#ShopGVL Christmas Shopping Starts At Your Local Record Store

  • By cvbizz
  • November 25, 2020
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Brett Barest

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving which means Friday marks the official start of the Christmas season (despite what the Christmas tree displays at Big Lots in August would have you believe). That means long lines and a few fights at crowded big box stores, road rage on Woodruff Rd., realizing how much money you need to buy “stuff”, and all the other things that make the season so magical. That said, it does not have to be that way…

Shopping local is the most rewarding way to prepare for the big day and, since this is a music column after all, one great spot to spend kick off the season is Horizon Records for their annual Record Store Day Black Friday event. Like other Record Store Day events, this is a day of exclusive releases featuring a vast array of albums that you – I mean, your music loving friend or family member you are Christmas shopping for – just cannot live without. Think things like Hank Williams’ 1952 radio auditions, James McMurtry’s iconic album Childish Things on vinyl for the first time ever, and a double album instrumental version of Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s debut album Return to the 36 Chambers. This is the sort of thing a music lover’s dreams are made of and it is a far better use of your time than standing in line to buy $15 televisions at Wal-Mart.

Just to sweeten the deal and help celebrate the true giving spirit of the season, RSD Black Friday at Horizon Records will also be partnering with Loaves & Fishes for the Rock the Pantry project. That means that while you are dropping dollars on amazing vinyl releases, you are invited to drop some cash, canned goods, or other non-perishable food items into the proverbial collection plate so they can go to support families and individuals that rely on food banks to stay fed, not just through the holidays but all year long. I had the pleasure of being introduced to Loaves & Fishes years ago and seeing the work that they did that day still leaves me with a smile every time I see one of their trucks driving down the road. 

As always, Horizon Records will require all mask wearing, social distancing, and responsible behaving protocol, as any decent human being should come to expect in 2020. They will also open up a little bit early at 8am to ensure a solid 12 hour shopping window for all the treasures available in-store. Plan your approach with this full list of all 131 RSD Black Friday releases here so you can come prepared and get in and get out for the next person in line (tiny little Horizon Records will maintain a certain capacity, of course).

Shop Local This Year

Finally, I know this a weekly feature about local music but I would still like to use this space to encourage you to put your focus on supporting local businesses of all types this holiday season. Start your Black Friday at Horizon Records, of course, but then spend the day and weekend patronizing things like Quest Brewing Company’s Black Beer Friday event and the TD Saturday Market: Holiday Edition, or lose yourself in a sea of books and gifts at M. Judson Booksellers or ales and wine at The Community Tap. These are but a few of my favorite places to spend my dollars locally, but the list of quality Upstate options is seemingly endless, which is something we should all be celebrating all year round.

2020 might be the weirdest year I have experienced in my 43 years but that does not mean it cannot go out with a bang. Stay safe, support local business, love your neighbors (but not too close and wear a mask) and we are going to get out of this one alright. Also, Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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