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06:39 AM on 04/18/14
wander eyes, ocean high.
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luvsickcatalyst's Avatar
of course it's been corrupted by major labels - if you've been doing RSD for a few years, you can just look around and see that. it's also really, really, really easy to not support those large labels (by not buying their shit) and the smaller record store I frequent only orders RSD items that people want/have requested, so his shelves aren't filled with pointless soundtracks and old re-issues Beach Boys 7"s for $25.
Exactly this. Some bigger record stores have no control over what gets sent to them (I know a Newbury Comics near me that doesn't know what they're getting until the day before), but I know a bunch of record stores that ask at checkout if the customer will be at RSD/what records they'd like to see stocked from the list. Works because it promotes the event and everyone gets exactly what they want without extras.

Beyond that, this just sounds like complaining from indie labels and record collecting "purists" attacking an event for getting successful. I started going during Record Store Day's second year back in 2008 and there were major label releases dominating indies back then too. Business is business, unfortunately...although yes, the plant issues are terrible. I go every year because I love visiting this record store I hardly get to go to anymore because it's far out of the way for me, getting some rare releases, and stocking my collection with records I've wanted for a while. Most people I know are the same, which means the spirit of RSD is at least partially alive...just not to guys like Hickman that have a business to run against major labels.
02:14 PM on 04/18/14
wander eyes, ocean high.
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luvsickcatalyst's Avatar
I know the post wasn't directed at me, but I never said it's ruined the spirit of RSD and the general sense of community in buying music and supporting local shops. The inner workings is what will need to be dealt with in the coming years. They can't continue to block out small label production in favor of some $50 Red Hot Shitty Peppers release of an album that came out 10 years ago. That's damaging and degrading to the entire purpose of RSD, imo.

If you have a few, check out this article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/entert...057_story.html
I think, even though I'm standing by this event (for now) as a great way for getting people into vinyl, you've made a lot of valid points in this thread. Namely, it's ridiculous for majors to clog up vinyl production plants with their bullshit niche/novelty (re)releases...but then again, that's how almost all businesses work. A trend starts, the little businesses capitalize on it until the big ones swoop in and ride out the trend until it's beaten dead and/or has to be revived by the indies again.

You don't need me unintentionally sounding condescending though, but, at the same time, I don't think you'd be commenting here saying smaller labels shouldn't bother with RSD if it didn't matter to you. I'm curious...why not play the business game instead of avoiding the event altogether? Why not start pressing records for RSD earlier than the majors? I feel like smaller indie labels have the advantage of pressing records earlier because their artists are more long-term/not as trend-based compared to majors, but I'm no insider on that. And I feel like the power of a free compilation CD goes a long way on RSD. Even though people come for vinyl, I almost always see people grabbing the free CD comps. And, plus, they can be relatively cheaper to produce than vinyl (coming from a little experience doing comps with a smaller, DIY collective, so I may be wrong there) You can promote via the comp packaging the fact that your label has vinyl releases year-round, creating a win-win-win situation for yourselves, the record stores, and the people that pick up the CD comp who decide to start frequenting record stores/your releases more as a result.

RSD is not a perfect event by any means and it never has been, but I've seen it be the catalyst to my friends starting their record collections and piquing their interests in sound quality, graphic design, starting small labels themselves, etc. I feel like it'd be a shame if indie labels decided to abandon it altogether because they couldn't compete with the majors.

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