Friday, 19 April 2013

Record-buying is for life, not just Record Store Day

I really enjoyed seeing Allo' Darlin' live at Rough Trade in Notting Hill last year - rain and shine - as part of Record Store Day. The live events highlighting bands and inspiring you to go on and buy a band's stuff and become a fan is the bit about Record Store Day I enjoy, if I am honest (And it certainly changed my mind about Allo' Darlin', and now I couldn't imagine life without them).

It's not about ticking stuff off the list of official releases /showing off about what rare thing you got at all for me.

Anything that encourages record shopping/people flocking to independent record shops is positive, yes. But again, Record Store Day rolls around and I find myself tending to feel ambivalent about what is largely a bunch of re-releases that are overly priced. I feel sad that it has to exist, that it feels like a way of boosting sales, and I can't help but feel a bit cold. I wrote an article in the first issue of The All Thrills No Frills Music Bill paper fanzine last year to collate such feelings - I wish people would be as fervent about record buying all year round, essentially. I also wrote about record fairs and how they should be thriving if vinyl really has made the 'comeback' that gets written about. But it's the 'new' factor (as in shiny new objects) that rules instead.

I don't think I need to do more than casually hint at the kind of buying-and-selling-on mania/e-Bay type profiteering that gets ecouraged, and how empty and dispiriting all that is, either.

I suppose what I'm getting at is the alienation I feel when faced with the impulses that Record Store Day can inspire - almost like music is a mostly-downloadable thing all year round, but for this one day when you can buy up stuff that has been heavily promoted.

And I feel bad for those record shops not participating (did I hear right that stores have to pay to take part?). I've been in non-participating stores on Record Store in previous years and many were empty. I get to wondering if the Monday after Record Store Day isn't the quietest day of the year for all reocrd shops (well, after new year, perhaps). I think the thing to do would be to go in on that Monday (or that week) and buy stuff then, support the record shops that didn't take part on a day that is deadly quiet - support the lesser knowns, and the underdogs.

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