As a reminder of sorts, Record Store Day is tomorrow, with hundreds of independent retailers sticking it to the man for at least one day. With in-stores galore from Metallica at Rasputin’s in San Francisco to Mates of State at a Newbury Comics location, there’s plenty of reason to head out tomorrow, if only to pick up your exclusive Vampire Weekend 7-inch, which I imagine includes a song about scarves or summer homes or something. The question has to be asked, however… is this a little too late?
The independent music retailers behind this whole adventure are pulling out all the stops, and nearly every newspaper that still has a local arts reporter has come through with some coverage, but some of the ploys seem slightly misguided. David Berman and Kurt Wagner will be hanging out in a Nashville store, which sounds like a great reason to leave the house for me, but are guys like me who purchase Lambchop discs the audience stores have been missing out on? Was the missing piece to financial success an exclusive 7″ or a multidimensional Bjork video? Probably not, really.
One has to assume some of the inspiration for Record Store Day comes from Free Comic Book Day, this year on May 3, when other beleaguered retailers try to draw in the customers it once counted on. My observations are hardly scientific here, but last time they had this event, the store closest to me was packed, but partially it was due to the wide net being cast. Sure, the organizers had their key demographic covered with comics exclusive to the day featuring scantily clad women fighting vampires and a ridiculous amount of Japanese stuff, but there was also an appeal to people who might have missed going to a store and looking at a new release wall as part of their comic enjoying existence. They had loyal Hellboy fans covered, but there was a guy in a Spider-Man costume too, handing out Simpsons and Transformers titles.
It’s hard to fault the effort organizers put into Record Store Day–and I hope that the majority of these stores will be around for another edition next year–but when there’s more musical interest in Hannah Montana and the Jonas Brothers than Pinback or Destroyer, it’s hard for me to not think that the day’s aim was a bit too narrow.
Record Store Day [Official site]