© 2012 Anthony Barlow
“All this day serves as now, is the music business deciding it feels bad for whoring itself out to iTunes and the like and releasing specials.”
On Saturday, I was wished a Happy Record store day.
I’m not convinced that its happy at all.
I have friends who genuinely buy records for all the right reasons, who love them and listen to them, and that’s great. The problem is I get the distinct impression that these people are in a horrific minority to the people who buy it for the sake of telling their friends that they own it. I was discussing this yesterday and the response was: “But the awesome few take advantage” which was proceeded by a list of the records acquired over this years day. In my opinion its like saying “The lucky few who win university scholarship will benefit take advantage of higher tuition fees, because they’ll be saving more money, and therefore higher tuition fees are a good idea”. Higher tuition fees are not a good idea, and neither is this.
You want to save record stores? Well what you need to do is incentivise people buying records the whole damn year. I’m not taking away from the fact that Record Store Day gets a lot of people in their record shop (once a fucking year) and I’m not taking away from the fact that record enthusiasts get a bunch new, rare stuff and festivities to boot, but I cant bring myself to get excited about it, knowing that its mostly fuelling some prick’s ability to tell someone else about his rare vinyl, even though the bastard doesn’t own a player for them. “Chino wearing wankers, buying up the Refused releases as they reformed.” pretty much sums up my point quite nicely. All that’s needed is a good reason to get all your music from your local record shop, a reason for a guy with a beard and Boilermaker t-shirt to tell you what you might like, and not some robotically generated recommendation from Spotify or Amazon.
All this day serves as now, is the music business deciding it feels bad for whoring itself out to iTunes and the like and releasing specials. It comes down to one big (and nowhere near satisfactory) apology, from the music business to the record shops, and perhaps equally, to the fans. One day does not change the fact that record stores are closing in every town, every day. It’s a token gesture.
You might say that a token gesture is better than nothing, but that’s bullshit, its like someone taking your legs, and giving them back to you one day a year. Are you supposed to ignore your general state of leglessness and get super excited and be grateful for that one day a year, even though the guys giving you your legs are the same cunts who took them off you in the first place? I’m thinking far too much about legs and not enough about records, so this analogy ends here.
In short what I’m saying is there should be more incentive to buy vinyl from your local record shop all year round, and not just turning up one day a year in your beret so you can tell all your friends about how you helped save the music industry.
- John Dykes