Evidently, Record Store Day is this coming Saturday. Time was when I was fully on board with this endeavor (see these posts, to cite but two). At some point, however, I came to my senses and realised two things: Firstly, if you're a genuinely serious music fan of any stripe, fucking EVERY DAY is Record Store Day. The calendar doesn't enter into it. You should be supporting your local, independent music shop all year round. That should also comes as second nature. You shouldn't need a cutesy little reminder.
Secondly, in relatively short order, the whole concept was swiftly co-opted by record labels as a crass money-making scheme, prompting them to issue strictly limited editions designed to fill their own coffers. Predictably, said limited editions would invariably be snapped up by opportunisits who'd later pawn them off on eBay at exhorbitant mark-ups, totally side-stepping the initial point of Record Store Day. The whole thing is a complete sham.
To this day, I'm largely incapable of walking by a music shop (I'm saying "music shop" as a catch-all term, here. I refeuse to simply cow-tow to silly vinyl fetishists, as the compact disc remains my go-to in the realm of physical media) without at least ducking in and give the stuff on offer a cursory perusal. Trouble is, as have been feverishly over-documented on this blog, most of my favorite shops here in New York City are long fuckng gone.
Just off the top of my head, … Rocks In Your Head? Gone. Venus Records? Gone. Second Coming Records? Gone. 99 Records? Gone. Bleecker Bob's? Gone. St. Marks Sounds? Gone. Golden Disc Records? Gone. Hospital Productions? Gone. Vinyl Mania? Gone. Lunch For Your Ears? Gone. Smash CD's? Gone. NYCD? Gone. Future Legend? Gone. Gone. Freebeing? Gone. Kim's? Gone. Record Factory? Gone. Rockit Scientist? Gone. Wowsville? Gone. It's Only Rock'n'Roll? Gone. Rebel Rebel? Gone. Other Music? Gone. Bondy's? Gone. Eightball? Gone. J&R Music World? Gone. Piers Platters in Hoboken? Gone. Disc-O-Rama? HMV? Gone. Virgin Megastore? Gone. King Karol? Gone. Crazy Eddie? Gone. Disc-O-Mat? Gone.
I'm relatively certain I'm forgetting at least one or two.
In any case, my barbed little grievances and tear-stained melancholia aside, by all means, spend your money on vinyl on Saturday. I am all for the proliferation of the tactile manifestation of music. Just don't feel you have to wait for a special date to do it.
In observance of same, meanwhile, the somewhat presumptuously-titled NYC Official Guide just published an article touting New York's Best Music Stores. It's heart is certainly in the right place, although there are some arguable descriptions. Yes, Park Slope's Music Matters does indeed stock a lot of indie rock, which arguably suits the needs and sensibility of the neighborhood, but it also boasts an endearingly unwieldy selection of stentorian metal. Last time I checked, Park Slope was not overrun with black-clad nogoodnicks in corpse-paint (if only!) And however well-meaning, this article managed to omit citation of two of my favorite Manhattan shops still hanging on, Record Runner on Jones Street in the Village and Downtown Music Gallery on Monroe Street in Chinatown. Both are worth your time.