Ah, Record Store Day. The one day of the year that makes Andee and I really glad that we're NOT still running aQuarius. Nope, we don't miss doing (having to do) RSD. Probably anybody who works or has worked in a record store in the last ten years knows what we mean.
Now, RSD wasn't all bad, of course, there was a lot of fun and excitement on the day itself – it's certainly a rush to do that crazy amount of business in a single day. And if customers enjoyed it, we can't complain about that either. We were certainly grateful for their support. But... RSD has its downsides, definitely. Major stressful, anxiety inducing, economic, existential and aesthetic downsides. Not gonna get into all of that here, if you really wanna know, you can ask either Andee or myself, and risk triggering our RSD-PTSD, at which point we'll likely go on at tedious length about the many problems with Record Store Day and why we would have stopped doing it ('officially' at least) at aQ if we'd ever figured out a good way to do so – something easier said than done, for a number of reasons that we could also explain.
We're certainly not the only ones who found RSD to be not all it's cracked up to be. If you want to read an anti-RSD screed, one of the most recent comes from Chicago's Numero Group. This posting says a bunch of stuff that we totally agree with, and they're even a label (who we think tend to benefit a lot more from RSD than stores do). We could add dozens of other gripes, but you get the idea... we're not big fans of RSD as it has been constituted, though the idea of a Record Store Day is of course a nice one.
Thus, while today is pretty much the last day either of us would want to try to go shopping at a record store (though if you feel otherwise, please go for it!), in appreciation of all wonderful record stores past and present, we wanted to share something that (a perhaps less jaded) Andee wrote way back in 2009 upon the occasion of the second annual Record Store Day. It originally appeared in a fanzine packaged with the Thrill Jockey RSD compilation Records Toreism, but now Andee has revised it a bit for publication on the blog over at Pandora's website. It's all about how shopping at and working in record stores has shaped Andee's life (in a good way!). Record stores forever, every day!!!