On Record Store Day, Chaz Martenstein does not open his shop early. Saturday business begins at 11 a.m., as it has for the last eight years. No matter what time he turns the latch on the front door, he knows the customers outside of Durham, North Carolina's Bull City Records will be standing in line, snaking past the lock-and-safe shop, at least to the popsicle boutique at the end of the four-store strip mall. There's no point in making the regulars wake up early on a weekend.
Martenstein is right about the line. Two hours after the doors open, a single-file queue still snakes through the small store's tight aisles and out the door. Inside, each customer flips through cut cardboard boxes of albums being offered exclusively on this, the seventh-annual Record Store Day, and dutifully waits for the space in front of the cash register to clear. I peer over Martenstein's left shoulder, watching what people buy as his right hand taps numbers into a dusty old Royal cash register.