Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

Why Record Store Day can’t bring the good times back

It’s Record Store Day tomorrow. And the day after that and all next week and all next month too. I know, you thought it happened last week, but that’s the problem. Record shops are not just for Record Store Day …

Fri, Apr 27, 2012, 09:40

   

It’s Record Store Day tomorrow. And the day after that and all next week and all next month too. I know, you thought it happened last week, but that’s the problem. Record shops are not just for Record Store Day (or Christmas).

As the annual hoopla about celebrating independent record stores fades for another year, many at the coalface will wonder, as they look at empty stores and bare cash-tills, if they will still be around for Record Store Day 2013. Having a nominal day which focuses on independent music retailing doesn’t change the bigger picture and an annual Record Store Day cannot and will not bring the good times back.

The game has changed and your average music consumer, the lad formerly known as 50 Quid Man (€61.41 at current exchange rates), is not coming back. Special in-store performances and limited vinyl releases (as if you have to be a format snob to frequent record stores) are not going to save the sector.

For those of us who grew up in those stores, spent all our money in them and can remember exactly where we purchased which album, it’s a sad state of affairs. You don’t like seeing your old haunts disappearing.

Yet for those who still love have an habit for new music, the arrival of the internet means having a record store on tap 24/7. It’s at this point that some will mention the social aspects of stores and it’s at this point that we point them towards Twitter and gigs.

Music has always been about community, but that community has simply moved elsewhere. While some will still frequent bricks-and-mortar stores, that diminishing number is probably not enough to keep the doors open in the long-run. Start planning now for iTunes Day 2020 and Beatport Day 2025.