Thursday, April 18, 2013

Recommended for Record Store Day

I had a pretty rough time at Record Store Day 2011. I got up at the crack of dawn and waited outside in a line that was blocks long. When I finally got in in the door of my favorite shop, it was pandemonium. The albums were just inside the door (thus, a bottleneck at the entrance) in cardboard boxes. Fanatics circled the temporary tables like vultures. The wait to pay was painful. When the dust cleared, I got what I wanted, but that's because I wasn't looking for the star attractions. There were many disappointed faces that day.

I took a different approach last year. I slept in. I took my time and arrived at a different shop in the middle of the afternoon. The store had the look and feel of a typical Saturday. I still got what I wanted (again, because I wasn't looking for Nirvana or some other big name). That's the plan this year too. To be honest, I hate Record Store Day. I don't think a two-hour infusion of album geeks and ebay sellers solves the ills of the indie store. Sadly, I'm one of those geeks. So, I must go. Just remember to visit your favorite shop all year around and as often as you can.

Here are some of my recommendations for you Saturday shoppers.

The dB's - 'Revolution of the Mind' 12"
This was one of the first songs we heard from the band when the original lineup reunited a couple of years ago. It was available as a free download, and the song wasn't included on 'Falling Off the Sky,' the dB's first album in 25 years. Looks like you can still get it here, but an mp3 is no substitute for vinyl.

Marshall Crenshaw - 'Stranger and Stranger' 10"
The second submission in the singer-songwriters subscription series is available a la carte for the holiday. I wrote about this one last week.

Robyn Hitchcock - 'There Goes The Ice' 12"
Chock full of songs that weren't included on his latest release, 'Love From London.' A few of the selections were available as free mp3s on Hitchcock's Web site as far back as 2010 as part of his 'Phantom 45s' series. Here is a sample:
Robyn Hitchcock - To Be Human (mp3)

Komeda - 'The Genius of Komeda' 12"
I liked all of Komeda's albums, even the ones in Swedish, but this one is their best. This is the first time it has ever been available on vinyl. If you have never owned my favorite album from 1996, now is the time.
Komeda - Disko (mp3)

Orange Juice - 'Texas Fever,' 'Rip It Up,' 'The Orange Juice,' 'You Can't Hide Your Love Forever' 12"
The band's Polydor era is available again on vinyl. Albums include mp3 download cards. This is not a set. Each are sold separately. I won't insult you with explanations. You already know these are vital.

Van Dyke Parks - 'Song Cycle' 12"
Rhino has reissued the songwriter's debut album in mono and on vinyl. I got this record 20 years ago at the height of my Brian Wilson fandom, and I'm still fascinated by it. I can't imagine what it must have been like to hear it in 1968. Of course, few people did. "Baroque" doesn't come close to describing it.
Van Dyke Parks - The Attic (mp3)

Various Artists - 'Factory Records: Communications 1978-1992 (Sampler #2)' 12"
First of all, if you have the 2008 Rhino box set by the same name, congratulations are in order. Go to ebay and you'll see why. 'Sampler #1' was a much sought after 10" at Record Store Day 2010. Here's the tracklist to the followup: Joy Division - "She's Lost Control (12" Version)," New Order - "1963 (12" Version)," The Durutti Column - "Otis," Happy Mondays - "Loose Fit (12" Version)." There are 4,000 copies, but 3,000 will be for UK shoppers. Better wake up early for this one.


Uncle E said...

Truthfully, the only thing that really shakes my bacon are the OJ releases. I've got the original vinyl for all somewhere, though. Although Record Store Day started with the best of intentions (to get people off the computer and to support the rapidly dying mom and pop stores), I think it is devolving into commercialism a bit too much for me. Still get some pretty bitchin' exclusives, but come on.

Uncle E said...

Oh, and the Factory Records stuff. LOVE to have those!

Brian said...

Hey Uncle E. Good to hear from you. I once loved the idea too, but I have a feeling Record Store Day has gone the way of the secondary ticketing market. Too many buyers looking to resell for a profit. I hope I'm wrong about that. I have some problems with the labels as well, but I don't want to get into that on the message board. Perhaps I'll post about that soon, but let's just say the word "exclusive" means different things to different parties.

Brian said...

Oh, and Uncle E, I meant to tell you your beard rampages are funny as hell. I thought about you the other day when I saw my hometown Mariners are giving this away at a game next week:

Echorich said...

Ah, Record Store Day... some many things I might want, none of which will be in ANY record store near me. Maybe if I make a trek to Ameoba some time later this year I might find one or two nuggets of gold that are left over... But RSD has been co-opted by the "big" (not so big anymore) record companies...

Brian said...

Hi Echorich. Did you see the English Electric tin that will be out on RSD? Is there anything in there that wasn't part of the big set you already have? I didn't list it here because it's not vinyl. Wanted to focus on the wax, but it sounds kind of interesting.

Rob-in-Brevard said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rob-in-Brevard said...

I picked up The dB's EP yesterday. What a diverse little thing it is: Peter H ballad ("Lakefront"), stomping pop-rocker by Chris Stamey ("Orange Squeezer"), inspired live version of an old chestnut ("pH Factor") and the undeniable title track. What's not to like?!?

Brian said...

Nice little description, Rob-in-Brevard. Hope you are enjoying the new Stamey album too. I imagine you are.

Uncle E said...

Thanks Brian, I have fun with my rants and beards are one of the many things that get me all angst ridden lately. I blame Meatloaf, but that's another story. That Mariners giveaway is funny, man. I love your blog by the way, it is one that I look forward to each day. Helps to make my way through the great unwashed of the world.

Uncle E