posted November 20, 2012Tweet
This Friday, November 23rd marks Record Store Day’s Back To Black Friday event, which offers music fans a brief respite from all of the previous day’s overeating and the traditional mania of the holiday season kick-off. Instead of offering cheaply made, mass-produced stuff, record stores will be featuring unique, limited edition releases, many lovingly created by the artists themselves, all perfect for underscoring just how much music and other things regularly found at a record store are treasures, for giving and getting. The day also highlights the stores themselves, offering customers an alternative to the crazed, crushing national chain retailers, and a chance to choose their local, independently-owned shops.
We’re talking about outposts like Austin, TX’s now-legendary indie store, Waterloo Records whose owner John Kunz says, “Indie Record Stores (Indies) are the cultural town square gathering places for all serious music lovers. Indies curate and promote the best music from around the corner and around the world, thus defining and enriching their regions' local music scene. Indie Record Stores rock the world!”
The list of special releases, available in most cases, exclusively at record stores, covers a wide range of genres, with something for every type of music lover. Some of the available titles this year are simply not to be believed- some previously announced, like the released of a 50th Anniversary 10” release from the Beach Boys that pairs their first single “Surfin’ Safari” with their latest, “Isn’t It Time”, a 7” picture disc of David Bowie’s “Jean Genie,” and “Death May Be Your Santa Claus” a classic blues holiday compilation, among offerings from Bob Dylan, My Morning Jacket, Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros, The Lumineers, Fat Boys, Biz Markie, The Grateful Dead and others are getting their fair share of anticipatory hype.
The list goes on, though…
Band of Horses will release their Sonic Ranch Sessions: Mirage Rock & Relly’s Dream on 7” vinyl, three 7” titles from Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band, a nod to Leonard Cohen’s classic “Hallelujah” on 7", pairing Cohen’s version b/w Jeff Buckley’s widely loved take, CeeLo Green/Donny Hathaway also “pair up” on a holiday edition of the Side By Side 7" series with “This Christmas,” and the White Stripes offer three! 7” vinyl pieces including “Hotel Yorba” (Live at the Hotel Yorba) b/w “Rated X.” There are also reissues of classics from Joan Jett (Bad Reputation of clear vinyl) and King Diamond (the debut pictured disc " No Presents For Christmas") and an anniversary repackaging of Nirvana’s Incesticide on double 45 RPM 12" vinyl.
More from the legends department: The Rolling Stones honor their 50th anniversary by rereleasing their very first vinyl EP, Frank Zappa’s “Why Don’cha Do Me Right” b/w “Big Leg Mama” will drop on 7” vinyl Merle Haggard gives us “Capitol Rarities” on 10” vinyl, and Lee Hazlewood’s influence is felt in the exclusive compilation, You Turned My Head Around: Lee Hazlewood Industries 1967-1970, a box set of eleven 7” vinyl singles.
The excitement at the store level is palpable, Doyle Davis of Nashville’s beloved indie store, Grimey’s saying:
“We're really excited at Grimey's about this year's Black Friday releases from Record Store Day. There are so many choice pieces from acts that really resonate with our customers like local faves JEFF The Brotherhood, My Morning Jacket with Brittany Howard from Alabama Shakes, The Lumineers, White Stripes, Dr. Dog, and Lucero. In addition we're getting exclusive vinyl pieces with guaranteed demand from icons such as The Rolling Stones, Beach Boys, Nirvana, Bob Dylan and Grateful Dead. Those types of limited releases always bring in the customers who may not already know about us or those who don't come in our door that often, since these gems are only available at independent record stores and you can't just sit at home and click a button to get them. Personally I'm looking forward to the Joe Strummer live album, the Lee Hazlewood 7" box set, the Fat Boys pizza picture disc (which our own staffer Noah Uman had a hand in putting together) and the Dr. Dog single. It's refreshing to jaded record store owners like me to have these release dates from Record Store Day. I find myself getting excited about some of these releases as much as my customers. That doesn't happen very often anymore so it's good to get reminded why we all got into this to begin with.”
With these great releases, perhaps the superstores can wait a few more days.
Record Store Day is managed by the Music Monitor Network and is organized in partnership with the Alliance of Independent Media Stores (AIMS), the Coalition of Independent Music Stores (CIMS) and celebrates the culture of independent record stores by playing host to in-store events/performances, signings and special product releases on a global scale.
Record Store Day takes place annually on the third Saturday of April.