If you go
What: Local Label Day
When: Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. at Absolute Vinyl and 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. at Madelife
Doug Gaddy, owner of Absolute Vinyl Records & Stereo, has participated in Record Store Day almost every year since he opened his independent record shop in Boulder in 2009.
His joy for the annual event has faded away.
"It's just not very fun," Gaddy said. "A lot of my regulars say they don't come out on Record Store Day because it's a drag."
There will be an alternative event held on Saturday — Local Label Day. Among those participating are Gaddy; music production studio, theater and art gallery madelife; and local record label First Base Tapes along with numerous other independent record labels and bands from Boulder, Denver, Aurora and Colorado Springs.
"The idea is to turn it back to when they first started Record Store Day," Gaddy said. "It was supposed to celebrate the culture of the independent record store. That's become accidental and incidental to people coming out to buy limited edition records."
Record Store Day started in 2007 as a way to "celebrate and spread the word about the unique culture surrounding nearly 1400 independently owned record stores in the U.S.," according to its website.
The day generally revolves around special editions of albums and singles that are shipped out to record stores. This year, for example, a special 7-inch picture disk of "Little Red Corvette" by Prince is being released, as well as a previously unreleased live record by David Bowie.
Gaddy said that in 2013 he had a line of about 20 people outside his store at the beginning of the day. Last year, it was close to 100, and many of the people seem more interested in copping special editions that they could turn around and sell on eBay.
"They are trophy hunting," he said. "We treat all of our customers well, but (on Record Store Day) you are serving a crowd in a very perfunctory smash-and-grab kind of way."
Donato Ruscitti, of First Base Tapes, said the Boulder-based label will be putting out a 19-track cassette tape called "Rejected by Record Store Day" that will be available at Absolute on Saturday. (He said that, yes, cassette tapes are back in style, although it was a bit of a struggle to find a tape duplicator.)
Bands performing for Local Label Day
Absolute Vinyl Records & Stereo, 5360 Arapahoe Road. Free
At madelife 2000 21st Street. $5
David & Company
Bleeding Walls Murphy
Participating Record Labels
First Base Tapes
Shadow Trash Tape Group
Hot Congress Records
Heavy Dose Records
No Direction Records
"There is a huge cassette tape resurgence," Ruscitti said. "It's always been in (do it yourself) culture. People in the punk community have always sold cassettes. They are cheap, and they are cool. It's an easy format and it's not a CD. There is probably nothing less cool than selling your music on a CD."
Boulder native Jello Biafra, former frontman of legendary punk band Dead Kennedys, said that as Record Store Day has become increasingly about major labels, it was only a matter of time before someone picked up the ball and ran with it.
"For those people who are really interested in underground music and aren't going to line up around the block to buy some limited U2 atrocity, this is for us," he said.
Biafra, who currently heads punk band Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine, also owns and operates the independent record label Alternative Tentacles, which was founded in 1979.
He said he previously had trouble getting a record released for Record Store Day because of restrictions that he didn't agree with. For instance, the record could only be sold on Record Store Day. (He later released the record with a "Rejected by Record Store Day" sticker.)
"I like to keep them in print so anyone who wants one can afford one and doesn't have to get a high-paid tech job just afford a Misfits single," he said.
Biafra added that he hopes Record Store Day "doesn't turn into just a carnival for eBay speculators who care as little about the vinyl as they do about buying Michael Jordan shoes and not opening the box until they sell the thing years later.
"I don't think that's happened yet," he said. "But the more it inspires people to do their own local label, local band day and expand from there, the healthier music as a whole will be."