“WHEN I’VE GOT THE MUSIC, I’VE GOT A PLACE TO GO!” – ‘Radio’, Rancid.
For many of those who still buy physical copies of music, the third Saturday in April is bigger than Christmas. It’s a day when a number of limited items by both popular and lesser known bands are scattered across the world in special release editions as part of the international phenomenon known as Record Store Day; a day focused on the activity of visiting independent record stores, wherever you are across the world, and making a purchase. Whether you are after the special releases or just buying that album you have always thought about, Record Store Day is a music fans dream come true.
This year’s ambassador for Record Store Day is none other than Jack White. Whether you love him or hate him, White is the perfect spokesperson for RSD, owning his own store and running his own record label, Third Man Records, based in Nashville, TN.
Not only is he a connoisseur of all things vinyl, White invests time and money into a medium he truly believes in. Since the labels beginning, Third Man Records have released around 200 different titles. Not a bad effort for an indie label. They have always been one to come up with new and innovative ways to release records. On Record Store Day in 2012, White released a limited number of his Sixteen Saltines 12” EP in a special liquid filled release. The only way to find one was to buy it directly from the Third Man Records store as these were not being sold in any other stores or online, well, not until they found themselves on eBay before the day was out with a pricetag of upwards of a thousand dollars and more.
This has become the downfall of Record Store Day; people who buy the special releases to “flip” on eBay. Flippers, as they are known, have become a record buyers RSD nightmare. They are the ones who will buy multiple copies of RSD records to purposely sell on eBay at inflated costs which diminishes the true meaning of what this day is about.
Paul Cook from Melbourne’s Heartland Records likes to make it that extra bit harder for flippers to find the RSD releases. While most shops have a special section for RSD releases, Paul just puts the titles he has in the racks amongst the artists other releases. If you know what you’re looking for, you’ll find them. If you’re looking for records to flip on eBay, with no care for the art or the artist, you may want to try elsewhere first.
The special list of releases for RSD this year can be downloaded from the official record store day website. With over 400 releases from all labels and groups across the world, it’s sure to be quite a competitive day so why not join in the fun? Head on out to your local record store and indulge in the events and festivities each store holds. While you’re there, why not pick up a couple records and help keep indie record stores alive. We all need them. Believe me, we really do.