Radio-Active Records manager Mikey Ramirez expects Black Friday at his Fort Lauderdale indie record shop to be a chaotic, if controlled, communion of music-heads and audiophiles who laud vinyl records and shun compact discs. There may be "prison rules" over some merchandise, he says.
"If you think there won't be, you haven't met a U2 or a Dave Matthews Band fan," says Ramirez, referencing two of the exclusive vinyl releases being offered during Radio-Active's Black Friday sale, a day of vinyl doorbusters and discounted headphones, guitar strings and other merchandise.
Called "Back in Black Friday" and promoted by the same people behind April's Record Store Day, the event is designed to wave the flag in support of indie record shops across the country. Ramirez prefers not to label the event a sequel to Record Store Day, but rather an "alternative" to queuing up outside an electronics store on Thanksgiving.
"I like to think we have a more discerning customer who doesn't like waiting in line with 6,000 people at Walmart only to fight over a dishwasher they don't need," he says with a laugh. "Instead, they really need Nirvana's 'In Utero' and the new Nick Cave."
At Radio-Active, doors will open earlier than usual on Friday, and the shop will sling special wax releases, including U2's "Ordinary Love" on 10-inch; a triple LP of Bob Dylan's "Side Tracks"; the Flaming Lips' "Peace Sword" EP; Charles Bradley's "Changes b/w Ain't It a Sin" on 7-inch; a remastered edition of the Replacements' final album, "All Shook Down"; and "The Soul Fire Box Set (Rare Sides From the Soul Fire Catalog)," a 7-inch collection featuring sounds from the Detroit Sex Machines and Lee Fields. Bands the Remembering Never, Yankee Roses and Killmama will supply live music from 3 to 7 p.m.
At Miami's Sweat, which will carry the same exclusive records, Lauren Reskin will guarantee one special release to customers waiting in line at least 30 minutes before the store's 9 a.m. opening.
"If you've been waiting in line that long, you should get what you came for," says Reskin, who is eyeing remastered records by the Clash and a limited-edition Queens of the Stone Age album for her personal collection. "It's awesome that these are exclusive to indie record stores. We encourage people to be cool, really chill. We'll have spiked eggnog."
Radio-Active Records, 845 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale, will open at 9 a.m. Friday, as will Sweat Records, 5505 N.E. Second Ave., in Miami. A list of Black Friday exclusives is available at RecordStoreDay.com.