Here's what Geek's music editor plans on shopping for on April 20th.
April 20th will mark my fifth (out of six) year in a row participating in Record Store Day activities in the Los Angeles area. My first two years I went to Amoeba Hollywood—both times with a partner to make sure we got everything we wanted (In my case: The Jesus Lizard’s seven inch box set, the Beck/Sonic Youth seven inch single, Pavement’s Live Europaturnén MCMXCVI, and countless others). However, year two felt a little bit too much like a vintage Black Flag show for my liking. I decided to move to the upstart boutique record store Origami Vinyl in Echo Park for the past two years—and they haven’t failed me yet. (Meanwhile, Amoeba Hollywood was forced to implement an absurd shopping policy where you wait in line for hours and they give you a list of what they’ve got. You mark what you want and they shop for you until supplies are gone. Record Store Day fun=gone.)
Anyway, I understand the criticisms of Record Store Day—primarily that it’s falsely creating “rare” items for fake record collectors and/or eBay meat market sellers. But, damn it, sometimes the bands come out with some pretty cool items—and typically my wish list consists of a solid 10-20 items. Usually I get most of what I want… although I never did get my hands on that Syd Barrett reissue two years ago.
This year’s list felt a little lean until I really poured through the offerings. Then, of course, the list grew. Here are eight items I’m definitely looking for, one I absolutely can’t get and one I’ll deeply consider, even though I’ll probably never listen to it.
To find a participating record store near you, check out RecordStoreDay.com.
Without further ado:
Stuff I want:
At the Drive-In
Relationship of Command
There are a handful of vinyl releases from the late 1990s and early 2000s that are just too damn expensive because of their rarity. Hell, Relationship of Command regularly goes for $100-$200 on eBay, and just about as much at record shops. While I’d love to own a vintage copy of one of my favorite albums, I’ll settle for this exclusive Record Store Day reissue that includes two bonus tracks.
Originally released in 1993, No Alternative was part of the Red Hot AIDS Benefit Series. But it also served as the penultimate mixtape of alternative music. Icons such as Pavement, Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana and The Beastie Boys stand alongside lesser known, but beloved acts like Soul Asylum, Matthew Sweet and Urge Overkill for a perfect Lithium playlist. The album was only released on CD and Cassette in 1993, and this marks its first appearance on vinyl.
333 and If We Shout Loud Enough
The final release(s) from Baltimore punk rockers Double Dagger, 333 combines a six song vinyl EP with the DVD documentary release If We Shout Loud Enough. I actually got to hear 333 in advance of Record Store Day—if you’re a fan of Touch & Go era noise punk, you want this.
After You 12” Single
As I’m not a DJ, I don’t usually buy too many singles, but I’ll pick one up if it’s some kind of unique one-off. I have no idea if Pulp will be releasing a full album, but I definitely want this copy of “After You”, the first new song the band has released since 1998. May be a one-off, may land on an unannounced album. Either way, it’s a great song.
Public Enemy: Planet Earth–The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Greatest Rap Hits (Picture Disc)
My picture disc collection is rather sparse. Off the top of my head, I know I have Nirvana’s Nevermind LP and “Smells Like Teen Spirit” single, Adrenaline by The Deftones, that oddly shaped Mr. Lif Christmas single, and somehow I managed to acquire Lionel Ritchie’s “Hello” single. I can’t really think of a better addition to that random collection than an album containing “Welcome to the Terror Dome,” “911 is a Joke” and, of course, “Fight the Power.”
Live: Volume 1 – Selections from Adrenaline
A selection of four songs from the album Adrenaline recorded at a show in Buffalo, NY in 1996. That happens to be my hometown—so this will be mine. Apparently this is the initial installment of a seven-part series released throughout the year, culminating in a final release on the Black Friday version of Record Store Day.
Stephen Malkmus and Friends
Can’s Ege Bamyasi
Too weird of a concept to pass up. Stephen Malkmus covering an entire Can album? Yes please.
Alternate Versions from Either/Or 7” Single
Kill Rock Stars
Every year I need to pick up something for my wife. Over the past few years, she’s really grown to love the troubled singer/songwriter, so I’m really hoping to pick this up for her. (Shhh…I haven’t told her it’s even being released, so it could even be a surprise.) The single features alternate takes of four songs from Smith’s classic Either/Or release.
One thing I can’t get:
V is For Vagina
I continually kick myself for neglecting to purchase this excellent release from Maynard James Keenan’s solo outfit. I passed it over at least two or three times in record shops before it went out of print. Now the band is releasing 500 vinyl copies of the album ONLY AT COACHELLA. AND I’M NOT GOING. Alas.
One thing I’ll probably end up buying even though I’ll never listen to it:
The Flaming Lips
Ah, the four-disc album finally hits vinyl. But it’s not your typically four-disc album—as many college stoners know. It’s that Flaming Lips record that you have to play in four separate players at the same time. So, unless you’ve got yourself four record players, this is little more than a collector’s item. After picking up the band’s split with The Black Keys a few years ago, Heady Nuggs two years ago, and The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends, I’m not sure I can pass this one up.
Check out the latest innovative awesomeness from Jack White, this year’s Record Store Day ambassador:
Images: Record Store Day, Album covers from their respective labels, as listed.