Sunday, 20 February 2011

Record Store Day 2011

Record Store Day is every music nerd's wet dream; our favourite bands and labels cut 7"'s of previously unreleased tracks in very limited numbers, sold to the earliest birds who've patiently queued up in the dewy morning with carefully scribbled shopping lists of their desired purchases.

Last year's RSD I got to experience the event from the other side of the cash desk. I'd been working in a record shop in Brighton for nearly eight months and though I'd already seen my fair share of music fans' geeking out (the tears of joy and the tantrums in equal measure), nothing had prepared me for the huge line of people snaking down the street as I turned up at half eight on RSD morning. The weeks before had been spent ordering and planning, with mini rushes of hysteria downstairs in the basement every time a new box showed up to add to our treasure trove of RSD delights. The night before we'd stayed at the shop 'til midnight, manically stuffing goody bags and organising the wall displays. And despite the lack of sleep the night before, the whole day passed in a heady blur of chatting with customers and trying to ensure everyone left as happy as possible (having to break the news to people who'd queued since 7am that the last copy of the much-coveted Blur single had just sold to the person in front of them wasn't my favourite moment).

Although it was one of the most exhausting days I've ever worked, I felt really lucky to have been a part of such an important event. We're always told that no one values owning a hard copy of a release any more, but the fans waiting outside at half six on a chilly Saturday morning said otherwise. If they'd stayed in bed instead then by midday the music would probably have made its way onto the Internet anyway (as mp3s or at an extortionate price on eBay - shame on you!), but that wasn't the point; this was the opportunity to recapture some of the spirit of previous eras, before album leaks spoiled the surprise.

This year I'm based in London and no longer directly such a part of Record Store Day (taking place on April 16th this year), but I'm already booking my train tickets to head down to Brighton the night before. Just take a look at what's in store for 2011 - the Beth Ditto EP, Panda Bear, Deefhoof split, Syd Barrett double album and Toro Y Moi / Cloud Nothings split are already sitting at the top of my list.

For more on Record Store Day, visit the official site.

No comments:

Post a Comment