Two things that make me go grrrr….
1…Is it only me that thinks Record Store Day is maybe not the most wonderful thing in the world? On Saturday we can purchase very limited edition vinyl pressings at a very few of what is left of our rapidly diminishing number of independent record shops. By independent I mean you old-style local high street record store, usually owned by someone local, and definitely not part of a chain of shops.
The idea is to get people back into these shops. Those of us in our forties and fifties spend huge amounts of our youth in these places, flicking through the latest album releases, 12” mixes, and much fingered 7” singles, especially those in the ‘oldies unlimited’ box that were for sale at 59p. We could get our picture discs there, posters of our favourite bands, even record company promotional displays if we were on good terms with the owner, and provided nobody had beaten us to it. Sadly t’internet has killed off this dying breed. The big chains like HMV saw off much of the competition (so it was ironic that so much should be made of the recent demise of HMV itself) and with online prices, and availability being what they are, the independent record shops haven’t really stood a chance. Plus, who need a physical product any more when you can easily download your favourite tunes in seconds.
Record Store Day then is for folks like me who DO like their physical product, and who still hold a torch for the good old fashioned vinyl record. And why not lets encourage people to use these shops again, surely that’s all good?
But there’s a snag. These ultra-limited releases are just that, very rare, very limited. We cannot simply find our latest local record shop, stroll in, part with our cash, and walk home with the rarities on offer.
These items are in many cases issued to a limited number of the limited number of shops in question (if you see what I mean). And in some cases they are only available in the shops that receive them if the shop seller hasn’t agreed to sell them to his mates already, or already arranged to sell them to someone who intends only to make a massive profit from reselling on eBay. Meanwhile the real fans of the bands releasing the ‘rare’ stuff get stuffed themselves. The only way you’re going to get a copy is by playing the game and hoping you don’t have to bid too high on said auction site.
This certainly doesn’t encourage me to use my local independent record shop, which was what Record Store Day was originally meant to be about in the first place. I will always visit the local record shop on any visit to any town or city centre, and I would dearly love to see them make something of a comeback, but I won’t be ‘taking part’ in Record Store Day on Saturday
So over the weekend, log onto ‘eBay’ and type in ‘record store day’…you’ll see exactly what I mean.
***STOP PRESS – Record Store Day 2014 items on ebay 24 hours before the day itself…now how do you justify that ??? *****
2…I go on about this a lot but it gets me cross. Traps. Traps designed to kill animals. ‘Vermin’ I’m told. I run across the moor and there it is, a trap, and then a little further on there’s another, and so on. They often lie across a stream, thereby offering a short-cut or easy passage for unsuspecting stoat, weasel or mink. The only have to put one foot on the spring laden catch and ‘bang’, they’re history. I ask the local ranger why they’re there. ‘Because they’re vermin’ I’m told. ‘Why are they vermin?’ I ask, ‘because they kill the grouse’ they tell me. ‘Why is that wrong? Surely it is merely nature taking it’s course?’ I enquire again..’Because we want to kill the grouse’ is the ultra-intelligent answer I am forced to accept.
So I ask again, who is the vermin and why don’t they just admit that the traps are there so that landowners can make lots of money from the unnecessary slaughter of upland birds.
Evidently it is a very very naughty thing to do if you should drop a stone on the offending trap(s), thereby purposefully setting them off, but these things certainly do spoil a lovely run over the moors.