Record Store Day: the New Black Friday

After a long week of school, I was looking forward to today. I could finally drink, buy and listen to music. I figured every place would be crowded. There was too much cool shit going on for people not to be out. Even on a shitty looking day. What I didn’t figure was how hard it was to get the records I wanted.

I knew Grimey’s opened at 10, but I could only get there at 11:30. Parking was shitty as expected. When I got up there, that Record Store Day Exclusive Tent had a line. I had to wait an hour to get into the tent. There was hardly anything worth buying at that point (unless you had $112 to drop on that Flaming Lips boxset, but c’mon, who does?). I was lucky enough to grab one Phosphene Nightmare, the Black Angels b-side record, and the Growler’s 7″ Gay Thoughts. That was cool, but I was bummed I couldn’t get that Nirvana EP. Hopefully it’ll show up online later.

I knew the place was going to be crowded, but I thought the line would start forming at like 9:30. I wasn’t even close. According to the cashier, there were people lined up outside at 2 AM. I was passing out at that time last night while people were lined up around Grimey’s. I didn’t stand a chance. I couldn’t help but make the connection: is Record Store Day the new Black Friday?

Think about it. Sure, a bunch of records and singles get released that day. But the releases are all limited edition. If you don’t get them today, your only other option is dropping a bunch of money on eBay. All of a sudden, everyone’s gonna want to get there first to get the releases before they run out. Since there’s not a record store on every corner like there used to be, people flock to the closest spot. Like malls, there’s only a few in each city. In order to get the releases you want, you have to battle through a sea of hipsters and fakes to get them. If you don’t get what you want, the stores mark down their other merchandise, just like what department stores do on Black Friday.

I’m not trying to bring down the day, cause I think it is important to support record stores and keep them around. I just think the parallels are extremely obvious. Exclusive vinyls are cool and all, but I don’t think it can really pass under the “indie” guise for much longer. I mean good for them for using a system that brings crowds and helps get money flowing into music, but it sucks for people like me who hate dealing with Black Friday-like crowds and just want to get a Nirvana EP and get out.

The shows are a big plus though. Even with the rescheduled Jerry Lee Lewis show, there was still a bunch of cool shows going on today. Too bad I ran out of cash, cause I would have definitely hit up the Greenhornes show.

Anyways, apparently I need to get up at 2 AM to guarantee getting the records I want. Since that’s not gonna happen anytime soon, I’ll probably just stick to the shows next year.

And next year dudes, get someone better than Ozzy to be the “ambassador.”

Go with Jack White or Josh Homme again.

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