I'm not sure what Record Store Day is like anywhere other than in NYC, but here it's nuts. My fondest RSD memory was back in 2011 when I rolled up to Sound Fix (RIP) at 8am and stood in line with Alex and Sami from CoS for 2 hours until the store opened. It was a brutal 2 hours because the night prior Sprout and I had gone out with Fitts from The Kickdrums and had more Jameson than people who needed to get up early (or be alive for that matter) should every drink. Even still, despite the worst hangovers of our lifetimes (it is now the one we have compared every other hangover to ever since) it's hard not to think fondly of the moments where we were gushing about the releases we were hoping to get, the Sound Fix folks bringing coffee and pastries for all of us waiting in line, and the overall sense of community that is felt on this and every Record Store Day since.
Record Store Day is a my favorite day to celebrate my favorite thing with my closest friends. Unfortunately, not everyone has a built in posse to roll up to those long RSD lines. You may heading out to RSD solo. Even if you're not, this is a rare opportunity that comes once a year to meet a chunk of people all at once that have presumably the same interests as you, so instead of burying your face in your phone, take advantage of the situation and strike up a conversation!
First impressions are important and we want everyone to know how you're some kind of awesome, so here are some fun things Sprout and I will hopefully be discussing with strangers outside of Rough Trade tomorrow:
- Phonograph records were originally pressed onto shellac! However during World War II the United States declared that shellac was a strategic material for the war and due to scarcity records started being pressed into vinyl, which is what is still used today. (Yale)
- Some folks in the universe claim that the best way to clean your records is by using wood glue and a credit card:
Warning: this guy does not feel the same about this method:
- Trying to put a price tag on music is complicated as hell, honestly. The history of it is pretty fascinating though. (Pitchfork)
- The first thing ever recorded was Ben Franklin singing/shouting Mary Had A Little Lamb and it was recorded onto a tin cylinder. (LiveScience)
PS this is what it sounded like:
If that tickled your fancy, this guy shows how Edison did the recording on the cylinders that they recorded to at the time:
- The most expensive record player as far as I've been able to hunt down is a whopping $300,000. It's called the Goldmund Reference II and it's a high-precision turntable with level calibration to less than 1/100th of a millimeter and its stylus, pivot and counterweight perfectly aligned for optimal dynamic balance. There's also three teflon tubes that prevent vibration of the wires as they carry signal from the turntable, amongst various other ultra fancy features. There are currently only 25 of them in the world because they only make 5 of them a year, so this is as limited edition as one can get. (Most Expensive, Music Stack, DJOYBEAT)
So, this is awkward, but is Record Store Day even good for the small independent stores that participate? (The Guardian)
I mean, you could probably debate/diss on Tidal for at least 2 hours. There's so much to discuss! Like how exclusivity like that can be detrimental to charting positions on Billboard, pretty much every artist other than the #TIDAL16 are like, "uh lol this is so dumb", but maybe doing things like featuring indie artists is a saving grace? (Probably not considering their CEO just stepped down and there are already layoffs.) Also WHAT ABOUT US FANS HUH #TIDAL16!?!? p.s. That "declaration" that Madonna mounted the table to sign is soo zzzzzz.
There's lots of legislation in the works at the moment to try to make the music industry a better place! They're considering amending the consent decrees for performance rights organizations ASCAP and BMI, some folks are hoping to overhaul the copyright law, there's a bill up for review right now that's trying to make sure mixers, producers, and engineers make money off via royalties, and there's a radio royalty bill up for debate that would make terrestrial radio finally pay for public performances (aka radio play) for music (this currently isn't the case, btw).
Uh, who among you are going to buy these limited edition releases and then NOT EVER LISTEN TO IT LIKE A CRAZY PERSON? A surprising 15%, apparently. (What HiFi?)
If you haven't made your list and checked it twice you need to do so because being unprepared can result in heartbreak so check out the Official List of Record Store Day Special Releases. There are lots of things going on tomorrow in celebration of the happiest day of the year so maybe see what your local store is doing. There's a TON of stuff going on in NYC that you should check out if you're in the area.
Don't forget to be VERY POLITE to the people working at your record store tomorrow because there is no doubt that they will be stressed out of their minds by the swarms of people coming out. Obviously be nice to your fellow shoppers, too. Some of us are short and can't reach the overhead shelves so offer to help out if you see someone struggling (Sprout was my savior last year with this). Who knows, maybe all these sweet tips will land you a record store bae (sorry, I had to).
And if you're going out for Record Store Day so you can buy a bunch of the ultra limited runs so you can put them up on eBay, please comment below so I can find you and slap you.