From the barstool of the publisher

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It’s bigger than Christmas!

Record Store Day, started in 2007, has grown into a monster — a massive creature that bestows on its followers rare and unreleased material that you can’t find at other times of the year.

We attempted to put together a comprehensive list of releases that will be made available this year on April 16 (31 stores are participating in Colorado). That list quickly grew out of control and then again grew to the point where we knew that unless we printed a phone book this month, we weren’t going to be able to make the list even close to comprehensive.

At Twist and Shout, Natasha Alexander told us that what used to be a page or so of releases that they’re servicing, has grown into a binder for this year.

How ironic though? On March 31, 2011, just 16 days before Record Store Day 2011, Sony shuttered its South Jersey CD pressing factory, meaning the end to more than 300 jobs.

That wasn’t really a surprise to anyone, as more and more music freaks turn to the almighty internet for their music purchases (or thefts). But what is surprising is that labels have had four years of Record Store Days to see that what the true music freaks really want, these days, is something special. There’s a reason people come out in droves for Record Store Day, and that reason is acquiring tangible product that is different from your run of the mill release.

Consumers don’t want the same crappy ‘best-of’ album re-packaged with just a bonus track or two. They want something really different and Record Store Day allows labels and musicians to flex their creativity muscle — and they do it well, really well.

So that leads to the obvious question — if labels do well when they offer something unique, and music freaks eat it up, thus benefiting the artists and the stores and the entire industry — then why isn’t every release given the same thought and care? The industry became complacent, figuring consumers would just buy lackluster releases over and over, and that’s what’s killing the industry more than anything. Music freaks aren’t stupid. We know when it’s worth it to drop our money down, it’s just too bad we only get one day a year when we’re made to feel special.

See you at the shows.

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