Thursday, 21 April 2011

Record store day

So, did any of you make it out to your local record store on Sat (16th April), to support Record store day?
I have to admit to a no show this year, due in full to a carry on from Friday night into Sat morning, i just didn't have the stomach for it and decided that staying at home with a can of Red stripe would be best.
I will say that i am an avid supporter of many record stores, although most of my record shopping is done online nowadays - record shopping worldwide is a beautiful thing - i still do love the buzz of walking through the doors of my favourite stores and trying to surpress the excited squeals as i root through the racks of vinyl, pulling out gems that i have wanted to get my hands on for an age.
There is no better smell than that of dusty, musky record sleeves. The sight of original, sometimes breathtaking artwork and then the unveiling of their prize inside.
I am a vinyl collector and always have been, cd's annoy me, i appreciate that the format is a lot easier to deal with in many respects, but the whole notion that these soulless nondescript pieces of plastic were ever going to replace vinyl was quite frankly, laughable. I have managed to scratch cd's taking them out of their case and rendered them unplayable!
I digress, although i do have a massive argument to support vinyl over any other format and i'm sure lots of people have an argument for the other, it is for another day.
Today's blog is about supporting the wonderful institution that is independent record shops. Whether you visited your record store and bought vinyl or cd's, you have contributed your little bit to the phenomenen of record store day.
The idea was conceived in 2007 by Chris Brown, who worked for an indy record shop in the US. the UK quickly followed suit, the co-ordinator being Spencer Hickman of Rough trade records in London, every year the event has grown. As well as the 1000's of established shops taking part, there are also dozens of pop up shops that will open for the day.
A multitude of artists release exclusive records that can only be bought by going into a shop on record store day. Many also do one off gigs at a particular store.
It has been reported that there was a doubling in the figures of physical single sales over Record store day 2010. Eight of the top ten selling physical singles for the week were exclusives released for the event and nine of the top ten selling albums.

If you are not one for buying physical units then please do a little research and maybe consider combining your purchases with pysical and download. Your record shop need you!!

I had a conversation with some no mark in a pub a year or so ago and i was lovingly ranting about buying and collecting vinyl and generally enthusing about music. Said no mark then snarled and called me a mug for spending money on records, before proudly announcing that he downloads all of his music for free and rips whenever he can. Trying to explain to no mark that artists, record shop owners and everyone else involved in the production and sale of music rely on the paying general public to survive, yielded nothing more than arrogant sneering, so I decided to part company, shaking my head in disappointment. Sadly there are an increasing number of no marks doing exactly the same.

There are many cracking quotes on the Record store day website (link above), but one that sums it up in a sentence for me is that of Tom Waits.
“Folks who work here are professors. Don't replace all the knowers with guessors keep'em open they're the ears of the town”

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