For music lovers, record collectors and generalized rock nerds and fan boys and girls, Record Store Day is a national holiday (it’s set for Saturday, April 18 this year). A full day of limited edition releases from at least one — if not many — of your favorite artists, at independent record stores across not just the U.S., but the world. In store performances in many of those places, too. A chance to commune with fellow music lovers, both in person and later, when you post an Instagram picture of your haul from the day.
We’re lucky in Maine, since Bull Moose, the Brunswick-founded music and media chain of stores, started Record Store Day eight years ago. We tend to go above and beyond here. In addition to the Bangor and Waterville Bull Moose locations hosting Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots competitions and the Lewiston store hosting a WWF original Nintendo competition, there’s lots of music. Here’s a list of all the in-store performances from Maine bands at the Maine Bull Moose locations.
- BANGOR — Hessian, the Portland heavy metal four-piece, will rock the Hogan Road store at 2 p.m.
- PORTLAND — Dot Wiggin of the Shaggs performs at 2:30 and Worried Well perform tracks from their upcoming new album at 4 p.m. and will also give out a free RSD-exclusive 5-song EP.
- LEWISTON — Psychedelic songwriter Jeff Beam performs an acoustic set at 2:30 p.m.
- WATERVILLE — Rockers Audio Apocalypse perform at Noon
- SCARBOROUGH — Mark Curdo from WCYY will DJ from noon to 2 p.m., followed by an in store performance from the legendary Murcielago at 2 p.m.
- MILL CREEK SOUTH PORTLAND — Indie rockers An Overnight Low will perform at 1 p.m.
The live music is just the icing on the cake, however. People start lining up at 7 a.m. to be the first to buy some of the hundreds of special releases, re-releases and one-offs up for grabs on RSD — as well as some of the sweet deals just generally available. There are way, way too many to list here — though a full list of everything can be found on the RSD site — but here are some of the really special ones you might not want to miss. Plus, the ones that I personally am very excited about.
Rhino Records Side by Side 7-inch series Each year for RSD Rhino Records offers up a series of colored vinyl 45 rpm singles featuring two sometimes unexpected bands covering the same song. This year’s crop includes R.E.M. and Syd Barrett doing Barrett’s song “Dark Globe”; David Bowie and Tom Verlaine doing Verlaine’s song “Kingdom Come”; Death Cab for Cutie and Freedy Johnston doing “Bad Reputation”; Grandmaster Flash and the Stiff Little Fingers doing Flash’s “The Message”; Gram Parsons and the Lemonheads doing Parsons’ “Brass Buttons”; Dionne Warwick and the Stranglers doing “Walk on By”; and one mystery split.
Courtney Barnett — Kim’s Caravan This upstart Australian songwriter’s debut LP is one of my favorite new albums in recent years — a brash, literate blend of classic 1990s alt-rock and lyrical skill. Can’t recommend her highly enough. This is 12 inch release of one of the best songs on the album.
Cassandra Wilson / Billie Holiday — You Go To My Head/The Mood That I’m In On one side, the mythical Billie Holidays sings stunning versions of two jazz standards. On the other side of this 10-inch vinyl, contemporary jazz chanteuse Cassandra Wilson does the same. Perfect for the jazz vocal lover in your life.
D’Angelo — The Charade D’Angelo’s album “Black Messiah” is pretty incredible, so soul lovers everyone should do themselves a favor and pick up this single featuring the songs “Charade” and “1000 Deaths.”
Bob Dylan — The Basement Tapes The recording of this legendary bootleg turned classic album took place in Woodstock and features the band that would become The Band. There are two extremely limited editions of “The Basement Tapes” out on RSD — a regular version and a 180 gram black vinyl mono master, all individually autographed and numbered by Garth Hudson. A hot commodity.
Father John Misty — I Love You Honeybear I absolutely love Father John Misty’s new album “I Love You Honeybear”; get this single featuring that song plus a new song on a red, heart-shaped 45. Serious collector’s item.
Foo Fighters — Song From the Laundry Room Contemporary rock fans have got to love the Foos, and this limited edition ten-inch features a tasty little grab bag of Foo treats, including demos of “Alone,” “Easy Target” and “Big Me,” a cover of “Kids in America” and an unreleased song.
Paul McCartney — The Family Way OST One of the most sought-after Beatles recordings commanding mega-high prices, this McCartney-scored 1967 film soundtrack is now available as a reissue.
Metallica — No Life Til Leather How cool is this? The definitive early Metallica demo tape is being reissued on cassette. Get there early and grab your copy. It’s the first official release for these recordings, which include early versions of songs from “Kill ‘Em All.”
Rough Guides RSD releases The Rough Guide series is an ongoing, incredibly well-researched primer on obscure musical traditions across the globe. Rough Guides out on RSD this year including compilations of rare African groove recordings, Bollywood disco, Latin rare grooves, and psychedelic salsa and music and Indian music. Expand your horizons.
RPM Turntable Baseball This isn’t music, but it might be the coolest RSD release there is. The A-side is the title game, with players getting runs, outs, home runs, and more as they play a full 9-inning game on their turntable. The B-side is The Concession Stand Challenge. This game is both an homage to stadium mascot races and to the horse racing turntable games of the 50’s.
Brian Wilson – No Pier Pressure Wilson’s first new album in seven years, featuring guest appearances by the likes of Zooey Deschanel, Kacey Musgraves and Mike Love and Al Jardine. For RSD, there’s a special 7-inch with two songs from the new album.
Wu-Tang Clan — Protect Ya Neck A two-tone vinyl 12-inch reissue of the Wu-Tang Clan single that started it all, backed with “Method Man.” Only 3,000 copies available nationwide!
Finally, where can you buy all this good stuff? Well, of course at all Maine Bull Moose locations — Bangor, Waterville, Lewiston, Brunswick, Portland, South Portland, Scarborough, Sanford and Windham — but also at the wonderful Record Connection in Waterville (the best vinyl store in the state), Newbury Comics in Portland, Finest Kind/Vinylhaven in Brunswick, Manny’s in Camden, and at Music Plus in Biddeford. As always, call your local RSD store to make sure the records you want are there.