I’ve been away from the writing desk for a few days. It seems spring break brings with it the urge to do things in the yard. Many things were cleaned, raked, burnt, washed, etc, over the last few days. I have many stories to tell regarding my adventures over Spring Break 2014. However, those stories will have to wait. Right now I want to talk about this thing called Record Store Day 2014.
Record Store Day has been a pretty big thing for me over the last few years. I started going to RSD events back in 2010. I was still just grabbing certain albums on vinyl at that point. CDs were still being purchased and vinyl was for the absolute favorites on my list. That year I did snag The Flaming Lips’ ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’ album and a copy of Elvis Costello and the Attractions ‘Armed Forces’, as well as a signed copy of Matthew Sweet’s ‘Blue Sky On Mars’, but overall it was just me getting my feet wet. I can’t really recall 2011. Not sure if I even went that year. 2012 was a 7in split of Of Montreal and Deerhoof, Wooden Shjips’ ‘Vol.2’, and ‘Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends’. That one was fun because I thought I missed out on it, but the last stop out of town yielded a copy sitting by its lonesome. Success! Last year was the best year so far, with The Cure’s ‘Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me’ reissue, Built to Spill’s ‘Live’, and Tame Impala’s EP as absolute highlights. I also snagged Whirr’s ‘Pipe Dreams’ on orange translucent vinyl. Best year yet. So what does this year look like? Not as fantastic as past years, but still some gems nonetheless.
For me, the live Tame Impala record is a must. I love that band to no end and to have a live recording with new and interesting takes on some of my favorite songs by them, well I need to have that. Of Montreal is putting out a reissue of their classic ‘Satanic Panic In The Attic’. It was the album that heralded a new sound and phase for this band. Kevin Barnes locked himself in his recording studio and let his freak flag fly all by his lonesome. Who can not want to shake their booty to “Disconnect The Dots”? Who I say!!??? Of Montreal also has a new song on a 7in that I’ll be happy to own. Medicine has a Part Time Punks session coming out on vinyl that I’m willing to throw fisticuffs over. The Flaming Lips have a couple things coming out. They’re doing a Devo cover I believe that will be on a 7in. There’s something else. I don’t remember. Death Waltz Recording Company is reissuing some classic horror soundtracks that would make any horror film fan happy. I’m one of those fans. Color me happy if I end up with ’em. Built to Spill is reissuing ‘Ultimate Alternative Wavers’. Not really one I’m looking forward to. Now if it was ‘There’s Nothing Wrong With Love’, that’s another story. Spoon is reissuing ‘Love Ways’, a favorite here at Jhubner73.com.
Oh, and a million other records I have no interest in.
With each passing year I get the feeling of angst and anxiety more than excitement for RSD. The powers that be make it harder and harder for folks that live nowhere important to get cool stuff on RSD…unless I want to drive an hour and wait in line at 6am. I don’t want to do that. Not at all. Don’t get me wrong, my local guy John Vance at Karma Records of Warsaw does what he can to bring in the coolness for RSD, but he’s at the mercy of his distributor who’s at the mercy of the great RSD God Vinylia, hater of small towns. I get it. You feed the market that’s going to buy the most. But where I live, our town is right off a major highway that connects two major towns. We’re close enough to both to justify feeding in a few more copies of this or that. That’s part of the fun of RSD. The hunt. I’ll try and get the major stuff in the morning here in town. In the afternoon the whole family will head to Fort Wayne to check out some live bands and my wife will enjoy RSD for the first time. She’s worked every Saturday the last few years, so now’s her chance to see what the big deal is. I’ll see if I can grab some scraps from Neat Neat Neat Records and Wooden Nickel Music. I’m sure by then they’ll all be picked over, but maybe I can get that rainbow-colored Wilson Pickett 7in, or that Falco remix cassette. It’ll be fun just catching some live bands and seeing people enjoy music.
That’s what this day is really about. Celebrating music, the way it was intended. No music files, no MP3s, no gigabytes. Vinyl spinning on the turntable, a singer spitting into a microphone, and amps buzzing. That’s how it was intended to be enjoyed, folks.
But yeah Vinylia if you’re listening, Warsaw, IN needs more RSD exclusives. Thanks, and have a good day.
Editor’s Note: After posting this I had an enlightening conversation with someone I quite respect and who knows a thing or two regarding record stores, and in particular ordering for RSD. It seems there isn’t a RSD God that looks down from Mount Music Hall bestowing records on some and none for others. The key in getting a good selection for RSD is in how your order and how many distributors you order from. According to my source, “The good folks at RSD don’t actually sell the records. At All. They have NO say on allocation. If(insert record store owner name here)were to spread his money around and order heavy from certain places, he would have those titles. It doesn’t really matter where you are.” So there’s not a conspiracy against me and my local record store. Damn, and I love me a good conspiracy. He also went on to say this which I quite love, “That being said, he also has to be smart about it. Does it make sense to place a $1k order with Think Indie because(this guy or that gal)wants a Medicine record? Probably not. He has to cater to his clientele and buy what he thinks he can sell THAT DAY. No one likes leftover sushi, and no one likes leftover RSD titles. Also, these are ONE WAY pieces, which means that once we buy them, they are ours. It’s rolling the dice big time.”
I hate leftover sushi. But I love being educated on situations that I don’t quite know enough about. Thank you, sir. Carry on, everyone.