Record Store Day 2012

Evanescence with Amy Lee (far right) showed up to sign autographs for Record Store Day in Houston. What happened where you live?

I still have a bit of a hangover from Record Store Day yesterday … what about you? The fifth annual event, staged to help music fans remember their independent music stores, took place yesterday at record shops across the country, and people walked away with armloads of exclusive, rare vinyl and CD items made just for the occasion.

As someone who’s faithfully patronized RSD every year since its inception,I found that the asking prices for this year’s exclusive items have gotten a bit steep. Seven-inch singles by classic bands like the Byrds and the Small Faces, as well as by current artists like Jack White and the Flaming Lips, reached into the $12 range this year … I found that a bit much to pay for a couple songs on a 45-rpm single.

Likewise with the longer offerings – I bought a Miles Davis LP with five unreleased songs for $25 … but passed on the Flaming Lips’ The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends, a double LP that went for upwards of $35 and which may or may not have contained an autograph from band frontman Wayne Coyne. (Ha ha, that item was long gone by the time I got to the table – we purchased a Mastodon/Flaming Lips 45 single instead, for 10 bucks.)

For me, Record Store Day is starting to lose its charm. These prices are seeming more than ever like a gouge, for limited-edition stuff that most likely winds up on eBay an hour or two later. I’d rather go to my hometown independent record store – that’s Cactus Music in Houston – on a non-special day when I can peruse the stacks of used vinyl at my leisure. And of course, I’m there when the good folks at Cactus want to set up a fine in-store performance with free beer. And for all of you who didn’t make it on Saturday – visit your friendly neighborhood record store on Monday … you’ll be surprised what is left over!

On Saturday, Cactus in Houston hosted the band Evanescence for a meet-and-greet autograph session, and a live solo performance by Old 97s frontman Rhett Miller. I tried to swing downtown to the equally awesome Sig’s Lagoon for a live in-store by classic rocker Mark Andes (formerly of Spirit, Jo Jo Gunne and Heart) but totally failed on that count.

I hope you got most of what you wanted to get on Record Store Day; and I hope you are NOT that asshole who posted it on eBay five minutes later.

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