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ARSCLIST  April 2015

ARSCLIST April 2015

Subject:

Re: Record Store Day and the Ambivalent Branding of Independence

From:

Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 16 Apr 2015 11:52:12 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (161 lines)

Hi Robin:

The article headline misses the point. There may or may not be a long-term need for increased
capacity (Chad Kassem and GZ apparently felt strongly enough that there is a need that they put a
good heap of money on the table to increase capacity; United reportedly plans to add presses but has
given no details where they will come from). The "squeeze" is an artificial shortage, like Enron
playing the spot market for power in California. RSD is creating a fake "urgency" and the record
companies are following SOP and getting stuff completed at the last possible minute. This "shortage"
would likely be solved or nearly solved if RSD-type release events were spread over the calendar
year.

And, it's already been found in court that it's OK for Coke and Pepsi or P&G and Colgate-Palmolive
to switch off promotion weeks during the calendar year, so it would be fine for the three major
record companies to divvy up the events over the course of a year. In fact, it would be better in
some ways for that to happen. If Sony knows it's got April and August, for example, it can focus its
release schedule and in-house planning to have a corporate-wide machine going at those times. If UMG
has May and September, for example, it would be focused on those time periods and it would probably
stretch resources too thin to try and undercut Sony during its months, and the same is true for Sony
during UMG months. The end result will be fewer limited resources spent on crowded retail space and
more focused PR machines aimed at specific "clear field" promotion periods. The resulting focus and
saved resources COULD be used to better develop artists, oversee album production, discover new
artists, etc. Right now, the whole promo and retail model is very chaotic and everyone is fighting
everyone all the time for the 2-second attention span of modern consumers. The losers are artists
and consumers, and I think the lower quality product and unsatisfied consumers are a big part of
what's driving the downward trend in music purchasing and consumption. I know this scenario is
somewhat anti-competitive, but I see recorded music as competing against all other media, especially
on-screen video and social media. It's basically a competition for the 2-second attention spans.

-- Tom Fine


----- Original Message -----
From: "Robin Hendrickson" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, April 16, 2015 11:39 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Record Store Day and the Ambivalent Branding of Independence


> One reason why it might be a good idea to spread RSD out over more
> than one annual day is that many releases are not ready on time.
>
> You missed this month's deadline? That's OK, offer it next month.
>
> This article below touches on the capacity squeeze as well as the
> missed deadlines.
>
> Presses step up to the plate as Record Store Day highlights need for
> increased production capacity
> http://www.nashvillescene.com/nashville/presses-step-up-to-the-plate-as-record-store-day-highlights-need-for-increased-production-capacity/Content?oid=5018663
>
>
> On Thu, Apr 16, 2015 at 8:54 AM, David Lewis <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> I don't mind record store day at all. These manufacturers say, "We can't
>> keep up with the production demand;" well, in a way that's a nice problem
>> to have.
>> As to gouging RSD-themed products as time goes on, I've had the experience
>> of seeking out at least two such releases months after they debuted and did
>> not experience more than a slight bump in the price, though I was looking
>> for reissues of things for which there wasn't a huge demand. These were the
>> 30+
>> years delayed domestic release of Public Image Ltd.'s first album and a
>> superb reissue of "Food for Thought," the first album by The JB's, which
>> hardly
>> anyone bought initially.
>>
>> Just think of it: an event that makes people excited about records, about
>> recordings. Sure there will be bumps in the road and carping from those who
>> think
>> the whole thing can be done better in countless ways, or say that we'd be
>> better off without it after all is said and done. And I have talked to
>> record store
>> managers who say that taking on all of that stock is a hardship for them,
>> but some say that it sells throughout the year so there is a back-end
>> benefit of
>> it. As long as it's only once a year than most can bear it, and the busy
>> day they have in April often makes up for it as they move stock that day
>> anyway.
>> So for now I'm down with it, and look forward to RSD every year, even if I
>> can't get out to celebrate -- and this year looks like one of those years.
>>
>> David N. Lewis
>> Hamilton, OH
>>
>>
>>
>> On Thu, Apr 16, 2015 at 7:32 AM, Carl Pultz <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>
>>> I can ignore the special merch and vestiges of corporatocracy with no
>>> problem when there's a party going on. I'm not alone. In Rochester there
>>> will be parties. The Bop Shop, doing well after their arduous move a few
>>> years ago, is showcasing a large collection they acquired from the estate
>>> of a local musician that looks really interesting. There is always
>>> something to buy, new and old. They'll have bands all day, with more
>>> activities on Sunday, beer tastings, and craft coffee.
>>>
>>> Record Archive is putting on a show, featuring a few more of the hottest
>>> bands in town, more beer, and food trucks - including my fav, La Petit
>>> Poutine. They highlight, "Tons of RSD limited releases - giveaways - fun
>>> for the whole family - tons of $1 records*."
>>>
>>> Needle Drop is necessarily participating in a small way. It's a small
>>> place. So is Lakeshore Records. Not sure if the CD Exchange ever did much
>>> with RSD, but it is gone anyway, morphed into the Hi Fi Lounge, a CD store
>>> with some vinyl and a gear store that is emphasizing turntables. Rather
>>> than RSD this year, they are sponsoring a popular record fair to be held
>>> May 16 that brings out the collectors. Another sign of the times: none of
>>> these three brick and mortars have a Web site. Just social-media.
>>>
>>> That's what I know - probably leaving someone out. We're apparently an
>>> anomaly; Rochester's got record stores. And buyers of records, though I
>>> suspect there is still more supply than demand. Still, out of all the
>>> confusion and distraction and change, some young people are seeking music
>>> as foreground activity. A week doesn't go by that several don't ask about
>>> where to get a receiver or a turntable, CHEAPLY, which gives a clue to how
>>> important that GDP comparison is. The record stores have found themselves
>>> in the second-hand gear business. I caution people that looking only at the
>>> major metros, where the major media is, can give a skewed image of the
>>> overall reality. How much of the used record trade gets seen by Soundscan?
>>>
>>> Whatever the resurgence of vinyl means to the future of physical media, it
>>> is the survival of experienced retailers that forms its basis*. And those
>>> that did survive the lean years must owe something to RSD and the idea that
>>> a national event lends credibility to what started to look like an
>>> anachronistic business. When it comes time to renew a lease or sign a new
>>> one, that sort of thing probably makes a difference.
>>>
>>> Thanks for sharing that, Eric.
>>>
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List [mailto:
>>> [log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Eric Cartier
>>> Sent: Tuesday, April 14, 2015 7:40 PM
>>> To: [log in to unmask]
>>> Subject: [ARSCLIST] Record Store Day and the Ambivalent Branding of
>>> Independence
>>>
>>> Hi all,
>>>
>>> The eighth annual Record Store Day (RSD) is set for this Saturday, and
>>> Eric Harvey, Pitchfork contributor/Assistant Professor of Communication at
>>> Weber State University, wrote an interesting article about RSD:
>>>
>>> http://pitchfork.com/thepitch/736-record-store-day-and-the-ambivalent-branding-of-independence/
>>>
>>> I regularly visit record stores to look for and buy used vinyl, I
>>> occasionally purchase select new releases with accompanying download cards,
>>> and I've attended three consecutive RSDs, but I'm not sure I'll participate
>>> in RSD this year. The manufactured exclusivity of the often overpriced
>>> records and their unequal distribution/availability are problematic.
>>>
>>> What do you all think about this recorded sound holiday?
>>>
>>> Sincerely,
>>>
>>> Eric Cartier
>>> Digital Librarian
>>> University of Maryland Libraries
>>>
>
>

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