‘Twas the night before Record Store Day and all through the ‘stache everyone was getting ready for one hell of a bash.
If you’re interested in celebrating this holiday with us find us at Permanent Records (They open at midnight, and you know what they say about the early bird …), Reckless Records on Broadway (It’s a great place to get most of the items on your list and the staff is highly efficient, ensuring a smooth transaction), Dave’s Records (This epitomizes RSD with its “all vinyl all the time” motto. Plus, Dave has been know to hand out Molly’s Cupcakes to customers) and Record Breakers (It’s attached to Reggie’s rooftop bar. Need we say more?). If we don’t run into each other, don’t fret, we’ve supplied you with our with wish lists to help nudge you along.
Various Artists –“Empire Records” Soundtrack
They’re selling music but not selling out and we’re buying it. This coming of age tale showcases some of the best the ‘90s had to offer – Liv Tyler when she was relevant, Rex Manning when he wasn’t and Renée Zellweger killing it on a Coyote Shivers track. The originally released soundtrack has around 16 songs ranging from the light and nostalgic “Til I Hear it from You” by the Gin Blossoms to the more seductive “A Girl Like You” by Edwyn Collins. Although uncertain, the exclusive RSD release should pack more punch, since it’s reportedly on two orange 12″ records. Hopefully that means we can count on both versions of “Sugar High” and some of the other 34 tracks used in the film. Fingers crossed for “This is the Day” and “Romeo and Juliet.” Also, don’t forget to pick up RSD’s other soundtrack gems – The Breakfast Club (12″ white vinyl) and Pretty in Pink (12″ pink vinyl).
Aretha Franklin/Otis Redding – “Respect”
This is the musical marriage dreams are made of. Although the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, made this single popular as an anthem for strong, confident women everywhere in 1967, another soulful singer originally recorded it two years earlier. Otis Redding’s version not only sounds different, it serenades listeners with an alternative message about a desperate man willing to be mistreated by his lover as long as he’s given “respect” when he comes home. This RSD exclusive offers both tracks respectfully on 7″ gold vinyl as part of the Side by Side series. Be sure to check out the whole series, which includes “Kick Out The Jams,” “You Be Illin,” “A Spoonful Weighs a Ton,” “Georgia On My Mind” and “You’re the One I Love.”
Rockabye Baby! – Lullaby Renditions Of The Smiths
Lullaby songs aren’t just for kids. Rockabye Baby gets that, “transforming timeless rock songs into beautiful instrumental lullabies. Guitars and drums are traded for soothing mellotrons, vibraphones and bells, and the volume is turned down from an eleven to a two.” After purchasing the No Doubt version for my niece’s first birthday two years ago, I needed The Smashing Pumpkins edition for myself. Caught your interest? There’s more. Rockabye Baby has 44 CDs available, covering everything from Tool to The Beach Boys. This is the company’s first (colored) vinyl pressing complete with a download card and a full-colored sleeve featuring exclusive artwork and activities. Throw it on while relaxing and feel yourself getting lulled into a music induced comatose.
More Picks: Afrika Bambaataa/MC5 – Kick Out the Jams, Blitzen Trapper – Hey Joe b/w Skirts on Fire, Arctic Monkeys – R U Mine?, Bruce Springsteen – Rocky Ground, Carolina Chocolate Drops/Run DMC – You Be Illin, Mastodon/The Flaming Lips – A Spoonful Weighs a Ton, Michael Buble/Ray Charles – Georgia On My Mind, Sara Watkins ft. Fiona Apple/The Everly Brothers – You’re the One I Love, The Byrds – It’s No Use b/w Feel a Whole Lot Better, Xiu Xiu/Dirty Beaches – Split
Holy Fever – Ghost Story b/w There is a Light
When one hears that a band features members of such esteemed hardcore acts as The Suicide File, American Nightmare, The Hope Conspiracy and The Explosion it’s fair to assume that it will be another delightful slice of Each Coast hardcore. In the case of Holy Fever, the group is a no frills rock ‘n’ roll band with a pinch of aggression added for good measure. Last year’s debut, self-titled 7″ was a delightful slab of energetic and engaging rock, and there’s little doubt that the RSD follow-up would be any less than stellar. Chicago’s own LifeLine Records is releasing the EP, and Reckless Records will have an exclusive of this release limited to 100 copies, while Revelation Records will be distributing the remaining 250 copies (on clear with black smoke colored vinyl!) to the rest of the world. Ghost Story b/w There is a Light will be in short supply, but is most certainly worth picking up if you can locate a copy.
Doomriders/Sweet Cobra – Are We Not Men?
Back in December of 2010, Hawthorne Street Records announced a split 7″ between two sludge metal greats, Boston’s Doomriders and Chicago’s Sweet Cobra. The release didn’t end up happening right away, and now, it finally appears fully formed as a RSD release of Devo covers. While it’s hard to imagine what these songs will sound like, as the groups are skilled enough to churn in faithful tributes to the new wave progenitor, it will interesting to hear Devo turned up to 11 and pushed to its most rocking limits. There’s precious few details surrounding the release, but what is known is that Sweet Cobra turns in a cover of one of Devo’s best tracks, “Gates of Steel” from 1980’s Freedom of Choice. Both Doomriders and Sweet Cobra are masters of their craft, and the fact they went for some Devo deep cuts make the release all the more intriguing.
Cursive – Burst and Bloom
Originally released in 2001, the five-song Burst and Bloom EP showcased Cursive at its strongest point yet. The band was riding high on the release of Domestica the year prior, and with the addition of Gretta Cohn on cello, the band took its post-hardcore approach into new realms. Where the group’s earlier emo releases were strong, it wasn’t until Domestica that Cursive really locked into its own sound. Burst and Bloom was a continuation of that, and it also saw the band at its heaviest. There are moments that wouldn’t feel out of place on a Quicksand records, only with a bit more delicacy. And that is what makes the release so effective. The fact it’s been out-of-print on vinyl for years is sad, but with 1,500 new pieces of colored vinyl coming out on RSD it seems like as good a time as any to revisit this classic.
More Picks: Botch – An Anthology of Dead Ends, Mclusky – Mclusky Do Dallas, Lemuria – Varoom Allure, Pelican – Australasia, Bruce Springsteen – Rocky Ground, Death Grips – The Money Store
The White Stripes – “Hand Springs”/“Red Death at 6:14”
“Hand Springs” was initially released in late 1999, with “Cedar Point ’76” as its Side B, and “Red Death at 6:14” was released in 2002 as a Mojo Magazine exclusive. On the same vinyl, it’s a potent combination of two polemical songs by the defunct Detroit duo. On “Hand Springs” Meg White’s percussion pecks at your eardrums as neurotically as Jack White’s love story narrative does to your naïveté. “Red Death at 6:14” levels the saccharine stupor with a scratchier sound from the garage band. Both were released more than a decade ago as singles, and “Hand Springs”’ catchy prose with “Red Death at 6:14”’s ballsy grit have made each a highly sought after track that White Stripes fans will settle for a digital version to hear—including yours truly. On Saturday Jack White releases this under his new label, Third Man Records, on a 7″ black and red swirled vinyl. A perfect appetizer before the April 24 release of Jack’s first solo effort, Blunderbuss.
Ryan Adams – “Heartbreak A Stranger”/“Black Sheets of Rain”
It’s difficult to gauge how many more releases we’ll get from Ryan Adams. Since discontinuing the Cardinals in early 2009 and taking approximately four years between solo releases Adams’ Easy Tiger and 2011’s Ashes & Fire, it’s necessary to catch this Carolina crooner between his latest hard rock project (Sleazy Handshake) and his latest black metal project (Werewolph). His RSD 2012 release features two Bob Mould covers, recorded live at Walt Disney Hall in Los Angeles. It’ll be interesting to hear Mould’s haunting voice and subdued instrumentals matched by Adams’ back porch crow and punk sensibility. This album is available on a color 7″ from Adams’ label, PAXAM, on RSD.
St. Vincent – KROKODIL
Annie Clark has a way of twisting her listeners to the exact crooks around her index finger, and making KROKODIL available to only 2,500 of those swooning fans seems to be the perfect torture for any St. Vincent enthusiast. The title track is more bouncy and less heavy than most of 2011’s Strange Mercy, though it’s not without its staple Vincent vices. “KROKODIL” makes its listener want to tap their toe while castrating his or her neighbor on the kitchen table. The sound on “GROT” remains relatively under wraps, but it’s easy to imagine it as the seamless complement or the frenzied foil. Both are non-album tracks, and the likelihood of Clark putting either on an album in the future is unclear. KROKODIL will be released on a 7″ red vinyl.
More Picks: Wilco – The Whole Love deluxe box set, The Flaming Lips – The Flaming Lips with Heady Fwends, Laura Marling – Flicker and Fail, Mastodon/Feist split 7-inch, David Bowie – “Starman” picture disc, Carolina Chocolate Drops/Run DMC – “You Be Illin’, The Flaming Lips/Mastodon – “A Spoonful Weighs a Ton,” Black Prairie – Singers Vol. 1: Portland, Fun. – The Ghost That You Are To Me, Tegan & Sara – Get Along
Mclusky – Mclusky Do Dallas
One of the greatest noise rock releases of the 2000s finally gets reissued on vinyl in light of its tenth birthday. The late Welsh three piece delivered something ferocious with its second album, Mclusky Do Dallas. The often witty and sarcastic lyrics commented often on the tame state of rock music at the time with intent to put some grit back into it. And who better to produce such a record than Steve Albini? As a result, we get explosive guitars, fuzzy bass and raw vocals delivering some great quotables on tracks with titles like “To Hell with Good Intentions,” “The World Loves Us and Is Our Bitch” and “Fuck This Band” (which is a ballad, by the way). The reissue is pressed on orange vinyl. If you haven’t heard this yet, now would be the perfect time.
The Flaming Lips – The Flaming Lips with Heady Fwends
If there’s one band we can always rely on to come through with a special vinyl release it’s The Flaming Lips. While last year’s Heady Nuggs was a treat for those of us who hadn’t fleshed out our Lips vinyl collection, this year’s With Heady Fwends is a treat for those of us who thought that there was more to Ke$ha than she let on, or those who didn’t. Indeed, the first track on this 13 track, double LP compilation is a collaboration with Ke$ha and Biz Markie. Other collaborations include Bon Iver, Erykah Badu and Chris Martin of Coldplay. The compilation also features tracks culled from previous collaborative EPs with Yoko Ono, Prefuse 73 and Neon Indian. If that isn’t enough, the packaging will feature, as usual, color splattered vinyl. Each disc will have a unique design. This will be a one-time pressing, so get your copy!
Mastodon/Feist – Commotion/Black Tongue
Perhaps the oddest pairing this RSD, Atlanta metal group Mastodon and “indie folk darling” Feist will be releasing a split single in which each covers one track from the others’ latest album. Mastodon will be taking on the ethereal “A Commotion” while Feist will try her hand at the incendiary opener from The Hunter, “Black Tongue.” We can only hypothesize what this will sound like, but it’s bound to be interesting.