Last week a ton of stories about Record Store Day percolated through blogsFeistodon! The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends! St. Vincent! Beach House! Holy crap, you gotta get on line at 8 a.m. to get the best picks! On Friday, when I got an email from a store that contained both a list of records and detailed rules about how to make purchases, and I imagined standing on a sidewalk for an hour just to frantically paw through stacks of records hoping that one magical 7" would still be there, it hit me: I hate Record Store Day.
@graciepoo/Flickr Other Music on Record Store Day 2008.
Record Store Day is a yearly event that happens on the third Saturday of April, and in the five years of its existence it's grown into a global thing. Record stores have all-day sales and maybe live performances or DJs, and they encourage people to come in and drop a healthy amount of cash on physical copies of music. One of the elements of the day that most appeals to collectors is the release of limited-edition records, whether they contain exclusive non-album tracks, or are special versions of some sort.
I appreciate that RSD has become a huge deal for independent record stores. It's true that it can help out smaller shops' second-quarter bottom line, driving customer traffic into stores and loosening up people's wallets to actually buy music in a way not unlike that time you had a few too many whiskeys and opened iTunes when you got home from the bar. I've gone to Other Music in the past, and last year I took advantage of Black Gold's "hey, here's some stuff we haven't priced yet for $1 an LPhave at it!"
But the exclusives kill me.More »