Hi, friends. As you know I work in the music retail business. And I’ve spent much of this week preparing the brick ‘n’ mortar I call “work” for tomorrow impending Record Store Day sale. I think the idea behind it is stupid, but we kind of exist in a retail landscape where if you don’t join in you’re pretty much ruining everyone else’s good time. As difficult and unruly as it can be ordering 400 items from a distributor, receiving things 24-48 hours before the big day, and making sure everything is priced, organized and displayed properly…it’s worth it in the end. We have fun. It’s cool to watch the customers shop and enjoy themselves and find sought-after items. We get free pizza. It’s pretty much the one day where everyone is super chummy and smiling and not complaining. Hell, this year we experienced a shocking FIRST for us — as we were closing up shop tonight, a young man arrived to set up camp in front of the store so that he could be first inside tomorrow morning. Crazy, right? Who does that!?
It’s totally NOT in the spirit of things to buy or reserve titles for myself, so even though there’s a bunch of cool releases this year, I don’t get to pick a single thing for myself until all the customers have had their chance. Which means I usually end up with, like, that horrible Mogwai record that came out on Black Friday last year…or the compilation last year that had one Master Musicians of Bukkake track on it. Trust me, if I had my druthers, I’d be spending hundreds of bucks myself on some of the limited-edition releases we’re stocking for tomorrow.
That said, if I were to have carte blanche, here’s how I’d spend my money. Also, if you’re collector scum like me, don’t be all pouty and talk about how BS the idea of Record Store Day is. Go out and have a good time and treat yourself to something. I know “every day is Record Store Day,” but in another more accurate way, “Still, it’s also really cool to have a day that everyone — even those dinosaurs working for the local media — recognizes as Record Store Day.”
The Top Ten RSD 2013 Releases You Should Buy
10. Phish – Lawn Boy [Deluxe Reissue] – Copies of the original routinely sell for hundreds of dollars. Had I known years ago that this would be the case, I would have bought myself as many as I could find when I was actually listening to this band. Yes, guys, I used to listen to Phish. I really liked Phish. I saw ‘em live in Philly back in ’99! I was made to memorize all the words to Fluff’s Travels when I was in 3rd grade by my camp counselor! When Junta was finally released on vinyl last year for RSD, there was nothing I wanted more than a copy for my collection. Alas, they sold out almost immediately and I couldn’t grab one for myself. I’m sure this will be the case tomorrow as well.
09. Chelsea Wolfe / King Dude – Sing Songs Together… 7″ 45 – My Chelsea Wolfe vinyl collection is almost complete, but I think I’m going to have to scour the net for this one because we only got two (2!) of the copies that we ordered from our distributor. It shouldn’t be as hard to track down as the French version of The Grime And The Glow on Humanist. By the way, if anyone has one of those…I need it. Other than this RSD exclusive 7″ it’s the last thing I need to own her complete vinyl discography. Thanks.
08. Bardo Pond – Rise Above It All – Honestly, the only thing I have to say about this is that it’s fucking Bardo Pond and the A-side is them covering fucking MAGGOT BRAIN. There’s no way I’m going to end up with one of these, we were only shipped two copies.
07. Half Japanese – 1/2 Gentlemen / Not Beasts – The original box set was issued on three discs by the UK label Armageddon back in 1980. It’s not impossible to find, we’ve had a few pass through our hands at different points during the past five or six years, so I’m not too concerned about finding an original. That said, the reissue looks good and is really, really tempting…
06. Sleep – Dopesmoker (Indica) – Our Southern Lord guy stopped in last week with a few “unofficial” RSD exclusive records for us to sell tomorrow. I already own an original copy of Dopesmoker — well, I mean…the Tee Pee issue that came out back in 2003 — but it’d be really cool to also own the album as it was originally intended to be released. Southern Lord pressed up two RSD exclusive versions of this album. One’s on “indica green,” and the other is on “hashishian brown”. So good.
05. Elliott Smith – Alternate Versions From Either/Or 7″ 45 – There’s a good chance I’ll end up with one of these singles, so I’m excited to hear the different takes on what has to be one of the best singer-songwriter records of the last 20 years. I don’t know much bout where these versions came from, but I’m wondering if maybe they were part of the demos that leaked years ago with versions of “New Monkey,” “See My City Dead,” “Some (Rock) Song” and other Smith rarities.
04. Big Star – Nothing Can Hurt Me [Soundtrack] – I spoke to someone who is involved in helping make the movie the other day and she sounded super excited about the project. Although she cited a lack of live footage, she said that the film has turned out really well and should tell the story — the full story — correctly for the first time. I think I’ll be able to pick up a copy of this somewhere down the line, but there’s a limited-edition colored vinyl pressing being made just for the day, and we only obtained a half-dozen or so copies.
03. GZA – Liquid Swords [Chess Box] – This has to be one of the most ostentatious RSD releases ever (although this year’s Racid 7″ box set that costs about $300 wins the award for the priciest offering in this “holiday”‘s six year history). This version of Liquid Swords comes housed in a mammoth box that includes a 20-page booklet, and a full wooden miniature chess set, which can be played on the chess board that is printed on the inner lining of the box. Insane, right? And so much more desirable than, say, the Flaming Lips Zaireeka 4LP set. Which…by the way…I don’t need because I was thrifty enough to buy one of those European boots they made of the four records mixed down to one disc back in the early 00s. Those things sound fine, and there’s no fucking way I’m ever going to get together with 3 friends and set up our turntables for a listening party. Dumb idea. Liquid Swords, on the other hand…GENIUS.
02. Jandek – Vinyl Box Set – Limited to just 500 copies worldwide, the box set includes Ready For The House, Six and Six, and Chair Beside A Window. Considering I already own Steve Keene’s rendition of the Chair Beside A Window artwork, I kinda need this for my collection, right? Alas, we only got two copies, and they’re sure to sell immediately once we open our doors tomorrow. That said, I think if I really want to impress a chick, I should probably just own his entire discography as single, unique releases, right? I mean, buying a box set is totally cheating! I don’t care what kinds of extras it contains! Ladies don’t want to bone-down with shortcut-taking Jandek fans. They the only want to fuck this guys who have the persistence to track down all the individual albums by one of the most UNLISTENABLE ARTISTS TO EVER RECORD MUSIC.
01. Codeine – What About The Lonely? – Ugh. I can’t believe we didn’t get any copies of this one. What the hell happened, Numero Group!? I thought we were bros! I already own pretty much every comp you’ve ever released plus the Syl Johnson box and the Codeine box…I don’t’ think I can live without a copy of this live show from 1993 in my collection. They open with Cave In! The close with Smoking Room! In between is six more songs. It’s fucking Codeine, previously unreleased on vinyl. I need it. Someone, hook me up. Please.
Chelsea Wolfe – Fight Like Gods [MP3]