The Indies Give The Gift Of Music With The Black Keys, Blur, And More

posted November 2, 2010

The Indies Give The Gift Of Music With The Black Keys, Blur, And More

As announced last Thursday, independent record stores will be the exclusive source for some of the most sought-after music releases this year, as the holiday shopping season kicks off on "Back to Black Friday," November 26, 2010.

The day after Thanksgiving has long been The Big Day Out for shoppers far and wide. This season, indie records stores will help customers Give The Gift Of Music, offering limited and exclusive titles to give and get, from some of the most loved and acclaimed artists in the world. Announced to date are limited vinyl and CD releases by Metallica, U2, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Bruce Springsteen, Cee-Lo Green, Iron & Wine, and exclusive reissues by George Harrison and Jimi Hendrix.

But more is on the way...

The Black Keys Brothers album is the biggest selling vinyl album of the year for indie record stores. For Black Friday, Nonesuch will release an exclusive indie record store version of Brothers, including double 12" vinyl (45 RPM), along with a special 10" vinyl piece containing 6 never before released live tracks, a well as a CD and poster. The band's Patrick Carney says, "When we're on the road, we always try to check out the indie record stores...whether it's Square Records in Akron or Grimey's in Nashville. So to be involved in Record Store Day feels like we're contributing to something we're already passionate about."

Earlier this year Blur recorded "Fools Day," their first new song in 8 years and released 1,000 copies for Record Store Day in the UK only. It is one of the most rare, sought-after records by fans. For Black Friday, Parlophone will release 3000 copies of a numbered special edition Record Store Day single box-set that will include this rare Blur single, as well as brand new RSD 7" singles by Hot Chip w/Bonnie ‘Prince' Billy, Tinie Tempah, Kylie Minogue, and Eliza Doolittle.

Soundgarden's gift will be their 7" single, "The Telephantasm" (previously unreleased) along with an also previously unreleased live version of "Gun."

The Black Crowes, whose vocalist, Chris Robinson proclaims, "An independent record store is an oasis in the middle of a corporate desert," will release "Say Goodnight to The Bad Guys"/"Remedy" as a 10" vinyl picture disc along with a download card. The package will include each aforementioned song in both acoustic and live versions from a recent "farewell" tour.

In addition, the The Ting Tings "Hands" along with a Passion Pit remix of the same song will be made available on 7" Custom Orange/White Mix Vinyl with a 4 color art sleeve. This will be the first stateside release of tracks from their upcoming album. The band add, "Indie retail is king for discovery. When we first started out, our 45's were given a chance on the shelf and we broke out from there".

Matisyahu's Two will be issued on 7" vinyl. The "two" songs in question are "Mist Rising" b/w "Motivate." This is the first release of two live tracks from the album, Live at Stubbs, Vol II out in February 2011.

The Belgian girls choir Scala and Kolacny Brothers' cover of Radiohead's "Creep" was prominently featured in promotions for The Social Network. This track, along with four others will see the choir's first release in the USA on Black Friday as a special EP called Dawn.

MGMT's single "Congratulations" will be made available as a gatefold 7" to feature a previously unreleased remix by Erol Alkan along with a 4 color uncoated art sleeve and a 20 page illustrated storybook.

Iron & Wine's single "Walking Far From Home" will be issued on 12" vinyl along with a CD single. Both formats will be exclusive to indies (the digital goes up 11/30). Two other songs, "Summer In Savannah" and "Biting Your Tail" will also be available on both formats.

Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings do it right with an amazing, I Learned The Hard Way, their latest album as a 7" vinyl box set containing eleven 7" singles, including ten bonus tracks along with highly sought-after instrumentals of 8 tracks.

Cage The Elephant's "Shake Me Down" b/w "Aberdeen" will be released to the indies on 7" vinyl along with a download card. Both songs are from forthcoming album due out 1/11/2011.

Roky Erickson and The Black Angels release a DVD to the indies: Night of the Vampire, chronicling the legendary psych rocker's return to the stage in 2008 to perform songs from the 13th Floor Elevators' catalog that had not been touched in decades. Backed by the neo-psychedelic rock heavyweights, The Black Angels, Night of the Vampire captures a special performance Halloween night 2008 from the El Rey Theater in Los Angeles.

Grinderman give us their "Heathen Child" on 12" vinyl, which will includes a 6" x 5" card by artist Ilinca Hopfner, credited with the artwork in the Grinderman CD booklet. The ultra-limited 12' single with non-album B-side remix features guitar legend Robert Fripp.

Give The Gift Of Music is an initiative spearheaded by NARM (National Association Of Recording Merchandisers) and "Back to Black Friday" is being organized by Record Store Day, a cooperative project of hundreds of independent record stores. Organizers hope that it will follow the "bigger-than-Christmas" success of their annual April event, which in 2010 saw the participation of nearly 1,400 indie record stores worldwide.

Criminal Records (Atlanta) owner, AIMS (Alliance of Independent Media Stores) headman and Record Store Day co-organizer Eric Levin explains, "The Give The Gift of Music initiative gives indie stores tools to spotlight these incredible releases, and other things in their stores. Many of our customers want to participate in their local economy and are leery of shopping at the big box retailers; we're thrilled to provide real art-- that precious gift of music to our customers."