I patiently waited to get this set two days shy of a month, which is much longer than I should have waited to get this. It was well worth the wait though, as this is one of my favorite Record Store Day 2011 releases. This three album, three record set was released by Rise Records and features Piebald’s first three full length albums, all of which are out of print on their own. The three albums are; When Life Hands You Lemons, If it Weren’t For Venetian Blinds It Would Be Curtains For Us All, and We Are The Only Friends We Have. There were only 1,000 of these sets pressed all on colored vinyl, which is printed on the back of the jacket. Even though the total amount of the pressing is printed on the back of the jacket, each one is not individually numbered, which to me pretty much defeats the point of going to the trouble and cost to print that fact on the jacket at all.
The set is housed in a triple gatefold jacket, much like the deluxe edition of Jimmy Eat World’s Bleed American, which was also released on Record Store Day. The pocket for each record includes liner notes, but not lyrics for every song. Rise did the CD release of these albums, in three volumes as well. I do not own the CD versions of this set, but I’m guessing the liner notes printed with this LP set are the same as the CD set. The cover art from the Cd versions are used with this LP set, and the cover is the cover art from the CD version of Volume I, with the title wording obviously different however. The art layout for this et is one of my favorite aspects of this set. The gatefold folds out to make full artwork of the monkeys, which is the classic three wise monkeys proverb “hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil.”
The first record in the set is When Life Hands You Lemons, and it’s pressed on green vinyl. The shade is more like pea soup than a true green, and its marbled as well. The second record is Venetian Blinds, which is on clear blue vinyl and the third record is We Are The Only Friends We Have is on clear yellow vinyl. The color of each record corresponds to the color of the album artwork for each album and it’s CD release counterpart, except the shades do not match perfectly.
Even though this set was done very well, I have a huge problem with how Rise handled it. First, even though I was one of the first couple people on line, no more than 30 or 40 back (my local store is one of the busiest stores in the country on RSD) I did not get one. I have no idea when it was sold as in what number ahead of me in line the person was, but that is not the issue at hand. My store, which usually orders and gets in the most of every release out of all the participating stores in the country, could only get one copy of this set. After shopping at this store for close to 10 years now and being a regular customer I asked the owner later that week how they only got one when you got in almost 10 of the Jimmy Eat World record when that would be a far more popular release? His response was along the lines of I ordered more and with our track record and location we usually have no problems getting stock for Record Store Day. This is the first release since Record Store Day started that we couldn’t get multiple copies of something in because our distributor didn’t get majority of the alloted stock in to ship out. That statement would later ring true after doing some simple digging. It turns out Rise was hoarding probably hundreds of these records to sell themselves on ebay. Combine that with however many copies were sent overseas and the number up for grabs in the U.S. dwindles further.
After striking out at my local store with this, the first time in three years I didn’t get something from my local store, I checked some of the many resources out there and found out Rise was selling this set on ebay for retail price, plus shipping, so I wasted no time and ordered one sitting in my car using my phone. I bought the listing April 16 and didn’t get it till today, May 14. All because whomever does mail order for Rise never sent it out. It took a few emails and the owner of the label getting involved to discover that simple fact, that a tracking number was never made for my purchase. That was the first thing wrong with how Rise handled this.
The second thing is a compound problem of sorts, think of it as a two-part essay question on a final exam. I mentioned above Rise held on to a lot of copies of this set to sell themselves. They actually did two rounds of sales for this set, the first round for retail price (which was $24.99) and for the second round they jacked up the price to $30. According to my ebay purchase history and the completed auctions search Rise sold 115 copies from that first round of ebay sales, and so far they have sold 34 copies for the inflated price and still have more 10 more copies up for sale, which would bring the total up to at least 44. The combined total would be at least 159 copies Rise held on to to sell for themselves, some for more of a profit. It could possibly be a nice, even, round number like 2o0 that Rise actually held on to to sell themselves. If Rise actually sent all of them out to their distributor I most likely could have bought one from my local store on Record Store Day and supported them instead of giving my money directly to a label that does bullshit like this.
The funniest thing is that in their auction for this set, they say “These are direct from the label at the best price. We’re trying to avoid you paying for a high price.” Oh really? You’re selling them for more than retail price and some auctions are selling, and even not selling for cheaper than you’re charging for these.