Love it or hate it, it’s safe to say Record Store Day is here to stay. What started as an honest-to-goodness movement to encourage listeners to get out and support independent music retailers who were suffering in the advent of Amazon, streaming services, and the industry’s stark shift from physical to digital formats has quickly mutated into a halfhearted “holiday” with its fair share of icky elements.

Amid the ugliness of desperate novelty records and greedy “collectors” re-listing rarities on eBay while they’re still waiting in line to pay, some Milwaukee-area record shops, local bands, and other area businesses are doing their part to make this happening a worthwhile occurrence for all. On Saturday, April 20, the consumer event will basically be a full-fledged local holiday, complete with the debut of a brand new record store (!!!), sales and giveaways galore, in-store shows, and much more.

1. Acme Records & Music Emporium
Even through Acme will have great records in stock (as they always do), the Bay View record retailer says it’s eschewing most new Record Store Day titles because “the list was pretty blah this year” and “if it’s major label stuff you’re after, it won’t be here.” There will still be interesting new and used records on sale from noon to 7 p.m. this Saturday. Starting at 2 p.m., Acme will also host in-store performances by the likes of Slow Owls, Jeff Mitchell, Jim Warchol, and Nick Elert.

2. Irving Place Records
What once was the longtime home of Bullseye Records until a few weeks ago is now the site of Irving Place Records. The East Side store, which quietly opened to the public April 13, has dubbed Record Store Day as its official grand opening, with plans to celebrate in a variety of ways. There will be lots of new (both new to Irving Place and new in general) stock on the shelves, Irving Place shirts for sale, and free Irving Place stickers available.

3. Lilliput Records
For this year’s Record Store Day installment, Lilliput Records has ambitious plans for a day full of live music, DJ sets, a pop-up cafe of sorts, raffles for concert tickets and other goodies, and even some 4/20-related items (while supplies last). Oh, the store will also have some new Record Store Day releases on hand and will be offering sales on a variety of non-RSD releases all day long. Come for the deals and stay for free performances by Friko and Jinksie. You can see more info here.

4. Omen Alternative Music & Media
This year’s Record Store Day also happens to coincide with the first anniversary of Omen Alternative Music & Media in nearby South Milwaukee. The store—which is connected to Omen Clothing & Accessories—will be “celebrating the dark side of music and pop culture” with DJ sets by Dance Commandr and Subspace, a number of Record Store Day titles, ticket giveaways, and more.

5. Pabst Theater Group
Pabst Theater Group is getting very involved in this year’s Record Store Day festivities. They’ll be giving out a limited number of Vivarium tote bags, Vivarium stickers, and Turner Hall stickers, as well as an abundance of concert tickets out at the following locations on April 20: Lilliput Records, Rushmor Records, Volta Records, Irving Place Records, We Buy Records, and Omen Alternative Music & Media.

6. Rushmor Records
Obviously, Milwaukee’s longest-running record shop is celebrating Record Store Day. They’ll be stocking holiday exclusives from nationally-known artists. Beyond that, there will be a bake sale happening outside of the store (weather permitting), a live performance by Milwaukee’s “maybe youngest” band Paranormal at 2 p.m., a free Record Store Day commemorative T-shirt created by Carl Steinhagen and The Factory that’s free with any $25 or more purchase (while supplies last), and a maker market next door outside of Beth Eaton Pottery from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (weather permitting).

7. Volta Records
In the second Record Store Day in the store’s existence, Volta Records—which used to be Greenfield’s Exclusive Company—is celebrating in a big way. The shop has a ton of Record Store Day 2024 titles on the way. Volta will open at 8 a.m. on Saturday, and the first 50 people in line will be a free general admission ticket to Summerfest (five pairs will also be given away later in the day). Beyond the RSD releases, the suburban record store will offer sales all day long and will give away some goodies throughout the day, including tickets to tickets to Pabst Theater Group concerts.

8. We Buy Records
Over in Riverwest, We Buy Records will have a curated selection of Record Store Day releases in addition to its impressive selection of used LPs and cassettes. There will also be concert ticket giveaways.


Musical Memories
Though it doesn’t appear as if Musical Memories has anything specific planned for Record Store Day itself, it’s a downright awesome record store in Milwaukee that deserves some love. If you have time after hitting all these other places, stop by Saturday between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.

About The Author

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Co-Founder and Editor

Before co-founding Milwaukee Record, Tyler Maas wrote for virtually every Milwaukee publication (except Wassup! Magazine). He lives in Bay View and enjoys both stuff and things.