UPDATE: As reader SC pointed out, some participating record shops signed a pledge promising that they will sell unsold exclusive day releases online the day after at the same price, effectively making my point moot. Disregard my nonsense and sit on your hands until the day after!
If you didn’t know, April 16th is Record Store Day, a day dedicated to celebrating local independent record stores. The physical format is dying in popularity in favor of the instant gratification and convenience of iTunes and other mp3 stores. Oh, and piracy. That certainly put a boot in the ass of record stores everywhere. I really do enjoy the idea of going to a record store though; the most I’ve had growing up is Wal-Mart and K-Mart. Since getting a taste in music that isn’t likely to be sold on Wal-Mart shelves, I’ve had to buy physical copies online. I’ve also gotten into buying limited vinyl releases, something which is impossible where I live. This is where my problem with Record Store Day lies.
Record Store Day is being celebrated by in-store only limited releases. Take for example, the above photo of the limited-edition copy of the new Between the Buried and Me EP The Parallax, as well as a Deftones Covers collection also being made available. As a vinyl collector and a huge fan of both BTBAM and Deftones, I would obviously buy these up given the chance. Unfortunately, I don’t live anywhere near a record store, and this isn’t going to be sold online officially—at least not for a while; if I want to buy this, I’ll probably have to wait around for it to appear on eBay with obscene markup. The little guy is royally shit out of luck just because he wasn’t lucky enough to live in or around a big city.
Now, I get the point of all this, and I know the organizers of this event mean well and are simply trying to drive some business to mom and pop stores across the globe. Unfortunately, this whole in-store exclusivity of extremely limited releases is ignoring music fans everywhere without the means to get a record store. I’d feel differently if they got an exclusive color or some other added bonus. I just feel like there are too many music fans are being neglected by the exclusivity.
Here’s a rundown of the neat things that you won’t be able to own unless you live within a reasonable distance to a participating record store, via ThePRP:
Bad Brains – “Pay To Cum” 7″ (b/w “Stay Close“) (limited to 1500 copies)
Bad Brains – “God Of Love” LP + 7″ (feat. previously unreleased songs “Let’s Make Love” and “It’s Agreeable“) (limited to 2000 copies)
Between The Buried And Me – “The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues” 12″ colored vinyl (limited to 2000 copies)
Clouds – “B Chuggas May Be Logging” 12″ LP w/ download (limited to 200 copies)
Deftones – “Covers” (limited to 3000 copies)
Glassjaw – “Worship And Tribute” 12″ (limited to 1000 copies)
In This Moment – “The Promise” (b/w live versions of “The Promise” and “Standing Alone” from December 2010 Criminal Records set) (limited to 1000 copies)
Job For A Cowboy – “Ruination” 10″ green/orange/red vinyl (limited to 1000 copies)
Machine Head – “The Black Procession” 10″ (limited to 1000 copies)
Mastodon – “Live At The Aragon” 2xLP+DVD (limited to 3000 copies)
Mastodon/ZZ Top – “Just Got Paid” 7″ (limited to 3540 copies)
Neurosis – “Sovereign” 12″ LP (limited to 600 copies)
Nirvana – “Hormoaning” 12″ (limited to 4000 copies)
Opeth – “The Throat Of Winter” (etched logo on b-side) (limited to 1000 copies)
Ozzy Osbourne – “Blizzard Of Ozz”
Ozzy Osbourne – “Diary Of A Madman”
Rival Schools – “Wring It Out” (b/w “Choose Your Adventure” remix by Glassjaw‘s Daryl Palumbo) (limited to 1500 copies)
Touche Amore – “To The Beat Of A Dead Horse” white vinyl (limited to 250 copies)
The list will no doubt grow up to the date.
I know I’m coming off as selfish, and I don’t particularly care what it looks like. I’m glad record stores are getting recognition, but this isn’t the way to do it. Taking a three or four hour trip to the nearest participating record store (and still have no guarantee anything I want being there) just isn’t feasable, and in 2011, it just doesn’t make much sense to sell products offline exclusively, especially when there is a huge demand for it. I mean, have you seen the eBay listings for the rare Colors vinyl? There’s one going on now for $200. Absolutely insane. The Parallax will probably end up the same way. An avid fan should have better opportunities available; after all, they’re the ones coming to the shows and buying merch. I can afford to make a trip like that a few times a year, and I save those opportunities to catch shows. Throw us a bone, guys!
Rant over—my apologies. Anyone else in a similar situation? Anyone live near a record store and care to pick me up the Deftones and BTBAM vinyl? Let me hear about it in the comments.