In our constant struggle to bring you more than simply the same news everyone else is posting, we’re going to be posting more editorials. These editorials are the opinions of the author and not the site as a whole, but punk and it’s subgenres are supposed to be about ideas, and its high time we started sharing more of them. If you agree or disagree please let us know in the replies. A Record Store Day organizer has responded in the comments. You can also read her response here. Enjoy.
As we approach another rendition of Record Store Day, we must prepare ourselves for a number of inevitables. Frivolous 180 gram classic rock represses, Katy Perry remix singles and a scramble to put it all on ebay first thing in the morning. This April 21st is the five year anniversary of Record Store Day, a day I would normally spend probably sitting around playing my records regardless, but now that probability becomes a certainty. That’s not saying that there isn’t a handful of RSD releases that I’m interested in – I’m just going to do what I always do. I’m going to wait a couple weeks and pick them up on the cheap once the more ambitious record flippers realize that their local store’s jacked prices leave little room for the secondary market.
Now I’m not campaigning for you to not support your local record store; rather, the opposite. Support your local record store as much as you can. Go there every week and spend money on records. Record store day is every day. You shouldn’t need prompting from an organization with a financial agenda to keep independently owned record stores afloat, especially those that push major label releases like a Disturbed vinyl boxset (I wish I could make this up, this actually exists). It’s no mystery to anyone that major labels backed the big box music stores and the file sharing lawsuits when the music industry began to rot out in the late 1990’s, yet here they are preaching innocence in an attempt to claim support of the struggling independent record stores a whopping one day a year (although it looks as if RSD is expanding to cater to the Black Friday frenzy shoppers; the connection between mob mentality, consumerism and music sales is almost too easy at this point); pretty soon you’ll see iTunes having an MP3 sale in celebration of Record Store Day.
The concept of Record Store Day is good hearted, but the current practice is abysmal. In my case, the closest thing to a local store is a chain of used CD and DVD shops with, at most, an arms length of LPs. Come Record Store Day the small amount of LPs they do get in are priced at $29.99, with 7”s following in at no less than $9.99. That being said, I do have to commend them, as they don’t just price gouge on the third Saturday of April; they do it all year round.
So on April 21st, 2012, you should go to your local record store and see a live band play and have a great time. Then on April 28th, 2012, go back to that record store and buy more records. Don’t flip your lid because you didn’t get the limited edition Third Man Records LP or the new Lemuria 7”, but be happy because you’re lucky enough to have a local record store to support. While you’re there have a little chat with the owner, more often then not you’ll find that they have some rather particular insight to the inner workings of Record Store Day and, believe it or not, they actually have some good records in stock the other 364 days of the year.