Or, "How The Major Record Labels
Convinced Me To Stop Collecting Vinyl"
Another Record Store Day has come and gone, and once again the record labels, who whine that people do not pay money for music, have shot themselves in the foot.
If I posted about this last year, I apologize for repeating myself. But I hope against hope that a record label employee might read these words and convince their employer to wise up.
You see, I went to my local Zia Records with a wish list of twenty of the "Record Store Day exclusives, half vinyl and half CD.
The top three on my list were vinyl releases from Drive By Truckers, Bruce Springsteen and Wesley Stace (he started his recording career as John Wesley Harding but most people have never heard of him, either).
Now I did get to Zia more than a half hour after the doors opened, so I am certainly culpable in the fact that I did not find those three titles.
But you know what really pisses me off?
Zia got the following stock of those titles:
Come on-I get that you want to make things collectible...but ONE copy to a store that had 100 people in line when they opened their doors?
Is it Record Store DAY or Record Store MINUTE?
I'd had a couple of the vinyl 45's and five of the CD's in my hands, but when I saw the line at the register, I decided that the crumbs the record labels had left me were not worth the wait.
So I left without buying anything.
I tried two other stores (Revolver Records and Stinkweeds), with the same result, and spent the same amount of money.
In fact, I cost Stinkweeds money-they were having people wait in line to keep the store from becoming too crowded, and they gave me a bottle of spring water.
I felt bad not spending any money, but this happens each year. I get that the labels want to issue vinyl collectibles, but either print a few more or print up some frigging CD's.
Instead, what do they force everyone at that Zia but the ONE GUY who got the Drive-By Truckers EP to do?
Yep! Download the music from a file sharing site.
Probably not the point of Record Store Day (or it's Black Friday counterpart).
I do not blame the stores, and I hope the additional traffic helps them, but for the most part, the vinyl I buy sits upstairs on a shelving unit with a couple thousand other vinyl records collecting dust.
I started intentionally going late to the stores last year because of the behavior of the people scrambling for these titles.
My theory-I will live without more vinyl that I rarely play collecting dust waiting for me to kick the bucket so my nieces and nephews can figure out what the heck do with all this stuff.
Again, probably not the intent of Record Store Day.
I started this site because I thought people should continue to buy music in physical form...and yet I find myself forced to download music because the labels refuse to make it available to me.
And it struck me as I was driving home....I'd been to three stores. covered forty or so miles and did not buy anything.
The record stores did not profit from me.
The record labels did not profit from me.
But Exxon is laughing all the way to the bank!