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My own personal Record Store Day

April 22, 2013

On Friday I noted that Saturday (4/20) would be Record Store Day, a day for “celebrating and supporting the independent record store” and that while I am “glad that Record Store Day exists” and am highly in favor of the theme of the day, “I think RSD has quickly become too commercialized and serves as a money grab for some artists and labels, [as] certain overpriced reissues and ‘limited edition’ releases undermine the spirit of the day.” Accordingly, I didn’t actually participate in RSD by shopping on Saturday, but I did hit a few shops on Sunday, avoiding the crush of RSD enthusiasts but still picking up some choice vinyl.

Now, before you go calling me a Grinch for skipping out on RSD, I encourage you to hop over to the Music Snobbery blog and read a post titled “Record Store Day – Three Hours of My Life I’ll Never Get Back.” MS makes some great points about why RSD doesn’t really work as currently constructed, some easy fixes that would make the day what it is supposed to be, and why old people suck. (OK, I don’t actually agree with that last point. It was a terrific blog post right up until he went on his rant about “old music dudes.”)

Anyway, I went to four different record shops on Canadian Record Store Day (disclaimer: not a real thing – just what I’ve decided to call the Sunday after RSD), one in Brooklyn and three in the East Village. Here’s a list of my haul:

  • Over at Black Gold, they were all out of RSD exclusives but I did find a really neat Decemberists album that I wasn’t previously aware of.  The LP was released back in 2004 and is actually a combination of 2 EPs released by the band in 2003. Side A is The Tain, a single 18-minute song in 5 parts; Side B is the band’s debut EP, 5 Songs,which, ironically, is six tracks long. I’ve already listened to both sides twice and, though I know nothing about the Celtic mythology behind The Tain and the music is really raw for the Decemberists, overall this is some high quality early career work that I’m glad I found. (It’s also exactly the kind of album that should be listened to all the way through and so is ideally suited for vinyl.)
  • I came up empty at Kim’s, but then made another non-RSD-related purchase at A-1 Records: Ballot Result, a posthumous live compilation album by Minutemen.  This is a double-LP created in the wake of a what originally was to be a triple-LP, three sides studio, three sides live. The idea was that fans would cast ballots to determine which songs the band would record for the live portion of that next album. Sadly, lead singer/guitarist D. Boon died, and so the three-LP album was scrapped. The surviving Minutemen decided to tally the ballots anyway and use existing live recordings to compile a live album, which became Ballot Result. It’s a good story, and what can I say … I’m a sucker for mid-80s SST.
  • My last stop was Turntable Lab, where I purchased only singles and actually (finally) a few RSD titles:

    Time to get spinning!

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