This is now, what, year eight of this annual holiday? I've seen it grow from a scant few releases to the mega event it it today.
I still support it.
But, what's it all about?
We all know by now that vinyl is hip and trendy. Many new-found enthusiasts get snobby real fast, much like born-again anythings that are suddenly holier than the old guard.
Don't get me wrong, I welcome them. I'm not one to looks down upon someone because they like some band (to their face at least). I've been at this hobby/obsession/way of life/sickness for about 50 years now.
In the old days, vinyl was pretty much the only way to acquire recordings. It wasn't about the medium, it was about the music. It wasn't that you had something on a certain format. There were no special pressings or special packages or super-deluxe reissues. Those are for suckers. I refer to those as sucker-packs.
When going over to someone's house, you could find out all you needed to know about them by looking at their records. If you liked punk and your potential friend had disco records, the relationship would probably not work out. Music was that important.
Some got over-passionate about it. In the late '70's I happened to like both punk and Grateful Dead. It would get a rise out of the non-conformist punks if I wore a Dead T-Shirt to a punk show. I guess I didn't conform enough to their non-conformist ethos. Didn't stop me. It was kind of entertaining. Deadheads didn't care. They were (and still are) a very tolerant bunch.
|The Line Behind Me 2014|
So back to what I like about the holiday.
I support my local store on a regular basis. It's nice to see a crowd there as that will ensure that they stay in business. As a rule I don't go for the reissues unless it's something super-rare that I haven't been able to get a hold of. The best thing for me are the rarities that come out. 7" records especially. I like free stuff. It's fun to hear what other people have to say about music. The smell of unsealing new vinyl.
|The Line In Front Of Me. That child had too much coffee. Dad had to take her somewhere as she was getting squirmy. They never returned, leaving me one person closer.|
The flippers on eBay. The prices. The fact that I have to get up so early to wait in line. The madhouse that Amoeba has become. A few scammers in the line (those going to the front and giving someone some cash if they get something super limited that they'll just flip). Those who brag about having a copy of some record that was pressed in the tens of millions. Hearing someone spin a yarn that's not true. ( I can sympathize with Woody Allen in 'Annie Hall' when he brings Marshall McLuen in to shut some guy up in line.). Trying to explain to regular people walking down the sidewalk what the line is for. Drinking coffee in line and then having nowhere to pee. The paper cuts under my fingernails after slitting the shrinkwrap of a new title.
Just Do It.
Support your local record store. Not just on this holiday, but all thoughout the year. Amazon may be easy, but it won't help keep vinyl alive. Vinyl is something that you see, hear, and touch. You can't get that online.
See below for more information on local events/celebrations and list of special releases.