Record Store Day backlash? System Exclusive tonight at The Sydney…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 7:35 am April 22, 2022
System Exclusive exclusively at The Sydney in Benson tonight…

by Tim McMahan,

Why the sudden uproar against Record Store Day? “It’s a money-grab!” “It’s white privilege!” “It’s nothing but old guys with too much money to burn!

Maybe it’s only on my Facebook news feed, but a lot of people are suddenly complaining about Record Store Day, as the next installment takes place this Saturday. I don’t get the angst.

RSD started as a promotion by independent record stores to get people into their shops at a time when people weren’t coming to their shops. Now post-pandemic (or pretty close, hopefully), record stores seem to be doing pretty well. I read an interview with Homer’s Mike Fratt where he said business was great last year and looked like would be even better this year. If you’re a music fan, you should be thrilled.

I have only a modest collection of records — maybe 500? — consisting of stuff I’ve purchased beginning in 1976. I bought Boston’s debut album at age 10, and thought it was so cool when my older brothers asked to borrow it. Of course I still have that album, along with all the others, though I rarely have time to play them. Like the vast majority of music listeners these days, I do most of my listening via streaming, either from my phone, my computer, or my car’s satellite radio. So, it’s been awhile since I bought any vinyl.

When RSD started, it seemed like more of a nerd convention for music collectors who had a day dedicated to their vinyl fetish needs. But as this Axios story indicates, a lot of people are buying vinyl these days, bringing in over a billion dollars in revenue last year vs. just $119 million 11 years ago.

Now it’s not just the nerds buying “collectable” copies of limited-edition vinyl releases, it’s a broad swath of music fans. And just like everything else, once the unwashed masses get involved, it’s no longer “cool.” I highly doubt Fratt cares if it’s cool as long as it brings people to his store.

I will make it a point tomorrow to buy at least one album. I don’t know what it will be yet, but I’ll go home with something and let you know Monday. I’m sure it won’t be as cool as that first Boston album…

Check out the RSD titles here. Most stores open their doors at 10 a.m. And if you’re headed to Homer’s tomorrow morning, Fratt and Manner will have coffee and donuts for you to enjoy as you wait in line, nerd.

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BTW, wouldn’t it be cool if an artist released something on vinyl that does not and will not ever be available online? I know that goes against this whole we-are-the-world music-is-for-sharing mentality, but man, it would really give you a reason for buying that album.

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Tonight at The Sydney in Benson LA post-punk synth band System Exclusive headlines. The duo consists of Ari Blaisdell and Matt Jones, the guy behind Castle Face Records. This is pure ‘80s first wave synth pop at its finest. Opening is Specter Poetics and Omaha’s best DJ, Tyrone Storm. $10, 9 p.m.

Believe it or not, that’s it for the weekend. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. Have a great one.

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