at your local, independent record shop.

Record Store Day held its first event back in 2007. Now, a decade and a half later, it’s grown into a massive, worldwide event.

“It’s steamrolled, and it’s been a gradual increase throughout the years,” says Jon Howard, manager of Flat, Black & Circular in East Lansing, Michigan. “It’s been our biggest day of the year, and it hasn’t stopped growing every year, other than during COVID.”

For the past two years, Record Store Day hasn’t been the same, due to the pandemic. Organizers divided it into two days, splitting their list in half, and it just didn’t create the same buzz. This year, though, Howard says the buzz is bigger than ever.

“It feels back to normal, and a lot more people are excited about it,” he says, adding that some releases he’s especially stoked for are from Wipers, Tangerine Dream and the “Blue Velvet” soundtrack.

As for what customers are asking about this year, Howard says it’s heavy on Taylor Swift and the Grateful Dead. “Taylor Swift has brought out people who don’t usually go to Record Store Day, so it’s opening it up to a new audience,” he says. “There’s a diverse list this time, and I’m happy with it.”

The Swift release, Howard adds, is limited to 10,000 copies, so it’s going to be hard to snag one. Not all stores received the special release, but Flat, Black and Circular did and will have them on hand Saturday.

Overall, Howard says Record Store Day has really helped bring awareness to local record stores and drive sales.

“Every time there’s something big like this that’s not normal, it’s a whole other audience that becomes aware of who we are and what do we do,” he says, “and I’m sure it’s the same in every town.”

Following Record Store Day festivities, Howard will perform at Lansing’s StoopFest with his two-piece band, Bloody Butterflies. He plays guitar in the band alongside drummer Abigail Mogg.

StoopFest is a two-day music festival in Lansing, running Friday and Saturday at various outdoor and indoor venues throughout the city. Performers include Sidney Gish, Frontier Ruckus, Screaming Females, Cavalcade, Rachel Curtis, The Wild Honey Collective and more. For more information on StoopFest and the full lineup, go here.

Anne Erickson
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