For music nerds, Record Store Day is one of the first things circled on the calendar when the new year rolls in. Now in its eighth year and set for Saturday, April 19 for 2014, RSD continues to grow, and record stores, those havens for vinyl junkies, CD lovers and cassette collectors, roll out the red carpet for the hundreds of special releases set for the day. Maine’s own Bull Moose Music was one of the originators of RSD when the whole thing started in 2007, and all nine Maine Bull Moose locations — Bangor, Brunswick, Lewiston, Portland, Sanford, Scarborough, South Portland, Waterville and Windham — are participating; also participating is Everyday Music in Farmington, Newbury Comics in South Portland and Record Connection in Waterville. A full list of the countless RSD releases can be found on the website; it behooves you to check with your local record store to make sure they’ll be offering that special album you’ve just gotta have. I’ve compiled a short list of some of the coolest, most genre-diverse RSD releases available this year, but there’s of course plenty more than this out there.
On April 2, 2011, beloved electro-rock band LCD Soundsystem performed their last-ever concert at Madison Square Garden to a sold-out crowd, featuring James Murphy’s original LCD band and guests including the Arcade Fire and Reggie Watts. Now, finally, that four-hour concert, mixed by Murphy himself, is available for your listening pleasure as a boxed set available one month early on RSD only.
Circa Survive/Sunny Day Real Estate Split 7”
Circa Survive are a very popular rock band from the Northeast. Sunny Day Real Estate are one of the foundational bands for what we know as emo today; they haven’t put out any new material in 14 years. Until now. This exclusive RSD vinyl release will feature “Lipton Witch,” their first new song since 2000, as well as Circa Survive’s “Bad Heart.”
A nifty ten inch white vinyl release featuring all seven of CCR’s singles released in 1969 — massive, classic hits like “Fortunate Son,” “Proud Mary” and “Down on the Corner.”
Side by Side series
Two artists do the same song on a split 7” vinyl — one artist doing their own song, and the other artist doing a cover of that same song. This year, the Side by Side series features the Cure vs. Dinosaur Jr, doing the Cure’s “Just Like Heaven,” Devo vs. the Flaming Lips, doing Devo’s “Gates of Steel,” and Poison Idea vs. Pantera doing Poison Idea’s little-known 1980 single “The Badge.”
Steve Earle – Townes: The Basics
In 2009 Steve Earle released an album of Townes Van Zandt songs. It began as solo guitar and vocal tracks recorded in Oct. 2008, and then other instruments were added later in subsequent sessions for the album. Those original recordings – “The Basics” – were released as a bonus disc with that Townes album, but they are available for RSD in a limited edition, hand-numbered vinyl release.
Sam Cooke – Ain’t That Good News
“Ain’t That Good News” was the last studio album released in Sam Cooke’s lifetime, and in 2014, it celebrates its 50th anniversary. This RSD early exclusive reissue features his iconic recording of “A Change Is Gonna Come,” which has become an anthem for civil rights. It also includes the hit songs “Another Saturday Night,” “Ain’t That Good News” and “Rome (Wasn’t Built In A Day).”
Johnny Cash completists better rush to the store first thing the morning of April 19 to pick up this beautiful reissue of the Man in Black’s first album, “With His Hot and Blue Guitar.” It was the first-ever album on Sun Records, and featured timeless classics like “Folsom Prison Blues” and “I Walk The Line.” This is limited to 3,000 foil-stamped copies, so snap up your copy early.
VA – Sun Records Curated by Record Store Day Vol. 1
This limited edition compilation LP was curated from the classic Sun Records catalog by participating Record Store Day stores. It features songs from notable artists like Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, and Howlin’ Wolf. As a Record Store Day exclusive, it’s limited to 4,000 copies worldwide.
The Pixies – Indie Cindy
“Indie Cindy” will be the first new Pixies album in 23 years, since the band broke up in 1991. The official release date is April 28, but savvy Record Store Day shoppers can pick it up nine days early with a very special vinyl RSD-only release.
This incredibly unique compilation will be released specially on Record Store Day, and features songs inspired by the the planets and by the Voyager spacecraft mission, written and recorded by the likes of Beach House, Spiritualized, Youth Lagoon and Mutual Benefit. Hot on the heels of the popular “Cosmos” series on Fox, this might be the perfect album for the amateur astronomer/indie rock fan.
Heatmiser – Dead Air, Cop and Speeder, and Yellow No. 5
Fans of the late, great Elliott Smith would do well to pick up any of these special cassette reissues of his first band’s first two albums and EPs — Heatmiser never became as popular as Smith later would, but you can hear the early sound that Smith would later perfect with his albums “XO” and “Either/Or,” as well as the more pop-oriented songs of co-songwriter Neil Gust.
Ron Jeremy – Understanding and Appreciating Classical Music With Ron Jeremy
Exactly what you think it is.