I remember the first Record Store Day. It was in 2007, and I was right around 15 — an impressionable age for music tastes. I was probably still listening to Coldplay and defending My Chemical Romance, but the concept of a day dedicated to the support of local, mom-and-pop record stores piqued my interest. For those who don’t speak music-geek: RSD serves as an exclusive release date for unreleased, reissued or reworked music, sold solely by independent record stores (you’re not gonna find these at your Target or Best Buy). This year, the special day is April 19.
I doubt I actually purchased anything on that first RSD, but, about eight years later, when the list of releases for the 2014 edition were announced Thursday — 438 to be exact — I immediately made my list of records to nab. Some people are really dedicated to this biannual tradition (the other RSD is Black Friday), going so far as to camp out in front of a record shop the night before. Because of the devotion of other shoppers, I rarely get all of my list, if even half. Below you’ll find the five records I’ll be trying my darndest to get, either because of a given release’s rarity, hilarity or quality.
1. Built To Spill: “Ultimate Alternative Wavers” Reissue, 12” Vinyl
Built To Spill’s debut is getting the reissue treatment on vinyl for RSD this year. Even though it’s bound to be a prevalent release for the music-nerd holiday, it’ll certainly be the victim of the early bird for those of us who might want to sleep in on our Saturdays. Definitely worth trying to get the first record from this seminal indie rock crew.
2. Parquet Courts: “Sunbathing Animal,” 7” Vinyl
The follow-up to 2013’s “Tall All The Things That You Broke” EP comes in the form of new single “Sunbathing Animal,” backed with “Pilgrims to Nowhere.” “Sunbathing Animal” isn’t anything new to those who performed the song for themselves in advance of its release; Parquet Courts released the sheet music for the single earlier this month for its guitar part. These Brooklynites seem full of post-punk mastery, as 2012’s “Light Up Gold” indicated, so the addition of “Sunbathing Animal” to anyone’s record library is a no-brainer.
3. LCD Soundsystem: “The Long Goodbye (LCD Soundsystem Live At Madison Square Garden),” 5 x 12” Vinyl
Yeah, yeah we were all sad to see LCD Soundsystem go, but now we can listen to the tremendous goodbye concert again and again! RSD sees the release of “The Long Goodbye,” a recording of LCD Soundsystem’s last show ever, performed at Madison Square Garden in April 2011. Time to relive some great memories and/or reinvoke regret of deciding not to take that 9-hour trip to see LCD say farewell.
4. Various Artists: “The Space Project,” 12” Vinyl and CD
The space sounds, so to speak, of Youth Lagoon’s recent “Worms,” weren’t entirely the result of project proprietor Trevor Powers’ own eccentricities; they were actually extracted from recordings made by the Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 space probes. Such is the basis of this 14-song compilation, a collaboration from record labels Lefse and Fat Possum. Artists including Beach House, Mutual Benefit and Spiritualized — all authorities on making music that’s so buoyant you float into the stratosphere — come together on this album with songs made from this outer space source material. Trippy stuff, man.
5. Ron Jeremy: “Understanding and Appreciating Classical Music With Ron Jeremy,” 7” Vinyl
Tune in to this 7” to hear adult film star (and musicologist?) Ron Jeremy discuss classical greats Bach and Beethoven (among others) while he plays a piece or two at a piano. Intermittently speaking from his own experience as a classically-trained pianist with some distinctive Jeremy crudeness, I feel releases such as this really speak to RSD’s ubiquity and importance. What other industry can tug the likes of Jeremy?