Preview :: Record Store Day 2011

April 15th 2011

via Buzzfeed: 40 Sad Portraits of Closed Record Stores

Even as the majors are copping huge losses and stores everywhere are closing down, vinyl is booming and record-store culture is back in the spotlight. Tomorrow, Saturday 16 April, is the fourth international Record Store Day – a secular (or very religious) holiday that encourages music nerds, vinyl dorks and Cosby-sweater-wearing, deleted-Smiths-single-chasing misanthropes to celebrate their local physical-music emporium.

Shops all around Sydney are joining in, with instores, a very limited number of special releases, and in many cases, store-wide discounts. Our picks: TITLE store on Crown Street has an amazing 20% off storewide (head to the book room in the back for reissued psych gems buried in the racks); Red Eye Records have their usual party atmosphere, including 10% off all vinyl, freebies for even moderately extravagant purchases and an exclusive vinyl run of You Am I's latest record; Newtown heroes Repressed Records have a metric shitload of exclusives and specials, including 7"s of Melbourne instores by OFF! and Lou Barlow; and Black Wire to Common Ground on Parramatta Road will be closed. Hang on, what?

The Flog couldn't reach anyone at Black Wire for comment today, but Tom from the volunteer-run, non-profit store-cum-venue told Mess & Noise, "Black Wire will be closed all day in protest at the 'industry' attempts to pay lip service to record shops for one pathetic day while either fucking them over or ignoring them the rest of the year. Also just to be dicks. Steal digital, buy vinyl. Go to shows."

Black Wire might actually be objecting to Record Store Day Australia, a three-year-old local event which is held on the same day as the international celebration, but has no affiliation with it. While RSD Original Flavour requires participating stores to be independent in ownership (and mindset), RSDA is in part an initiative of the Australian Music Retailers Association – an industry trade organisation which represents many independent stores as well as big retailers like JB Hi-Fi and the Leading Edge group, and which this year has also partnered with Sony to put on instores with the likes of Damien Leith and Jessica Mauboy. While Black Wire's frustration is understandable, most indie retailers are choosing to celebrate and take advantage of the day no matter what – some independent stores, like Red Eye and Hum, are counted as participants in both events. Chris Sammut from Repressed Records isn't bothered by the local bandwagon. "The way I look at it is if you’re attending a Jessica Mauboy event in a plaza for Record Store Day, you’re not really there for Record Store Day," he explains. "If chain stores need to hijack a day for indie retailers, it just means they know who the cool dudes are! I think the day is a cool bit of marketing for us smaller guys selling more interesting music and taking more risks."

But whatever your flavour – whether you're usually a pirate king, a loyal iTunes devotee, a MiniDisc maven or on first name terms with your vinyl guy – Record Store Day comes but once a year. We here at the Flog can't urge you enough to head into your local store tomorrow and give them all the love you can.

Record Store Day
Record Store Day Australia