Record Store Day 2018
In Rural America
By: Ashley Cullen
As a vinyl collector, we took this Black Friday very seriously. It is not every year that you see Record Store Day land on the same day as Black Friday. Typically, Record Store Day (RSD) happens twice a year; once in the fall, and then once in the spring. The fact that the two coincided on the same day was supposed to be an early Christmas gift. Therefore, we figured we would fall into the Black Friday madness and venture out to our local mall in Horseheads, NY (which is about an hour drive from my hometown in Rural PA).
When we first arrived at the mall, it was packed with shoppers as expected. We went right to FYE first, knowing they would have the best modern collection in the mall. Upon walking in, we were handed a flyer that stated “BOGO – Buy One Get One 25%.” Meh, okay.
Only if this wasn’t their everyday in-store deal.
As we moved in and started to sindle through the collection, we found lots of great pieces from artists ranging from Rob Zombie to Tom Petty, and even Kelsea Ballerini. They even advertised that they get new vinyl every week as they featured the latest from Ice Nine Kills and a first ever Chris Cornell hits collection. They seemed to have a great collection, sure, but when it came to RSD itself, you did not see one exclusive or even a poster. Nothing was advertised that it was RSD – instead they focused on selling T-shirts and teddy bears.
Next stop in the mall was Hot Topic. Yes, this is a clothing store but some Hot Topic’s typically have a small vinyl section in store. For us, our luck was running low. Not a single vinyl was found in that store. But if you were looking for anything Harry Potter… you would be in luck.
After that we ditched the mall, and headed to downtown Corning. We found ourselves on Market St, one of the more artsy areas in the community, and home of CD Cafe. CD cafe carries everything from CDs to Vinyl, and even video games. When you walk in, it is like you stepped back in time, something from out of history. You could spend hours there going through material, as it has a little bit of everything and lots of titles to discover. It seemed like we had hit the jackpot, but as we started to go through the material we noticed a theme. None of the vinyl seemed to be newer than around 1990. So we went up and asked the Clerk, “Do you have any Record Store Day exclusives?” When he said back, “We do not carry anything new, or participate in RSD.” We asked why, and he said “Theft.” With the amount of theft that goes on, one newer release that is stolen would put him in the negative, so he chooses to not carry the newer releases on vinyl. He has them on CD sure, but if you want it on vinyl you’re going to have to jump in the car and head another hour north to Ithaca, NY. I was not the only one disappointed in that answer, as there were two more sets of people behind me asking the exact same question.
For me personally, I moved to this area about two years ago from the Charlotte, NC area. Major market vs. Rural America. While in North Carolina, you could see a concert everyday. You could attend RSD in not just one location, but many. They would feature RSD exclusives, and even have artists pop in for RSD exclusive performances:
Kacey Musgraves at Record Store Day in 2016 at Lunchbox Records
Rural America is asking for the support, but having to drive hours upon hours to get to any kind of shows or participate in something like RSD is a total letdown. For that, Rural America, we hear you and salute you for your dedication to our scene. The next RSD is scheduled for Saturday, April 20th, 2019. Be sure to be on the lookout with lots of great releases coming your way, and hopefully more to rural America! To see a full list of this year’s RSD releases you go here.