Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Record Store Day 2010 Delivered

Our collective haul from Record Store Day 2010

On Saturday I awoke and obsessively started scanning through Facebook commentary about Record Store Day in which people reported on where they went and what they bought (as of today there are more than 300 comments on a similar post from later in the day). Since I'm on the west coast, I enjoyed taking a look at initial reports from people visiting record stores in Europe and on the East Coast. Some reported long lines and others complained about their disappointment over not being able to get a specific "special" release. This worried me a bit, as I was hoping that people would embrace the concept of just patronizing their local indie record store, regardless of whether or not they were able to purchase a rare Record Store Day item. To me Record Store Day is more about raising awareness about the ongoing relevance of physical music and record stores and if that was its goal then I think it succeeded this year.

As I wrote on Radio Survivor, a number of radio stations joined in the fun this year. Some featured special programming, others had DJs spinning at record stores, and others just hung out at participating stores. I'm sure many college radio DJs were also unofficial participants, as I know many who hit up stores in their regions (and I personally spotted DJs from KZSU and KUSF during my visit to a store on Saturday).

Aquarius Records on Record Store Day 2010

I was thrilled to see that Aquarius Records in San Francisco was jam-packed with music fans loading up on goodies, from the free doughnuts to the limited edition Record Store Day releases. It seemed more crowded than at last year's event and from what I've heard Amoeba Records in San Francisco was also a hotbed of activity. We picked up a number of items at Aquarius, including a Mountain Goats DVD, the special Record Store Day Devo LP (they only had one copy), as well as some other CDs, LPs, and a couple of 'zines.

Grooves Records in San Francisco on Record Store Day 2010

After taking a break for food, we headed over to Grooves on Market Street to do some vinyl shopping. Although they weren't officially on the roster of Record Store Day participants, we wanted to go to support this amazing outpost for records. A handful of shoppers scanned through records, tapes and 8-tracks and we came away with some awesome finds, including a few wine appreciation records (I had no idea...), spoken word poetry LPs, some classic Disney albums for our 4-year-old, and a bust of J.S. Bach from a coin-operated arcade game.

On the blog Her Jazz, college radio DJ Maria Tessa Sciarrino posted an interesting critique of Record Store Day, calling it anachronistic and consumeristic. She writes,

"Record Store Day isn't relevant to right now. But we, collectively speaking, refuse to acknowledge this or attempt to break with past tradition. I'm not calling for the end of record stores, by the way, but I am all for the end of 'holidays' that reek of empty sentiment. If record stores are the genuine article, why are they doing something that is such a sham?"

Although I don't agree with Maria's overall sentiment, I do think that her point about raising questions about the event is valid. During Record Store Day I heard one clerk mention that this was the day for people to visit who don't normally go to record stores 364 days a year. If that's true, than perhaps there could be something a bit hollow about the event if it doesn't lure people into stores the rest of the year. But who knows, these people may actually become regulars after getting a "taste" on Record Store Day. What do you think? And did you partake in Record Store Day this year?


senormedia said...

I went but didn't find much that I wanted/didn't already have. My to-be-listened-to pile is up in the hundreds now, anyway.

Speaking of wine appreciation records (warning, blog flog):


Jennifer Waits said...

Hey SenorMedia,
I love it! Thanks for sharing your wine appreciation record fine too. What a crazy sub-genre of instructional records.