The 2014 edition of Record Store Day, the seventh edition, happened on the 19th of April. It’s a collaborative effort between participating stores that get together and mutually promote vinyl LPs, special editions, in-store exclusives and other vinyl-related “events” in brick and mortar stores. For those of us old enough to remember, shopping for the latest music at your favorite music outlet was a really fun thing to do.
These days with everything coming through the web, it’s a genuine challenge for music retailers to stay in business. Apparently, Record Day was a success again this year…lots of vinyl fans flocked to their local vendors and snatched up new releases from some major artists. There was even a story I saw that Jack White and Third Man Record set the world record for the fastest record release in history. He recorded a live performance and had the vinyl on the shelves in just over 3 hours! Pretty amazing.
I honestly think I could beat that record but not in the vinyl domain…no interest. I could get Laurence Juber or John Gorka in the studio and have them perform a set of music. These guys have the chops to be able to record an entire album in a couple of hours. The recording could be mixed in real time to high-resolution digital files and uploaded to iTrax for purchase as the tunes were completed. I’m not sure there’s a special Guinness record for that but it might be a clever way to get some press. Jack White is all over the web with this new record-breaking record. And in this business it all about getting people to talk about your product or service. It doesn’t even have to be true or positive…any press is good press. I’m not sure I agree.
While we’re talking about aging and old school formats, I was quite surprised to hear a report on my local NPR station the other evening about the resurgence of tape cassettes. Yes, apparently it’s true. There are actually hundreds of thousands of cassettes still being duplicated and released to an anxious consumer base. There are even specialty labels that release nothing but cassettes. As a label that chose to avoid releasing my productions on compact discs, I can relate. The way one label owner put it, “It’s much cooler to purchase a cassette than a CD at the merch table after a show by your favorite band.”
But how do you play them?
The last car that had a cassette player built in was a 2010 Lexus. I quickly looked at the dash of my 2005 Acura TL (the one with the ELS DVD-Audio surround sound system in it) as I drove and confirmed that I could still play cassettes. Lucky me.
The next thing you know, we’ll be hearing about the resurgence of 8-track tapes. I never owned one but my father in law had one in the Winnebago years ago. I did have a miniDisc player for the studio but went digital just as fast as I could.
I applaud the vinyl LP and cassette fans and the retailers that pull off the annual record day. The world of High-Resolution Audio deserves the same kind of recognition. I’ll add it to the list of things I have to do.