This Saturday, April 20th, is Record Store Day, which has become like a national holiday for me and my fellow music lovers and record collecting geeks. It’s an annual event to celebrate independent record stores — and tons of artists contribute cool, one-of-a-kind, limited edition releases that are available only on this day. If fact, sometimes they’re gone within minutes of the store opening. Here are a few of the many releases worth getting up early for:
- Hüsker Dü — “Amusement” b/w “Statues” and the studio alternates “Writer’s Cramp” and “Let’s Go Die” as a 2×7”: Alright, the very first Hüsker Dü single re-issued/remastered as a double 7″. While I have the original, this version includes the other two songs originally intended for the first release.
- Big Star — Nothing Can Hurt Me: 20 previously unissued versions of classic Big Star songs from the soundtrack to the soon-to-be released documentary film. On colored vinyl! Okay, I’m definitely getting up and getting in line early!
- Sigur Rós — Agaetis Byrjun: One of the most beautiful albums ever recorded released in limited quantities on vinyl for the first time in the US. Please, record gods, create a clear path for me to the “S” section.
A strategic tip: I’d recommend getting familiar with this year’s releases and creating your own wish list, so you know what to look for before they’re gone. In fact, you can hear some of these exclusive releases on The Afternoon Show on KEXP this Friday, April 19th at 2:30 PM! Matt Vaughan of Easy Street Records will be joining me on the air with some sneak previews and first-listens.
This year promises more releases than ever before — in all kinds of formats from 7”, 10”, and 12” vinyl, to CDs, and even cassettes. There will be plenty of rarities, long out-of-print re-issues, first time releases, colored vinyl, picture discs, etc.
Remember, Record Store Day is not just about scoring some cool rarity or collectible, it’s really about celebrating the role of the independent record store in our communities, and how record stores provide an invaluable source of music discovery and community building. So, even if you’re not a collector, or not into getting up early, swing by your favorite record store later in the day, pick up your favorite new album, and enjoy the experience of browsing through the racks. Also, most stores will be hosting special events, like guest DJs and live bands, so there will be lots of fun to be had.
Good luck, and please stay out of my way!