Record Store Day Round Up

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It comes but once a year: a day to revel in the nostalgia of crate-digging, needle-dropping, and, later, groovin’ to crackle-sweet tunes. We’re talking about Record Store Day–Saturday, April 16th this year–a special chance to get your hands dusty and support your neighborhood vinyl shop. Record Store Day is also an exciting day for musicians: Many artists release curious, experimental, or unexpected albums on wax in honor of the day. On top of that, to titillate the fervent collectors, many of those releases are pressed in very limited quantity. Here’s a list of some of the most exciting LPs, 45s, tapes, and reissues coming out on Record Store Day 2011.

Quirky Collaborations

Thrill Jockey record label is dishing up two split LPs. Americana Primitive folk bards Glenn Jones and Charlie Parr share one release, which includes dusky steel guitar and down-home recipes in the liner notes. In the opposite aesthetic direction, German minimal electronic wunderkind Oval splits another LP with experimental black metal group Liturgy.

Now-punk-superstars Green Day team up with then-punk-superstars Hüsker Du this year. On the A-side of this construction-orange 7″, Green Day cover Hüsker Du’s classic “I Don’t Want to Know If You Are Lonely.” The original is on the B-side.

Similarly, another 7″ has the well-bearded thrash metal group Mastodon covering “Just Got Paid” by the original well-bearded group ZZ Top. Original on the B-side.

Killer Compilations

Sub Pop record label’s collection “Terminal Sales Vol. 4: Please to Enjoy” features much of its current roster of artists. If you don’t feel like dropping the cash for the die-cut packaging and 18-print booklet, you can listen to it for nothin’ online:

Minneapolis-based college radio station Radio K has a comprehensive collection of local and national independent music–on tape. Tracklist here.

Shoegaze-pioneers Guided by Voices have amassed a near-cult-like following, even among musicians. Sing For Your Meat is a tribute album to GBV, featuring the likes of a few well-known fans: Thurston Moore, Elf Power, Flaming Lips, and Blitzen Trapper.

Upcoming record indie label Sacred Bones unleashed a collection of b-sides and rarities called Todo Muere Vol. 1. The tracks taken exclusively from the label’s killer lineup, which includes Zola Jesus, Moon Duo, and Cult of Youth.

Righteous Reissuess

Omnivore Records repressed Big Star’sThird–but dolled it up as a “test pressing,” with liner notes from the original studio sessions. One in every 300 copies will include an actual test pressing from 1975–signed by the surviving member of the band.

Fela Kuti changed the way we think about “international” music, so one of the more historic releases this year is Fela Kuti and the Africa 70’s remastered Monday Morning in Lagos 1 & 2.

Nirvana’sHormoaning EP was originally released in Australia. For the first time, it hits shelves in the US.

I’d bet you remember the first time you heard The Doors–Jim Morrison’s blunt yet cryptic intonations of psychedelic drug use captured the imagination of ’70s counter culture. In honor of L.A. Woman’s 40th anniversary, “Riders on the Storm” will be released with a mono radio-version of the track on the B-side.

Get some heady nuggs, and by that I mean a neato Flaming Lips box set. This one is packed with the first five albums the band released with Warner Bros. records. Duuuuuude!

For hardcore fans of The White Stripes (admittedly, it’s hard to tell if they’re still a band from one day to the next), the duo are putting out two 7″ 45s with singles from 1998. On one you find “Lafayette Blues” and “Sugar Never Tasted So Good,” and on the other “Let’s Shake Hands” and “Look Me Over Closely.”

Odds and Ends

Did you see Tron: Legacy in the theater this winter? If so, you’ll agree that Daft Punk’s electro-cinematic soundtrack was as gripping, if not more so, than the movie itself. Now you can get hits from the OST on one of three different embellished translucent 10-inchers.

Sun-soaked lo-fi group Dom are releasing what they claim to be the world’s first three-sided 7-inch. How does it work, you ask? Side A is double grooved, so when you drop the needle, you won’t know until the song starts whether you’re hearing a remix or an exclusive track. Super neat!

Bull Moose record stores have been serving crate-diggers fromMaine and New Hampshire for years. This Record Store Day you can snag a performance by The Decemberists at one of the Bull Moose stores. This EP features songs from their latest effort The King is Dead as well as a cover of the Louvin Brothers’ “If I Could Only Win Your Love.”

Last but not least, at more than 700 record independently owned record stores you’ll be able to find a special issue of Utne Reader devoted to Americana and rootsy rock. Look inside for profiles of Steve Earle, Johnny Cash, Todd Rundgren, Jayhawks, and more!

Of course, you can always look through the stack of old, forgotten LPs from the days when vinyl was “still cool.”

Image courtesy of Record Store Day.

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