A Very Record Store Day Top Ten

April 19, 2014

So you decided to celebrate this new (is it seven or eight years old now?) Record Store Day.

Why!?

Is it because you really need that new Tame Impala record? Or a thirtieth re-issue of The Doors “Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mine”? Is the hole in your life so vast that only each of the “limited edition” vinyl releases this year will fill it? Trust me, I can think of plenty of better ways to spend your hard-earned cash than lining the pockets of major label record moguls.

Actually, now that I think of it, some of the Record Store Day releases this year are kind of cool. In fact, I’ll probably wind up buying one or two for myself. And if you held my feet to the fire and asked me, it’s likely I could rattle off ten worthwhile pieces. In fact, why don’t I do that for you, now that Record Store Day is over and the likelihood of you scoring any of these titles is quite slim for now. Just wait a month or two until the prices drop on eBay. Let the idiots overpay for now. A little patience goes a long way in the record collecting game.

Collecting? I mean hording.

The Top Ten Record Store Day 2014 Releases

Honorable Mention: Joy Division “An Ideal For Living.” Devo “Butch Devo And The Sundance Gig” (too bad it’s a picture disc).

10. Built To Spill – Ultimate Alternative Wavers – Pretty cool that this is available for the first time ever on vinyl (4500 on gold wax, 500 on green wax just for pacific northwest stores). This would be one I might have to buy even if it wasn’t an RSD release, just because I own all the other Built to Spill records and wouldn’t want to not have a complete set. And for $25.99 it’s actually one of the more conservatively priced titles this year. From a label called Modern Classics Recordings, which I don’t think I’ve ever heard of before.

09. Mudhoney – On Top – This one was so limited we only got one copy even though we tried to order a dozen or more. Taken from a 2013 live show that was recorded on the roof of the Space Needle in Seattle! It was broadcast by KEXP which means the quality must be good enough to send out over the airwaves. I know it’s limited edition but I don’t know how many were made, exactly. All I know is I couldn’t score a copy for myself.

08. Nicola Piovani – I Profumo Della Signora In Nero (The Perfume Of The Lady In Black) – Death Waltz Recording Company is proud to present another masterpiece from Italy, with Nicola Piovani’s gorgeous score to Francesco Barilli’s highly-regarded psychological horror IL PROFUMO DELLA SIGNORA IN NERO (a.k.a. THE PERFUME OF THE LADY IN BLACK). The tale of a successful career woman who suffers a downward spiral into a treacherous mental breakdown, the film has been favorably compared in some quarters to Roman Polanski’s REPULSION, thanks to a star turn from leading lady Mimsy Farmer and Piovani’s beautiful yet unnerving music. The score is perhaps less telegraphing than you might expect -– at least initially –- with the core being a stunning melody that will remain in your head for months. First performed in a classical style, the theme is reprised in many stylistic variations throughout the score, from a straightforward rendition that seems almost naively innocent, to lush pastoral reprisals, and even a big band version. Piovani uses the theme almost as a comfort zone, a false sense of security, before jarring the melody with piercing strings and harsh percussion to make you bolt upright. The score is haunting in places, with surreal melodies that almost sound like whalesong and a slow piano piece that perhaps had an influence on John Carpenter’s HALLOWEEN. A mesmerising experience, that remains a highlight of Italian film music.

07. Medicine – Part Time Punks Live – “After the August release of their new LP TO THE HAPPY FEW, shoegaze pioneers Medicine continue to embellish their return from an 18 year hiatus with this Radio Session at Part Time Punks. Following their first show in nearly two decades, Medicine add to an already rich creative and sonic legacy which has seen singer Beth Thompson, guitarist/vocalist Brad Laner, and drummer Jim Goodall continually challenge the barriers of melody and noise in their LPs “Shot Forth Self Living” (1992), “The Buried Life” (1993) and “her Highness” (1995). This beautiful, very limited tri-color wax LP is only available for RSD!”

06. Various Artists – Dunedin Double – “The Dunedin Double was a seminal in both independent and New Zealand music. Released in March 1982 the Dunedin Double EP went on to kick start New Zealand’s biggest independent record label, Flying Nun, as well as the careers of (at the time) local and unknown bands The Chills, Verlaines, The Stones and Sneaky Feelings. Recorded over two weekends in two separate damp flats in Christchurch the EP launched the notion of the ‘Dunedin Sound’ a phrase and sonic influence, which still finds place in todays jangle-indie pop world. Unusual in it’s format, each side of the two 12’’s showcasing each bands first recordings and take on the Dunedin Sound. The Dunedin Double has become one of the mantelpieces for lo-fi record collectors disappearing after one press. For Record Store Day 2014, Flying Nun in conjunction with Captured Tracks will once more let The Dunedin Double briefly appear on the shelves, gloriously re-mastered. ”

05. Walter Rizzati – 1990 I Guerrieri Del Bronx aka The Bronx Warriors – ”Death Waltz Recording Company has returned from a post-apocalyptic wasteland to bring you the futuristic stylings of Walter Rizzati’s music to cult classic 1990: THE BRONX WARRIORS. Coming from the mind of celebrated shlock-meister Enzo G. Castellari, take John Carpenter’s ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK, swap out the whole of NYC for just the Bronx, add in a little bit of THE WARRIORS and a lot of bikers and you have Castellari’s masterwork. The beauty of Rizzati’s score is that while it’s a tricked-out work of crazy genius for crazed biker gangs in a wasteland, it feels like a compilation of scores for movies that would only really play on the old 42nd Street. It’s not easy to nail down what Rizzati’s chief weapon is; is it the electrifying guitar that wails out the main theme, the bassline that reaches eleven on the funkometer, or the Manzarek-esque plinking keyboards? Then there’s the thick percussion with the odd time-signatures, like a demonic version of The Dave Brubeck Quartet’s ‘Take Five’, or the out-of-nowhere piano/guitar rag. Or maybe it’s the big religioso number that sounds like it’s influenced by either Carl Orff or Fabio Frizzi. Either way, The Bronx in 1990 is the place to be. Just don’t forget your axe.”

04. Spacemen 3 – Translucent Flashbacks – I know all this stuff has been issued before, but I caught a glimpse of the packaging and it’s quite beautiful. Included are the “Walkin’ With Jesus”, “Transparent Radiation” and “Take Me To The Other Side” EPs. If you’re anything like me (God willing, you’re not) you’re a Spacemen 3 completist and you NEED this set. It might set you back a few bucks, but if you don’t have originals it’s an easy way to score some hard-to-find early 12″s.

03. Teenage Filmstars – There’s A Cloud Over Liverpool – It’s shocking how little Teenage Filmstars is available on vinyl. I’ve got an original copy of “Rocket Charms”, but “Star” has eluded me for quite some time. And “Buy Our Record…” was never issued on vinyl. According to the press release, this compilation (which shares a name with the band’s earliest 7″ release) includes two previously unreleased tracks. The original ‘A’ and ‘B’ side from the single and…one more track. No idea what it is. But hey, any Teenage Filmstars on vinyl should be good enough for fans.

02. Scharpling & Wurster – Rock, Rot Or Rule - I don’t know quite how to describe this thing (even though I’m sure I have before) but here’s the commercial description: “The idea for ‘Rock, Rot & Rule’ came during a phone conversation Tom and [Jon Wurster] had regarding people’s subjective use of superlatives. We wondered, “Why do some things ‘rule’ and some things ’suck’? What does it mean when something or someone ‘rocks’? Our discussion eventually led to the concept of Tom doing a short interview on his WFMU radio show with me assuming the guise of Ronald Thomas Clontle, the know-it-all author of a completely misguided rock reference book called ‘Rock, Rot & Rule’ (we weren’t sure we could say ‘suck’ on the air). What we didn’t anticipate was that many of the people listening in that night in November of 1997 would assume Tom was speaking to a real author about a real book purported to be ‘the ultimate argument settler’ on the true worth of hundreds of musicians and bands. When we began taking calls from irate listeners things took a very unexpected and entertaining turn and our loosely-scripted little prank turned into the near hour-long epic you hold in your hands.” Limited edition of 1,000 copies on red vinyl.

01. J. Spaceman / Kid Millions – Live At Le Poisson Rouge – You can guarantee that were I still living back east I would have been at this show, which occurred in September of 2013. Alas, I was not, but I’m so happy that the set was recorded and released in an edition of 3,000. I have no idea what it sounds like, but I’m sure I’ll enjoy it.

Gram Parsons – That’s All It Took [MP3]

3 comments

  1. |

    Was also tempted by the Spacemen 3 release. Reckon I’m content with my OG pressings of the 2nd & 3rd album, along with Sonics 1st and the Father Yod edition of T.D.T.M.M.T.T.D.T. Doesn’t seem right to fork out for the set, considering the financial situation of certain individuals in the Spiritualized/Spacemen 3 camp.

    The quietus link below is worth a read, although I’m sure you’re already well versed in RSD shortcomings:

    http://thequietus.com/articles/15031-record-store-day-2014-problems-distribution-vinyl

  2. |

    I’m wondering what you mean by the Spacemen 3/Spiritualized financial situation comment. Is it that Pierce is well-off enough now b/c of Spiritualized?

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