Arts Desk

As Record Store Day Approaches, What Can You Expect from D.C. Labels?


Not much, at least from the ones I've contacted. The annual event, in which geeks like me flood independent record stores across the country to pick up exclusive releases, takes place on April 17 this year. And some of the more notable indie labels, like Sub Pop and 4AD, have begun announcing what limited-press releases they'll be dropping to send some cash in the direction of those endangered retail beasts. (If you want that exclusive Beach House record, there's a good chance some local stores will have it. Just line up early.)

But some of the more notable D.C.-based labels say that while they appreciate what Record Store Day does, at least this year they won't doing anything big for it.

"We've tossed around ideas in the past and come up with vinyl discounts and the like for our direct stores but that's about it," writes Dischord's Alec Bourgeois in an e-mail. "Generally speaking we like things that help put the spotlight on independent shops. The more people talk about record stores in the present tense the better. On the other hand we don't usually get officially involved with 'sponsored' events and we don't like to toss out 'limited edition' things. So—in reality I guess we kind of straddle the issue."

Todd Hyman, who runs Paw Tracks, Carpark, and Acute Records from D.C., says the labels don't have anything planned for this year's Record Store Day—and wonders if record stores are altogether doomed, anyway.  "Record Store Day is a little too late in the game in my opinion," he writes in an e-mail. "But happy to help if I can."

Others are more enthusiastic: The Vinyl District blog, an official sponsor of the vent, has been counting down to Record Store Day for several weeks.

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  • smallman….

    Alec's response made me laugh out loud. Classic. It's like the guy can't decide what's more pretentious: supporting local business or never actually trying to sell a record. Not trying wins out, but you can tell he's struggling with it.

    also, why are 'sponsored event' and 'limited edition' in quotes exactly? sign a band guys, christ.

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  • neithernor

    Dischord supports local businesses and independent shops 365 days a year -- not just one. Bandwagoneering just doesn't get the job done. Small man, big mouth...