An Enchanting Record Store Day for Round Trip and The Wizard

Nick Sennett, Contributing Writer, Station Manager, WZRD

Record Store Day holds a very important role in the calendar – a niche it shares only with Free Comic Book Day – in that it is a time when groups of nerds (term here used lovingly) from all over the world venture out to visit cool local shops, support independent businesses and, in return, get access to exclusive and exciting new releases in their favorite slightly-alternative physical media format. 

Record Store Day (RSD) happens twice a year – once in late April and once on Black Friday –  and sees a massive number of participating shops (the incomplete list on the RSD website shows 40 between Chicago and the suburbs) selling specialty vinyl records to crowds of music fans. This year saw limited releases from modern popstars, like Taylor Swift – classic favorites, such as The Rolling Stones and The Cure – and even Captain Beefheart, for the kind of people who like Captain Beefheart (you know who you are). Rest assured, whatever your taste, there is a cool limited-pressing album out there for you.

With its focus on interesting music of all genres, it seems natural for RSD to be of interest to NEIU’s own freeform radio station, WZRD. WZRD, aka the Wizard, collaborated with local record store Round Trip Records on April 22, 2023 to participate in RSD festivities. While the folks at Round Trip sold records and passed out free donuts and coffee, the wizards from the station hosted an on-location radio show behind the store’s counter, the first of its kind in many years. This radio event featured two different DJs not only playing music from the WZRD and Round Trip collections but also reading poetry and interviewing guests all afternoon.

Both of Round Trip’s owners, David Baked and Paul Nixon, agreed that the partnership was a success. Wizard fans were drawn to the store to interact with their favorite station, while Round Trip regulars and general vinyl fans learned about an eclectic radio station that shares their love of the medium. The store was crowded for most of the day, and at least one customer came in after hearing about the action on WZRD while driving by. The positive reception of this event seems to bode well for future WZRD / Round Trip projects, as well as reintroducing the possibility of live WZRD broadcasts from other interesting locales.


Round Trip Records is located at 3455 W. Foster Avenue. You can listen to WZRD at, or by tuning your radio to 88.3 FM. The next Record Store Day will be on Black Friday of 2023. We hope to see you there!