Markets/Shopping, Music

Celebrate Record Store Day with the Vinylphiles of Pittsburgh

Take your records for a spin at Cousins Lounge or sign up for a DJ slot at New Am thanks to PGH Record Night

What’s Record Store Day?

Founded in 2007, Record Store Day was established to celebrate and raise awareness around the unique culture that exists within independent record stores. Held each April, Record Store Day is a mix of limited edition vinyls, rare releases and special events. Around the city, in neighborhoods from Squirrel Hill to Allentown to Dormont to the Northside to Millvale, record stores have pre-ordered their allotment of special releases, made some markdowns and percent-off deals, and are opening their doors early for Pittsburgh’s vinyl enthusiasts.

The lists of participating venues and store specials have already been published, here and here.

Like a deep dig in the Jerry’s Records bins, we decided to highlight some of the things you can do with your records AFTER you buy them.

These events can also be fun if your record player is currently broken (me), if you inherited your mom’s Carole King collection from the 1970s (also me), or if you just want to celebrate RSD without buying any records.

But what to do AFTER you go shopping?

For the third year in a row, Cousins Lounge is joining forces with Dogfish Head Brewery to throw a party for Record Store Day.

Record Store Day can be fraught with long waits and anticipation. There’s sometimes an element of Black Friday-esque line madness.

But thanks to Cousins Lounge in Millvale (voted Pittsburgh Magazine’s Best of the ‘Burgh dive bar in the city in 2017), you can shop for records at The Attic just a few of blocks away, and then have a couple of drinks and bask in the success of your vinyl score. “We are huge music fans and we’ve attended many Record Store Days at The Attic,” co-owner Katie Goetz Dembowski explains, “Cousins has such a wide range of customers, we figured this would be a ‘something for everyone’ sort of event.”

She stumbled across Dogfish Head’s Beer to Drink Music To and their vast Record Store Day event history, and since Dogfish Head 60-Minute IPA was the first craft beer she convinced her father to let the bar carry, she realized that it was a natural partnership. Their beer rep was happy to oblige. In addition to beer specials, giveaways, and raffles, Cousins Lounge sets up a record player on the bar and encourages their patrons to play their favorite music. “Having everyone together listening to records and dancing is just awesome fun,” Dembowski says, “You get to listen to amazing tunes that you might not be familiar with.”

(Note: Cousins Lounge also is an avid supporter of live music, and frequently packs their small square footage with bands as part of their Taking Back Mondays series.)

Live music at Cousins Lounge. Photo: Sarah Bizanovich

Cousins Lounge opens at noon this Saturday, April 13, with beer specials, giveaways, and raffles. Bring your records and your dancing shoes.

Looking for another place to show off your purchases? Bring your favorites to PGH Record Night

Thanks to PGH Record Night you can sign up for your own half-hour DJ set and impress bar patrons with your playlist prowess. The premise is simple: They bring the gear, you bring the jams. All genres are welcome.

PGH Record Night convenes at Park House on the first Saturday of the month. They’re also at New Amsterdam the second Sunday of the month. This means that April’s installment conveniently falls the day after Record Store Day. Speaking from experience, these can be fun to attend even if you aren’t DJing; I have personally experienced an impromptu dance party in front of the dartboard at the Park House. PGH Record Night events also function as a place to buy, sell, or trade records, and make some new vinylphile friends.

Posted by Pghrecordnight on Monday, February 4, 2019

PGH Record Night is at New Amsterdam from 6 pm to midnight on Sunday, April 14, Get there early to claim your spot.

Authors Note: And if anyone wants to wait in line for me and spend some money, I will gladly accept this.