Time for my obligatory Record Store Day 2015 post. I’ll even phone it in.
I’m not wild about Record Store Day this year. I’m not plotting and planning and scheming how to get those elusive gems that I’m sure will walk out the door after the first few customers. At this point, I participate in Record Store Day for tradition and to support local vinyl shops. There’s no one disc that’ll get me out of bed before the sun comes up to get in line and wait for the 8am open. It’s the activity. It’s a morning that belongs to me. No familial obligations, no place else I need to be… I’ll talk records, buy records and then go home and play records. I’ll tell the 5yo about my morning and she’ll question me with the full powers of her 5yo logic.
Participating record shops open at 8am. Gone are the midnight opens. The RSD organization really needs to lift the ban on the midnight opens. They really put the kibosh on a great experience for forcing participating stores to open in the morning. The queue’s more congenial and the wait less tiresome. There’s far better conversation at 1am, more reason to stand around and chat. At 8am everyone’s a bit crabby because they’ve been standing in line since 4am or something stupid like that.
Part of the thrill is having no clue what your store is going to have available. And no matter how much you study the list in preparation for that dash through the stacks, nothing ever goes to plan. You’ll find some stuff you never knew you needed, guaranteed. But since I like to have scuttled plans, here’s my wishlist for RSD15.
30Hz Record Store Day 2015 Wishlist
Sun Records Sampler Volume 2:
Picked up Volume 1 last year. Great selection of tunes and the Sun Records catalog runs deep. And since I’m a completist, I’ll just keep picking up every damn release they come up with.
Thai Pop Spectacular: 1960-1980
One of the great joys of RSD is picking up oddities like this. These two ladies will slot in nicely next to my Nippon Girls records of Japanese pop hits.
Willie Nelson – Teatro
This is essential Willie. I don’t have this on vinyl. A clean copy would be a lovely thing. This might be my most wanted item for RSD15.
Music to Drink Beer To (compiled by Dogfish Head)
I drink a lot of Dogfish Head and eat at their brew pub in Delaware each year. I don’t see why having music to drink Dogfish Head by could be a bad thing. The track list boasts Bob Dylan, Taj Mahal, A Tribe Called Quest, Muddy Waters, Iggy and the Stooges, Uncle Tupelo… etc.
Frank Sinatra – Songs for Young Lovers
One of Sinatra’s greatest records. I’ve got a lot of Sinatra on vinyl… but not this one.
Jurassic Five – Quality Control (The Wood Box)
It’s Jurassic Five! In a wood box! I love Jurassic Five and the wood box means classy.
Bernard Herrman – Psycho
BHerm on vinyl is always essential. Some of his trademark work right here. Scare the neighbor kids off your lawn.
Side by Side – “Walk On By”
Each year the RSD brains come up with a series of Side-By-Side releases, 7″ singles with two artists who covered the same song. To me, this is the most interesting of the 2015 releases. Dionne Warwick and The Stranglers doing “Walk On By.”
Country Joe & the Fish – Together
Coincidentally I just got into listening to Country Joe after picking up the Zachariah soundtrack. It’s seems little bit like fate that they’ve got a RSD15 release then. Don’t mess with fate, boys and girls.
Simple Minds – Celebrate, Live from the SSE Hydro Glasgow
As a Simple Minds junkie, I can’t pass up a 2 x colored, clear vinyl live album. I can’t. I might try, but if it’s in the store, it’ll be in my grasp. Come over. I’ll play it for you. We’ll have a Simple Minds jam session with everything they’ve ever recorded. On vinyl. We’ll have gin rickeys. I dunno. What do you drink while listening to Simple Minds? Maybe Dogfish Head has some suggestions.
Record Store Day always offers a wide breadth of unique and rare selections for vinyl connoisseurs and music fanatics. While at first glance, 2014 didn’t seem to offer any of the must-have big ticket items of years past, the more I studied the list, the more excited I got. See you crazy folks in line on Friday night.
Ray Parker, Jr. – Ghostbusters 10″
I’ve well documented my affection for Ghostbusters, the Ghostbusters soundtrack and colored vinyl. Holy shit, this release is the perfect storm of 30Hz must have. IT GLOWS IN THE DARK, PEOPLE.
The Cure / Dinosaur, Jr. – Just Like Heaven 7″
One of the greatest running gigs that Record Store Day has going are these Side by Side releases where a band covers a song on Side A (in this case Dinosaur, Jr.) and the original song (The Cure) appears on the B-side. Some of the covers are rather uninspired, but this cover (originally released in 2005) delivers the J. Mascis and Robert Smith in equal measure.
Here’s a live performance of Dinosaur, Jr’s “Just Like Heaven” from KEXP.
Alexander Robotnick – Vintage Robotnicks
Robotnick is a minor legend of the Italo-Disco music scene of the 1980’s. And while we tend have cold sweats when we think of disco… bellbottoms and sequins and John Travolta… this is straight-up synth-heavy electronic. Think a less German Giorgio Moroder. Though much of this compilation was released in the US on a 2003 CD release called Rare Robotnick, I can think of no better place to spin this record than my turntable.
Here’s a sampler of the record:
Electroconvulsive Therapy Vol. 2
Just in case you didn’t get your Italo-Disco fix (not I) with Alexander Robotnick, here’s a collection of very rare tracks from the same era. This stuff is infectious, off-beat and I’ve been spinning stuff from this era pretty heavy of late. It just so happens, #RSD14 noticed my obsession. This record is pressed in “Italian-Flag stripe” colored vinyl.
Nino Rota – Amarcord OST
Apparently 2014 became the unofficial year of the Italians. Nino Rota was an composer, pianist and intellectual most known for his scores for Fellini and Vischonti films. He also won an Oscar for his score for the Godfather Part II. His resume contains more than 150 film scores during his 46-year career. It just so happens that I’m a Fellini junkie and performed a 100% legit double-take when I saw this 180g transparent blue vinyl reissue on the list of RSD releases.
Django Django – The Porpoise Song 7″
First of all, that’s a beautiful 7″. Second, this is Django Django covering a Monkees song. I could seek out the track to sample it but why spoil the moment of initial reveal on my own record player. Third, the B-side of this beaut contains “Flat Of Angles Part 4” a spoken word piece by Benedict Cumberbatch. Spoken word. Benedict Cumberbatch. Cumberbatch. Benedict. Sorry. Once I start with that name I get stuck in some sort of mental loop.
Eric B. & Rakim – Paid in Full 7″
This is a re-issue of the UK 7″ single for “Paid in Full.” The Coldcut Remix on this record reached #15 on the UK charts but was never officially released stateside.
Saturday Looks Good To Me – Love Will Find You, S/T
I’m not sure if Saturday Looks Good To Me was the first modern indie band that brought “Detroit Soul” back into the conversation, but I can’t think of anyone else… so let’s go with that. This is lo-fi garage rock, the kind of music meant to live on vinyl. If I’m not mistaken neither of these albums have ever appeared on vinyl.
Here’s a sample of one of my favorite tracks from Love Will Find You.
Life Without Buildings – Any Other City
This is the first and *only* record ever released by Life Without Buildings. I came to know them through a live record released well after their demise. During their brief tenure as unknown indie-rawk demi-gods, they became known for their furious live sets.
Sample the track “The Leanover” below:
Sun Record Company Vol. 1 (Curated by Record Store Day)
Sun Record Company was an independent record label started in Memphis in 1952. Sun first recorded Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison and Jerry Lee Lewis. This collection of tracks from Sun Records was handpicked by participating Record Store Day vinyl shops. I took a peek at the track list. This one won’t disappoint.
Haim – Forever
So, sure, I’m obsessed with Haim. And I have “Forever” in multiple formats/releases. There’s nothing new about “Forever.” But. BUT. This release contains the Giorgio Moroder “Forever” remix. Chew on that.
Devo – Live at Max’s Kansas City
This is one of three different RSD14 Devo releases. Two full LPs and one 7″. I picked this one to highlight. Consider it highlighted. Buy Devo.
I mean, if you’ve been following me at all on Twitter, you’ll know this is a given.
(I first met Jenn on the now defunct tables at turntable.com. I can absolutely vouch for her impeccable taste when it comes to the sweet sounds of the 19-Alt-80’s and beyond.)
David Bowie – 1984 picture disc
Bowie is a bucket list kind of performer for me. Maybe one day I’ll get to see him in concert, if he ever deigns to return to the stage. I like the look of the disc, maybe it’ll tide me over until I can see the Thin White Duke live.
Chvrches – Recover EP
I’m a huge Sundays fan, so the lead singer of this band reminds me a lot of Harriet Wheeler. They have a very retro modern sound, and opened on a few dates for Depeche Mode on their last tour.
Nirvana – Pennyroyal Tea
I’m just a Nirvana fan, regardless of what anyone thinks of them. It’s been 20 years since Kurt’s gone, and I can only imagine what would have come next. I would love to find this on RSD for sentimental reasons.
Joy Division – An Ideal For Living
Super excited about this one. I’ve been an enormous Joy Division fan for as long as I can remember. This is the vinyl release of their debut EP.
(In my mind DJ is the antidisestablishmentarian of musical appreciation. I have no idea how that applies to music but it just sound right. His picks are typically off most radars, but they should be on yours.)
Gonga – Black Sabbeth
I first heard of Gonga from an Aquarius Records description, where they were compared to the Melvins. I get more of a Kyuss vibe from them, which is never a bad thing. Anyway, Gonga covers Black Sabbath’s titular song with Beth Gibbons from Portishead on vocals, hence the misspelling of the name. There’s not much more to say. The Cardigans have covered Sabbath and I liked it. I’ve got high hopes for this one.
Cave In – Jupiter
My list includes a lot of stuff that I already own, mostly on other formats. I already have a copy of this on vinyl and cd, but one of the issues with the album has always been the mix – the bass is buried. The good news is that it’s been remixed by James Plotkin of Phantomsmasher, Khanate, and OLD fame. The story of this albums is essentially “a teenaged metal band from Boston matured a bit and released some Floyd homage”, I still like this thing a lot.
Sacrifice Poles – s/t
The brother from another mother, essentially outtake jams from the Jupiter recording sessions, Sacrifice Poles is Cave In sans vocals. I remember listening to this album a lot as a freshman in college in the darkroom. As with Jupiter, this guy will also be getting remastered by Plotkin. It’s also the first time that it will be available on vinyl. Of the records I’m looking for, this is the one I’ll probably have to end up finding online.
Pantera/Poison Idea – The Badge
Pantera covered this Poison Idea song for the Crow Soundtrack. They did a great job with an already great song. It can’t hurt to own both versions on one record, right?
Charlotte Gainsbourg – Hey Joe
I like Charlotte Gainsbourg, I like Beck, I like the song Hey Joe, and I like Sebastien. Hard to go wrong with this, except that it’s $13 for a 7” – which is just dumb.
I like to own anything by my favorite band Dawes and this should be a very cool release with each act covering the other. I’m not actually familiar with the Conor song Dawes is doing, but Conor covering “Million Dollar Bill” should be very interesting. Plus it’s a fun precursor to the upcoming collaborative tour.
2. Deer Tick- Eel Bowel 7″
I loved the first b-side released from the Negativity recording sessions as much as anything on the album, so I’m psyched to hear some more songs from that time.
3. The Civil Wars- Live at Eddie’s Attic 12″
Sadly this may be the last release from the now disbanded duo. It’s not new music (the album has been available as a free download in the past), but live shows are where this group shined and this will be a nice piece to own.
4. Conor Oberst- Hundreds of Ways/Fast Friends 7″
The second appearance from Conor on my list is a 7″ with two new songs in advance of his upcoming solo effort. Hundreds of Ways was released as the first single of sorts from the album, but Fast Friends appears to be a b-side, so this will be worth owning for fans.
5. The Wild Feathers- Got It Wrong/Marie 7″
This band’s debut album has become a recent favorite and I think Got It Wrong is one of the stand out tracks. Marie is a previously unreleased track.
Also hoping to grab: Kings of Leon- “Wait For Me” 7″, Phosphorescent- “Song for Zula” 12″, and Johnny Cash- With His Hot and Blue Guitar 12″.
Record Store Day 2013 is upon us. Even if you aren’t participating in the vinyl resurgence, RSD offers more for music fans than just vinyl. Artists release vinyl, CD and sometimes even cassette tapes for the occasion. But you don’t even need to spend money to participate. Record Store Day isn’t about vinyl or digital; it’s about music lovers of all ages and flavors coming together to celebrate the independent music merchants. The stores I’ve visited during the last few Record Store Days become hangouts, just like they used to be. Many serve food and drink and encourage everyone to stay, chat about music and just enjoy the company of complete strangers as crazy (and often crazier) about music than you. On Saturday, April 20th (or Friday night even!), go forth, be one with the obsessive music lovers. I bet you’ll have a good conversation or two.
For those new to RSD, I’ll share a few of my tips for enjoying the festivities.
As I mentioned, artists release RECORD STORE DAY ONLY EXCLUSIVES to catalyze the merrymaking and commerce.
If you’re pining over a particular RECORD STORE DAY EXCLUSIVE, find a store opening at midnight.
Many of these RSD releases are quite-to-extremely limited. Some are regional only. A rare and/or popular release will sell fast. The only way to be sure is get your butt out to a participating record store on Friday evening and know what you want. Get there before midnight because there will be a line. Also, most people working a Record Store Day midnight event will be happy to point you in the direction of a particular disc. If you’re familiar with record store filing methods, a clerk’s assistance might prove invaluable.
Even if you don’t care about the exclusives (or your store doesn’t participate in selling exclusives), many stores have specials, sales and still participate in the festivities.
Stores that only carry used vinyl often offer sales or grab bag crates of random vinyl. I can almost guarantee that your favorite local record store will participate in some fashion. When in doubt, give ’em a call. Or just use the day as a good reason to show up and browse the racks.
In case you were wondering, here’s my list of titles I’m interested in. And yes, I’ll be out Friday night to share the midnight madness.
This is just a quick sampling of the titles I’ll be looking for. I won’t get them all. I’ll get some that aren’t listed here… (because this list doesn’t even include regional stuff)… but this is my gameplan that will surely change when faced with the piles and piles of vinyl. I believe they call this freeballin’. And if they don’t, that’s a shame.
I will save this picture on the off chance that one day I can build my DREAM house and find this architect and this decorator and tell them to make me a dining room like this. I think it's one of the first formal dining rooms I've ever really liked.