I hate going to the mall. I hate shopping in general. Entering these capitalistic stronghold fortresses is mentally exhausting for me. Yet, every so often, arises a need for me to reluctantly venture into one for something I may or may not urgently need.
During one of these trips, I stumbled upon a troubling discovery. I was inside a shopping center that we’ll call “Bullseye” when I noticed a vinyl record amidst a rack full of children’s books. The record was Fleetwood Mac’s Rumors. “What the fuck?” I’m pretty sure I said that out loud.
I couldn’t conceive of just how the record got into the store. Was it left there as some sort of joke? Did some careless employee decide to just stick it anywhere when they realized that they obviously do not sell records? Did they even know what a record was? Maybe they thought it was a calendar. I came to the conclusion that it was a returned item after I found a sticker on the back of the cover that read “online exclusive.” I laughed at the irony of how small the store’s CD section is and at how the last time there was anything resembling a record store inside that mall was more than sixteen years ago. The most outrageous fact about all of this was the $19.99 price tag affixed to this “classic” album. What a bargain.
A friend confirmed later on that the retailer has decided to sell vinyl recordings on their online store in a desperate attempt to cash in on the current resurgence in the format’s popularity. You also needn’t look further than the Record Store Day fiasco that is over saturating the market with orders for an explanation as to why this is happening. The truly independent record stores and labels who operate under the motto that “record store day is every day” are the ones left in the dark while the majors are playing a game of cash grab by feigning interest in a format they actively killed off years ago while. Fleetwood Mac takes precedence over the new Total Control album.
I’m not ashamed to admit I have participated in RSD for a couple of years now. Initially, the idea to celebrate independent record stores with limited edition releases seemed like fun and definitely appealed to the collector scum inside of me. However, every year since its inception I see less participation from actual DIY labels. Hats off to Grave Mistake records for putting RSD on notice and having the courage to say that they will not be participating this year. I, too, will not be participating any further. This podcast is dedicated to all my favorite record stores in Los Angeles (Headline, Vacation, Permanent, Soundstations) and the Bay area (1-2-3-4 Go!, Thrillhouse) and to the numerous online distros and record labels who make record store day for me with every visit or order at that arrives at my doorstep.
English Singles, “The Finer Points” (SlumberLand)
Louder, “Secret Fiction” (Sorry State)
The Number Ones, “Heartsmash” (Deranged)
Legendary Wings, “Fatuous” (Dirtnap)
Buzzcocks, “Keep on Believing” (1,2,3,4 Go!)
Failures, “Hope” (Youth Attack)
Gay Kiss, “No Place, Nowhere” (Sorry State)
Kromosom, “Vicious Cycle” (Lengua Armada)
Spazz, “Who Writes Your Rules?” (HG Fact)
Nudity, “Light and Grace” (Iron Lung)
Lenguas Largas, “7 Pacificos” (Recess)
Melvins, “Hog Leg” (Boner)
Badlands, “Dreams” (Porchcore)