Yesterday was Record Store Day. Fuck Record Store Day. I understand the whole idea behind it, but I think it is overwhelmingly dumb. The whole point is to drive business to small, independent record stores. I am all for that, in theory. The problem is the follow through. For one day, the entire music industry, both major label and indie, pretend like they actually give a fuck about mom and pop record stores. For one day, the industry cares. The other 364 days a year they don’t.
If the industry really gave a shit about record stores, they would make a concerted effort to stop gouging customers for physical copies of things. It is fucking insulting to go to a record store and see a record being sold for damn near $20. Especially when I could just mail order from the label directly and only pay around $10 (including shipping). Offering limited pressing stuff one day a year does nothing to actually help. Especially if there remains such a disparity between what the records are actually worth versus what they are having to be sold for in order for the shop to make any money.
Additionally, the bands who do these limited RSD only releases are missing the point. Yes, it is a nice treat, but consider the issue. For example, Lemuria put of a Record Store Day exclusive 7″ this year. As a fan, I want to have that record. But, as is so often the case, I didn’t have extra money around to get it right now. I don’t have the time to drive half an hour or more to my nearest independent shop where they might not even have it anyway. At this point the only way I can get it is off the internet. Given that it was limited to 500, I will probably only be able to get it on eBay. Having looked at eBay prior to writing this, I can tell you that douchebag record flippers already have it up there for anywhere between $25 to $50. The sad truth is, more often than not, these limited pressings are not ending up in the hands of fans. They are ending up in the hands of flippers who are unscrupulously jacking up the prices in order to make a quick buck. Fuck that.
I miss record stores being around everywhere. I really do. I had a lot of good times going to my local indie store, Kiss The Sky, back when they had a huge store out in Batavia. Shit, I even enjoyed going to Tower Records damn near once a week. I just find gimmicky bullshit like this pointless. I’m sure the stores appreciate the one day surge in customers, but as a fan it means fuck all to me. Most shops still have everything fucking overpriced, and most limited pressing items aren’t actually getting to the fans for a fair price either.
It is a fucking waste.