Record Stores – Why They Fail.

Since the advent of digital music, independent record stores have been lamenting the loss of their customers and sales because of A: rampant file sharing and B: online music retailers such as iTunes.
I love my records. They are big, tangible, historically have featured great cover art, and are by far the best method for recording coveted autographs from your favourite artists. But for the sake of convenience and the march of technology I certainly went the way of the CD. Of course there was the love of the mixtape in-between all that…but I digress.
So my shopping at independent record stores dropped off to nothingness. But that has changed! With the return of some HUGE classic rock acts to the arena, I’ve gotten back into collecting vinyl albums.
And then there is now this thing called “Record Store Day”. A few times a year, they collectively advertise sales, exclusive and limited pressings, memorabilia…all across the world! Rejoice!
So last year, I got caught up in the hype. I live here in Vancouver, British Columbia Canada…a mecca for music! I’m also a long-time fan of the group RUSH (see my other blog postings). Last year RUSH offered a limited edition RSD t-shirt…well I wanted one! But where to get it?
The RSD page on Facebook listed the participating locations. So I started calling them. About 15 stores in total listed here in the 604 I think.
The responses were not only underwhelming…they were crushingly disappointing.
“Um, I don’t know anything about it” “I don’t know when we are getting them” “I’ll get my manager to call you”
This did not include the unanswered phones, the unreturned voicemails, the emails that were never responded to.
I posted my frustration on the RSD Official Facebook page. They actually responded! “We will make sure you get one of those shirts”. Nothing came of it. I instead ordered one from the official RUSH merchandise website. It came in a matter of days.
But what might I have spent had I gone into a store? Chances are at least one other item! How many RUSH fans were looking for that shirt? Lets speculate.
If RUSH sells out a concert here in Vancouver, that is roughly 15,000 people. If 10% want that shirt, that is 1500 shirts. If the shirts are $25 and each person spends an extra $20 in a store that is $67500…
But wait there is more…this year RUSH is releasing a limited edition 10″ picture disc of “The Garden” from there recent release “Clockwork Angels”. Sounds cool. I’d like to get one!
So I sent an email to Audiopile Records on Commercial Drive. I have bought a few items from them on occasion, both new and used.
No reply.
I called The CD Shack, in Maple Ridge, at 930am. Thought they might be open, but at the very worst I could leave a message..?
10 rings later, no answer.
If you run a business, would you not at least have an old school mechanical answering machine? It might include info, store hours…the ability to take a message…
Or you could pay Telus a whole $5 a month to have that service digitally, that you could access anywhere? grow your business? Not piss off potential people WHO WANT TO GIVE YOU MONEY!!!
Oh wait, there is a link to their Facebook page on the RSD website…

Sorry, this page isn’t available

The link you followed may be broken, or the page may have been removed.

Sigh.

Record Stores. You are not failing because of the digital age. You are failing due to sheer complete and utter lack of the smallest modicum of business sense.

I’m going to try a couple more stores. Not holding my breath.Destroyer autographs

Firestarter

I crossed your path
And you lit a spark
Inside my heart
A random act
But now I’m tied
To you inside
What did you start
Ignore the fact
It’s complicated
This web we weave
It’s off the chart
So here it is
Do what you will
You cannot leave
You are a part
Inside my head
Burned so deep
I cannot sleep.

Wake Up Call

Today you winked at me
It gave me a chill
Your icy glare
And mocking stare
You checked your watch
And gave me a toothy grin
Saw deep in there
How I would fare
The black and white picture
Told the tale
In a heart shaped frame
I would never be the same
The race is on
To figure out the goal
And what the mark will be
When there is no me.

Whimsy

When I was quite young,

The world had no end

And the days seemed to last forever

A grain of sand or a crawling ant

Held my interest for hours

I wondered at the flowers

Or how the sky was held together

Nature was not unkind

But I found out that man was

Mean and nasty and cruel

I felt like such a fool

I wanted to wind that clock forward

Thinking it would get better

That it was just a passing phase

Just like the passing days

Through glory and defeat

At others hands and my own

A seed crookedly grown

Few things I would repeat

For I am just a crawling ant

On a grain of sand

A passing whimsy

For a cosmic child.

Sent from an Angel

‘Twas a small victory today
In a seven year war
The casualties were few
And did not even the score
The siege has been long
And I have counted the cost
We mourned the innocent
And the lives that they lost
An angel bore us a weapon
Disguised in a smile
Wrapped up in sunlight
It shone all the while
It gave my arm strength
When my heart had run dry
The gates they flew open
I gave out a cry
It sang through the air
This weapon of might
Aimed true at the target
I needed no sight
It clove thru the shield
Staggered the enemy back
One blow was enough
I stayed the attack
The foes eyes did lock
And glowered with rage
Slunk away slowly
And sore left the stage
I looked at the angel
And thanked her once more
She filled my heart up
Until it did soar
A sad farewell glance
I bid her adieu
Our love was not chance
Just made all anew
I will not forget
This angel in gold
For no matter how far
For no matter how old
The distance is same
Right to the second
For the love of my daughter
Is my truest weapon.

Own Devices

Left to our own devices
Which one to choose
Which one to lose
Our minds in
A whole lot of trouble
Hate to burst your bubble
I have a button to push
You away from me
Lost on that sea
Of white noise
And far too much frequency
Are you receiving me
We are breaking up I see
Somehow I missed the signals
Trying to channel my emotions
Drifting on those oceans
An island to you and me
A message in a bottleneck
One hundred forty characters
Longing for a touch
And still it seems too much
We no longer click
Just copy and control
A device without soul
I need to recharge and refresh
But you already pulled the plug
On us.

A Frayed Thread

So many loose ends
Some of them were friends
Where did they go
We change them like we change style
They last for a little while
Then hang in the closet, forgotten
Paths that are dead ends
Silly ugly trends
That don’t last a mile
Until we pull them out
And give a little shout
And crack a little smile
The path we took
Is like a book
Leading to the final chapter
We want to know the end
While walking with a friend
Wallowing in the laughter
Until the last page
Ungracefully we age
So does it really matter?

Overdue

I’m sorry I never wrote you a love song
Has it been too long
Is it too late

Before you walk out that door
Let me say what I never said before
And change the mind of fate

I’m sorry I never wrote you a long song
But the words were all wrong
Every time I tried

Before you walk out that door
Let me say something more
To keep you by my side

You are all I ever wanted
All I ever needed
I just need to show you
Without a silly rhyme

You are all I desire
You are that fire
Just let me hold you
One last time.

The Collector

I can see you

Over my shoulder

Peering at me

Around the corner

I can see you

Looking at your watch

A subtle wink

And I’m a little older

I can see you

Eeny meeny

Miney mo

It feels colder

I have avoided you so long

But the feeling is so strong

That it is just a matter of time

Before you take what is mine

I see the other things you do

The things you put them through

It was just their time

Not mine

I can see you

Almost feel your touch

It’s a little too much

Now you’re bolder

I can see you

With my eyes closed

Clutching that black rose

Hand on my shoulder.

Off at Terminal

He had rips in his shoes, rips in his polyester windbreaker. His large silver rimmed glasses sat askew, framing shifty eyes that looked in two directions but never straight forward. Despite the sunshine beating through the windows of the clattering skytrain he was cloaked in tattered layers of dark grey, starkly contrasting his wiry beard that was also askew. His pale weathered hands fussed and fumbled with three large black cloth shopping bags that were stuffed with folded editions and sections of random newspapers and a lone Starbucks coffee cup. He treated them like priceless documents, rearranging them until we reached the next stop. As the robotic voice called out “next stop Main street and Terminal” he rose from his seat and sadly shuffled out.

Return to top