Record Shop Guide for Record Store Day

Plus: Milwaukee Day’s big Turner Hall concert, stream “UNINTIMIDATED: Wisconsin Musicians Against Scott Walker,” and more in our weekly music preview.

Vinyl record sales have skyrocketed over the past decade and that trend is certainly continuing—there was a 30 percent increase in sales in 2015 from the previous year and we’ve reached a point where physical records make more money for artists than its streamable counterpart. While there’s not one factor to point to for the current infatuations with wax, one important piece to the puzzle is the annual celebration Record Store Day, which helps support local brick and mortar record stores by providing limited releases to get customers in the door.

This Saturday shops prepare for the onslaught of customers, some searching for those exclusive, limited release records, others simply looking to back their local business. For those looking to experience Record Store Day, make sure to get there early, (but not too early, unless you have your eyes set on a specific copy) and remember to be courteous to shop clerks. The event is basically the equivalent of Black Friday. Here’s a listing of Milwaukee record shops and what they have in store for this Saturday:

Rush Mor Records
Location: 2635 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.
The small but stacked selection at Rush Mor Records makes it a necessary destination for any music nerd. Be cautious when flipping through the record stands, you may find a rare surprise on Record Store Day. At the very least, check this place out for the special, one-day only store t-shirt. Last year’s edition is one of the most coveted pieces in my wardrobe. 

Exclusive Company
Location: 1669 N. Farwell Ave.
Exclusive Company offers the widest selection of records, CDs, DVDs, posters and miscellanea of any record store in the city. If you’re looking for a specific new release, chances are you’ll find it here. To ease your pocketbook, they’re running a 25-percent-off sale on all pre-owned records, CDs, DVDs and Blu-Rays and 10 percent off all new records, CDs, DVDs, Blu-Rays and accessories (except for those sought after Record Store Day releases, of course). Also, if you aren’t already a card carrying member, sign up for a rewards account, as the store is giving out double points on Saturday. If that’s not enough to get you in the door, the Exclusive also has an early evening bill of entertainment, which includes in-store performances from GGOOLLDD (5 p.m.), NO/NO (6 p.m.) and Gauss (7 p.m.)

Bullseye Records
Location: 1627 E. Irving Pl.
Bullseye extends its cozy shop onto the sidewalk for Record Store Day and the East Side establishment always seems to offer the best Saturday afternoon party.

Off the Beaten Path
Location: 1936-38 N. Farwell Ave.
The vintage record store, Off the Beaten Path, is only a stone’s throw from Bullseye, but you’d be fiscally intelligent to check out this Farewell establishment second—though, the crop might be thinned by that point. The overloaded shop offers a reverse progressive deal for the records on sale from the sidewalk. From 9 a.m. to noon, you can snag a record for only $1, from noon to 3 p.m. the same albums are only 50 cents, and for the rest of the day, you are essentially stealing records at a measly 25 cents. 

Acme Records & Music Emporium
Location: 2341 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.
Acme Records avoids that early morning alarm clock in favor of a noon start time, which gives shoppers ample time to visit multiple stores before hitting the Bay View establishment in the afternoon. There will be complimentary beer from Lagunitas and free food (while it lasts). Also, the store hosts some live music, featuring Dancing Silks (3 p.m.), Marielle Allschwang (4 p.m.), Red Stuff (5 p.m.) and The Ornerys (6 p.m.). 

Milwaukee Day Returns

While a somewhat silly concept (the date April 14 matches Milwaukee’s area code: 414), the city has latched onto the manufactured civic pride holiday of “Milwaukee Day” in full force. It certainly helps that the event organizers keenly embrace the ridiculousness while also booking a worthy celebration. There are multiple parties and other deals throughout the day, but the big draw is the always stellar showcase at Turner Hall Ballroom, which this year includes performances from Jaill, Def Harmonic, Midnight Reruns, Lex Allen, Space Raft and Skai Academy. Proceeds from the show benefit Trans-Center for Youth’s Escuela Verde.

Stream of the Week

We’ve heard pieces from the compilation, but last week the Wisconsin collective unveiled the whole thing on Vice’s music blog in advance of a Madison release party this past weekend. The two-day Milwaukee release party is set for Friday, April 29 at the Riverwest Public House and Saturday, April 30 at Mad Planet.

This Week in Live Music

Tuesday, April 12: Holy Holy (performing David Bowie’s The Man Who Sold The World) with Jessica Morgan at Turner Hall Ballroom, 7:30 p.m. ($29.50) – (1032 N. 4th St.,

Also: Work and Non-Work ft. Fivy, Chakara Blu, Dad, Abby Jeanne, Jay Lopez, Kyndal and Taj at Cactus Club, 9 p.m. ($5) – (2496 S. Wentworth Ave.,

Wednesday, April 13: Peter Murphy at Turner Hall Ballroom, 8 p.m. ($32.50) – (1032 N. 4th St.,

Also: Dr. Shrinker with Game Over, Condition Critical and Thrasher at Cactus Club, 9 p.m. ($8) – (2496 S. Wentworth Ave.,

Thursday, April 14: Milwaukee Day featuring Jaill, Def Harmonic, Lex Allen, Midnight Reruns, Space Raft, and Escuela Verde’s Skai Academy, 6 p.m. ($10)

Also: Liquor Store with Birdcloud, Rio Turbo and Gallery Night at Riverwest Public House, 9 p.m. ($7) – (815 E. Locust St.,

And: Joe Satriani at the Pabst Theater, 8 p.m. ($49.50-$65.00) – (144 E. Wells St.,

And: The Mighty Deerlick with Ffaakkee Nnaammee and Pharo at Yield Bar, 9 p.m. ($5) – (1932 E. Kenilworth Pl.)

And: Caroline Smith with Lorde Freddee at The Back Room at Colectivo Coffee on Prospect, 8 p.m. ($12 advance, $14 door)

And: Ruth B8r Ginsberg with Haybaby, Strange Relations and Gauss at Linneman’s Riverwest Inn, 9 p.m. ($5) – (1001 E. Locust St.,

And: Kiefer Sutherland at Shank Hall, 8 p.m. ($25) – (1434 N. Farwell Ave.,

Friday, April 15: Heat Death (album release) with Piles, Dream Vacation and Pink Trilliums at Cactus Club, 9 p.m. ($5) – (2496 S. Wentworth Ave.,

Also: Poliça with MOTHXR at Turner Hall Ballroom, 8 p.m. ($20 advance, $22 door) – (1032 N. 4th St.,

And: Dave Simonett of Trampled by Turtles at The Back Room at Colectivo Coffee on Prospect, 7 p.m. (SOLD OUT)

Saturday, April 16: Eagle Trace (EP release) with The Missing Letters at Cactus Club, 8 p.m. ($10) – (2496 S. Wentworth Ave.,

Also: Paladino (EP release) with Shelly Schauer @ Club Garibaldi, 9 p.m. – (2501 S. Superior St.,

And: Clorox Girls with Endless Column and Appleseeds at Company Brewing, 10 p.m. ($8) – (735 E. Center St.,

And: Bluegrass Bash IV featuring Thistledown Thunders, Chicken Wire Empire and Derek Pritzl at Walker’s Point Anodyne Coffee, 8 p.m. ($10) – (224 W. Bruce St.,

Sunday, April 17: OBN III’s with Platinum Boys, Athletic Supply and Iron Pizza at Riverwest Public House, 9 p.m. – (815 E. Locust St.,



Kevin is a freelance writer residing in Milwaukee. He’s contributed to The Shepherd Express, Third Coast Daily, Pop Matters and the sadly now-defunct A.V. Club Milwaukee. He looks forward to forging a deeper connection with the city’s impressive music scene during his gig as a Music Notes blogger. His talents include music criticism, riding a bicycle, drinking tasty beers and a crafty croquet swing. His weaknesses comprise Jean-Claude Van Damme movies, professional wrestling and his ever-growing record collection. He’s in desperate need to find more physical (and hard drive) space for the exceptional albums Milwaukee musicians keep churning out.