Indie Labels Say the Majors Are Releasing “Hundreds of Pieces of Sh!t” on Record Store Day…

As Record Store Day approaches, it’s important to consider all aspects of the holiday, even the less favorable ones.  Yes, RSD has done a lot of good for independent record stores. It’s their best selling day of the year, it’s even bigger than the pre-Christmas shopping week.

But with all of this success, the major labels are becoming a lot more interested (and if you need proof of that, check out the “Every Single RSD Exclusive” list).  Now, some indie labels feel like they’re being pushed out of the day that’s supposed to be boosting the independent cornerstones of the music industry. The Quietus has taken a look at the downsides of RSD, featuring the viewpoints of indie labels and an interview with the Day’s U.K. coordinator, Spencer Hickman. Way back in 2011, Rob Sevier of Chicago based The Numero Group said:

“What I’m not crazy about are the literally hundreds of pieces of shit being shoved into the marketplace on this day; products, for the most part, that no human needs to own, ever. The economy of Record Store Day is, ‘What can we shit into the form of a record and shove into the hands of the wanton masses?'”

The Modern Love label voiced their concern in a series of tweets:

Distro company Kudos highlighted some of the issues they are facing in 2014 with pressing plants on their blog, saying:

“Kudos have always been a strong supporter of Record Store Day.  We have participated since its inception and have enjoyed some notable successes.  However, it now feels like it has been appropriated by major labels and larger indies to the extent that smaller labels who push vinyl sales for the other 364 days of the year are effectively penalised.”

The concerns go on; read them at The Quietus. This is a community-driven event and there’s room for change if those with concerns choose to involve themselves.  Spencer Hickman says:

“I need … feedback because it’s the only way we can figure out how to solve the problems. We have a post-Record Store Day meeting … I have to compile a report for that meeting mentioning issues that we’re having in the UK and I will ask what we can do about them. I really don’t want to see anyone’s business being hurt and I perfectly understand that indie labels are the rock of indie stores.”

Nina Ulloa covers breaking news, tech, and more. She started and runs the music blog West Coast Fix. Follow her on Twitter: @nine_u

15 Responses

  1. Me

    Indie Labels Say the Majors Are Releasing “Hundreds of Pieces of Sh!t” on Record Store Day…

    This isn’t exclusive to Record Store Day…

    • Paul Lanning

      Kind of like when the majors co-opted the 12″ single format that the indies had developed, flooding the market with 12″ singles by hard rock bands from the south, MOR crooners, avant-garde jazzers, country stars, etc

  2. GGG

    Yo, I don’t know what they’re talking about. There’s going to be lines out the door for Veruca Salt’s 7″.

    • jw

      One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. And beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And all of that.

      I’m sure there’s more demand for the Veruca Salt 7″ than the Christian Death 7″.

      As long as the pressings match the demand, I don’t see what the issue is.

  3. jw

    Major labels tying up plants is a real issue, but shouldn’t that just lead to a new plant (or two) opening? As far as I know, there hasn’t been a new vinyl plant opening since 2011, & demand has shot through the roof since then. Provided that the equipment is out there, I can’t imagine there won’t be someone somewhere who wants to meet the growing demand.

    The record stores are doing so well on RSD that they’ll stock whatever’s being pressed. I spent all morning at a used vinyl porch sale with a bunch of nerds geeking out over first pressings & specific catalog #s (where I picked up 35 records), & then I made it to Criminal Records around noon & it was packed with a bunch of college kids who barely knew anything about vinyl, or else were just pretending to. Ultimately, I think this range of customers is really healthy for everyone. And even so late in the day, I found everything I wanted (Haim 12″, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion 12″, Big Mama Thornton LP, Wanda Jackson 7″) except for the Alvin Bros 10″. But I found a great copy of the Blasters’ self-titled record at the porch sale, so that will tide me over until the 10″ shows up online.

    Today was really encouraging to me, even moreso than last year. I hope the “this is our day, not your day” sentiment doesn’t spread out of control… it’s record STORE day, after all, not indie label day.

  4. MAD

    “What I’m not crazy about are the literally hundreds of pieces of shit being shoved into the marketplace on this day…”

    A terribly incorrect use of the word “literally”

    • i solve problems, that's just what i do

      Actually no, he gets a free pass here, if only because of ambiguity. “Literally” modifies hundreds. Assuming he isn’t bs-ing about the number, “literally” works correctly here. I’d have said “…hundreds (literally) of pieces of shit…” to avoid confusion, but nonetheless he’s in the clear grammar-wise.

      • What? Grammar.

        “Literally hundreds of pieces of shit…” can only mean multiple hundreds of amounts of faeces in varying amounts. It’s not the number that the word governs, it’s the complete clause which follows the word, “literally”.
        Another example of people picking words randomly, such as “random”, and apply it in a sentence which voids its meaning. Carry on…

  5. Banjo

    Record store day was great, I showed up late and missed out on the Zombies Odyssey and Springsteen new vinyl. I bought his High Hopes with Tom Morello and the record is amazing. This year I bought Sam Cooke and Lady Day. Holiday is still the best female voice ( Karen Carpenter excluded) and the smoothest blues ever. Three great purchases putting the needle back down on Sam. Lost and Found Records Knoxville did record day proud.

  6. Jason

    What I do not understand is, why not investigate the fact that the record companies give iTunes, Walmart or Target and Spotify exclusive product? It is anti-competitive and makes it impossible for new digital portals compete at an equal level.