Monday, April 23, 2012

OPINION: Record Store Day

by Mark Gillis

As many of you probably know, April 21, 2012 was record store day. It’s a day when bands put out all sorts of special releases on vinyl and the only place you can get most of them is at your local independent record store. Before I go ahead and say why this day irks me a little bit, I will say that I absolutely love what record store day offers. I’ve participated in record store day for the past two years. I’ve picked up some awesome pieces of vinyl and I’ve had fun doing it. Seeing these tiny stores filled with people (even if it’s just for one day of the year) makes me happy. These are all stores that I think deserve to do well and I’m sure that record store day helps immensely.

A number of the releases on record store day are limited. Some more limited than others, but most are released in some kind of special “vinyl only” capacity. Again, I love this idea. Having something limited and rare is part of what makes collecting vinyl fun. Even if it can be a bit of a shit-show standing in line while waiting for the store to open, it just makes it all part of the experience. While the prices on these releases might be a little bit on the high side, they’re certainly nothing outrageous.

So, record store day is all well and good, right? I hate to say it, but not quite. Go ahead and just take a peek on on ebay for some limited record store day titles (This article has a good list of them). It kind of makes me sick to look at the prices people are re-selling stuff for on ebay. Some people are taking a day that’s meant to bring attention to, and help independent record stores and they’re turning it into a profit for themselves. Doing that is completely opposite in the spirit of what record store day means. I’m not sure how it can be solved at all though since people can essentially sell whatever the hell they want on ebay.

To me this is so much worse than downloading music for free. These people are actually using the music released on record store day to turn a profit for themselves, which is terrible. When I download an album for free, I’m doing to to see if I like the artist or not. If I end up liking them, there is a pretty good chance I’ll throw them some money by way of a record or ticket purchase. There is no way in hell that the people selling these records on ebay actually care about music at all. If they did care then I’m sure they’d find owning a rare piece of vinyl far more valuable than whatever they can sell it for on ebay.

So for record store day next year, do me a personal favour and get to your local early so you can leave these idiots with nothing to sell on ebay. Thanks.

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