This Week in the Mercury


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Record Stores Ask Kanye And Jay-Z To Release Watch The Throne Without Exclusivity

Posted by Charlie Swanson on Thu, Jul 28, 2011 at 7:57 PM

jay-z-kanye-west-watch-the-throne.jpeg

I just think this is really interesting and it's a slow day so let me break it down for you:

Apparently, there's a bit of hype concerning the new Jay-Z/ Kanye West album, Watch The Throne. Actually, it's more like a lot of hype. People are going nuts over this thing, they can't wait to get their hands on it. Now, Jay-Z and Kayne, these guys are businessmen. Don't think they're not. They know people want this record, this Watch The Throne, (which I will forever read as Game of Thrones as long as I live), and they've delayed and hyped, delayed and hyped; just cranking up the suspense. Now they're finally, finally, set to release the album August 8th, online. Only.

For something like four days this album will only be on iTunes, and when it does go to physical release, get this! Best Buy has exclusive selling rights for the first 10 days. All those people freaking out over this album are going to buy it at these two places, iTunes and Best Buy, because for two weeks those are the only places they can go.

Needless to say, independent record stores are left somewhat in the dust and a little upset about it. Today, the folks behind Record Store Day sent out an email for independents to sign and forward to Mr. West and Mr. Z concerning this slight. It's really polite and a little, "hey, I know you're busy, but..." in tone, yet it makes a good point concerning the lack of opportunity that these small stores will have in participating in one of the most in-demand and anticipated releases of the year.

I can can see why, too. I mean, you think the bored cashier at Best Buy is going to get excited and talk your ear off at the register when they see what you're buying? And you know who shares the music loving experience with their customers and community on a personal level? It sure ain't iTunes.

Anyways, you can read the letter after the jump. I notice local stores Jackpot Records and Music Millennium are on the list, but tell me which other locals I passed over in my exceedingly quick glance at the list of signatures.

Dear Jay-Z and Kanye West,

Independent record stores serve our communities. Our passion is music, and
we convey this to the millions of customers who come to our stores. That's
what we do.

Four years ago independent music stores across the country banded together
to create Record Store Day. Our goal was to counter the negative media
coverage about the supposed demise of record stores brought on by the
closing of the Tower stores and to respond to the music business practices
that fans deemed to be manipulative and onerous.

We reached out to the artist community to see if they would join us, and the
response was overwhelming with words of support coming in from Paul
McCartney, Erykah Badu, Tom Waits, Chuck D, the Foo Fighters and countless
others. Working with their label partners, many of these musicians created
limited edition works of art, including vinyl and CDs made especially for
music specialty retail. Hundreds of these artists took the opportunity to
perform, DJ, and interact with their fans in our record stores. Here in the
US, Record Store Day lifted the entire music business by 8% and contributed
to the growth in music sales. Record Store Day is now one of the biggest
music events in history with millions of people participating worldwide. We
also continue to work throughout the year with labels, artists and managers
and run regular promotions via physical independent retail and
recordstoreday.com.

We are responding to the bad news that your new album will not be available
to independent record stores until after iTunes gets a window of
exclusivity. We also learned that the deluxe version (which is what the true
music fans who shop our stores will want by an overwhelming majority) will
only be available at Best Buy exclusively for a period of time. We believe
this is a short-sighted strategy, and that your decisions will be doing
great damage to over 1,700 independent record stores — stores that have
supported you and your music for years.

We know that you are busy, and that you put most of your energies into
creating great music, but we are writing to you in the hope that you will
hear us and take the time to rectify this matter. As representatives of the
independent record store music community, we are asking you to allow record
stores and music fans equal access to your new album.

With the utmost respect,

Dedry Jones, The Music Experience
Mike Dreese, Newbury Comics
Judy Negley, Independent Records
Mike Batt, Silver Platters
Tobago Benito, DBS Sounds
Brian Faber, Zia Records
Karen Pearson, Amoeba Music
Bryan Burkert, The Sound Garden
Mike Wise, Monster
Rob Roth, Vintage Vinyl
Joe Nardone, Jr., Gallery of Sound
Jonathan Fernandez, Rasputin Music
Dilyn Radakovitz, Dimple Records
Dustin Hansen, Graywhale Entertainment
Bill Kennedy, BK Music
Jim Bland, Plan Nine
Steve Wilson, Kiefs
Tom King, Central Square Records
Alayna Hill Alderman, Richard Storms, Record Archive
Karl Groeger, Looney Tunes
Paul Epstein, Twist and Shout
Nancy Salzer, Salzer's Records
Rick Ziegler, Indy CD
Laura, Finders Records
Deon Borchard, Nic Fritze, The Long Ear
Chuck Oken, Rhino /Mad Platter
Allan Miller, John Bevis, Disc Exchange
Charlotte Kubat, Magnolia Thunderpussy
John Kunz, Waterloo Records
Chris Avino, Rainbow Records
Mike Fratt, Homers
Rich Koch, Off the Record
Skip Hermans, Skip's Record and CD World
Jason Patton, Oz Music
Quinn Bishop, Cactus Records
John Timmons, ear X tacy
Lou Russell, Lou's Records
Roger Weiss, Streetlight Records
Terry Currier, Music Millenium
Andrew Chinnici, Lakeshore Record Exchange
Michael Bunnell, The Record Exchange
Mike White, Boo Boo Records
Steve Baron, CD Central
Eric Levin, Criminal Records
Pat O'connor, Culture Clash
Dan Plunkett, End Of An Ear
Paula Kret, Exile On Main St
Chris Penn, Good Records
Doyle Davis, Grimey's
Travis Searle, Guestroom Records
Jim Mcguinn, Hot Poop
Isaac Slusarenko, Jackpot Records
Jason Nickey & Heath Byers, Landlocked Music
Todd Robinson, Luna Music
Darren & Jim Blase, Shake It
Anna & Chris Brozek, Slowtrain
Kimber Lanning, Stinkweeds
Tom "Papa" Ray, Vintage Vinyl

Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Comments are closed.

Tip for End Hits?
Email them here.

All contents © Index Newspapers, LLC

115 SW Ash St. Suite 600
Portland, OR 97204

Contact Info | Privacy Policy | Production Guidelines | Terms of Use | Takedown Policy