Column by Annelise Tarnowski
It’s like this. Prominent artists from all over the country put out special vinyl presses of EPs, never-before-released tracks, mash-ups with other bands and even some bands get together and cover each other’s songs.
Now, not only is there more collectable vinyl in the world because of the holiday, but every store that wants the opportunity to benefit needs to adhere to certain rules.
First, they must be a stand-alone, brick and mortar, independent record store (and a few other businessy terms). This means that they need to be real people who interact with customers face-to-face. This holiday supports the stores that keep the tradition of recommending music and talking about concerts. This allows us to avoid going the way of the video stores, where all recommendations are based on past behavior and that Human Genome Project. It even discourages the Pandora-type situations.
Next, the stores must agree to only sell the vinyl on Record Store Day and only in the store. Again, this strengthens the bond of the clerks and the customers. A few Record Store Days ago, I ended up speaking with a clerk about Jeff Mangum for a half hour.
My usual process with the day is to watch High Fidelity and then plan to spend a few hours in the closest participating store. Now that I have a turntable, I can actually purchase and listen to the vinyl that is recommended to me.
There has even been a new holiday added to the calendar after Thanksgiving, allowing more exposure and keeping the tradition alive in the other half of the year.
I honestly think this holiday helps people feel more connected to the music they consume. Not only can they physically touch the record, but also the experience of going out to buy music is not commonly practiced anymore. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t even pay digitally when there are so many free ways to find music, and that means that the artists who spend all of their time and money creating the tracks, have nothing coming back to them.
Last year, the day even acted as part of Boards of Canada’s release plan with their new music that came out over the summer. As one of the more elaborate releases of the last 10 years, the holiday is growing more important to fans and artists alike.
This year, I brought home Janelle Monaé’s “Archandroid” and Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings’ “Give the People What They Want.” Next year, I hope to get over to ZZZ Records before all the RSD specials sell out.
Tarnowski is a junior radio-TV producing and sociology double major and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org