Last year I dedicated basically an entire week to Record Store Day. To me, it’s like Christmas only instead of celebrating the birth of someone none of us have ever met we get to celebrate our love of 180g vinyl and rare 7″ singles. Way more fun in my mind, and I never get anything I don’t want. Last year was a pretty stellar year for RSD releases. I got to Saki pretty early, maybe five minutes after they opened, and a couple of the items I wanted were already sold out. I ended up walking out with a limited edition red vinyl of Team Boo by Mates Of State, the 12″ single for Of Montreal’s “The Past Is A Grotesque Animal,” and Yeasayer’s 7″ release “End Blood.” A pretty good haul considering.
This year, after looking at the list of releases, I was pretty disappointed. I think my problem is that the whole thing is flooded with unnecessary re-releases and crap that’s literally only out to try to cash in on the day. Are audiophiles across the nation clamoring for a vinyl release of the Empire Records soundtrack? Or maybe you’d like a copy of Michael Buble and Ray Charles doing “Georgia On My Mind.” These have no business coming out on OUR day, and it really gets my blood boiling.
That said, there are some pretty decent releases that I would recommend picking up:
Tallest Man On Earth-“King Of Spain”
Aretha Franklin/Otis Redding-“Respect”
Buddy Guy-This Is Buddy Guy
Janis Joplin-Highlights From The Pearl Sessions
Jimmy Fallon-“Tebowie” (I had to include this because I love Jimmy Fallon almost as much as I hate Tim Tebow)
Leonard Coen-Live In Fredericton
Ryan Adams-“Heartbreak A Stranger”/”Black Sheets Of Rain”
The White Stripes-“Hand Springs”/”Red Death At 6:14”
Uncle Tupelo-The Seven Inch Singles
Now, Now/Lonely Forest-“Shifting”/”Woe Is Me”
The Portland Cello Project-Homage
And that’s it. If any of those titles interest you, I suggest getting to your record store of choice early.
The real draw, of course, is that many stores will have live music throughout the day. Last year I was at Saki where my friends Chaperone were performing with a bunch of great bands. In Tall Buildings delivered a great set capped off by Neil Young’s “For The Turnstiles.” This year there are a few really good lineups across Chicago (sorry if you live outside Chicago you’ll have to do your own research).
Over at Record Breakers they’ve got Owen (Mike Kinsella from Joan Of Arc) and The Sweeps
Saki has another solid show with Santah and Bare Mutants kicking off the day, followed by Minor Characters, Cains & Abels, and The Runnies
Vintage Vinyl up in Evanston will have Luck Of Eden Hall at noon.
My personal pick, though, will be down in Forest Park (a short blue line ride away) where Canasta will be playing at Cyklopx Records. It’s an early start, 11:30 in the morning. Well worth getting up before noon though.
That’s it. I’m happy to have another Record Store Day approaching,but sad that it will be over so soon. If there were some way we could work in a tradition of eating mass quantities of food and watching football, it would be a perfect day.