Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Record Store Day This Saturday (4/17)

This Saturday (4/17) is the third Saturday in April so that means... Record Store Day!! Conceived in 2007, it is a "celebration of the unique culture surrounding over 700 independently owned record stores in the USA, and hundreds of similar stores internationally." Not only is RSD great because it helps showcase and support independent record stores, but it also lets artists put out some unique and interesting items (keep reading if you're a Hold Steady fan...) Today's NY Post had an interesting article giving some of the details.

Feeling groovy isn't what it usedto be. CDs, iPods and flash drives have pretty much replaced vinyl platters and diamond needles.

Yet even in these digital times, some discerning listeners have kept vinyl from extinction. Saturday, on what's known to some as Record Store Day, such collectors -- who still have turntables -- will get their due.

The format is the star of the third annual event, at which highly collectible vinyl records -- made exclusively for the celebration -- will be for sale at $5 and up.

Among the highlights is the "John Lennon Singles Bag," a $25 package that features three 45s: "Mother," "Imagine" and "Watching the Wheels" -- backed, respectively, by Yoko Ono's "Why," "It's So Hard" and "Yes I'm Your Angel." (A "45" is a 7-inch record popular as late as three decades ago, which features two singles and is played at 45 rpm rather than the standard 33 rpm.)

What makes the Capitol record particularly collectible are the details -- assorted postcards and a 2-by-3-foot poster of the couple's bed-in for peace; here, they're wearing pajamas and holding flowers to protest the Vietnam War. There's even a plastic adapter hub, in case your turntable doesn't play 45s.

The Flaming Lips make a strong showing with a $25 cover album of Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon." After opening with the familiar heartbeat drums of the original, the psychedelic rockers take the music on a more propulsive and experimental tack.

Familiar songs such as "Breathe," "Time" and "Brain Damage" are updated with twisting ragged guitar work and fragile vocals.

The Rolling Stones get in on the act with a 7-inch single titled "Plunder My Soul," a previously unreleased track from 1972's "Exile on Main Street" album. Suggested price: $12.

This is as funky as the Stones get. With terrific guitar work by Keith Richards and Mick Jagger's vocals easily reaching the upper register he's lost over time, this single ranks among the best Stones music to emerge in years. A remastered track of "All Down the Line," another cut from "Exile on Main Street," is on the flip side. It's a preview from the CD and vinyl re-release of "Exile," due May 18, which will have 10 never-before-heard tracks.

Other vinyl rarities include music by Bruce Springsteen (a 10-inch vinyl with "Wrecking Ball" live at Giants Stadium), Modest Mouse, Elvis Presley, the Sex Pistols, Gorillaz and the Velvet Underground.
They forgot to mention a bunch of cool label samplers coming out as well. You can see the full list of all of the special items being released here.

And if you like The Hold Steady and have an itch for their new record, Heaven is Whenever, they're releasing a super limited hand screen printed vinyl edition, two weeks in advance of its official drop date (5/4)!!

Participating Record Store Day stores in the DC area include....

Washington, DC
-CD Warehouse
-Crooked Beat Records
-Melody Record Shop
-Politics & Prose Bookstore
-Red Onion Records & Books
-Som Records

-Baltimore: !El Suprimo! Records, Dimensions In Music, morphius.com, Sound Garden
-Catonsville: Trax on Wax
-College Park: cd.gamexchange
-District Heights: Memory Lane CDS and Records Inc.
-Frederick: blinding sun records,Platters That Matter Records
-Hillcrest Heights: Kemp Mill Music
-Silver Spring: cd.gamexchange, Joe's Record Paradise
-Temple Hills: Kemp Mill Music
-Towson: celebrated summer records

Northern Virginia
-Fairfax: Record & Tape Exchange
-Falls Church: CD Cellar
-Vienna: Vienna Music Exchange

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