As I jump back into the world of blogging (I promise, baby, this week I’ll be different), I figure I need to address the biggest music event of the past few weeks…Record Store Day. I’ve been going every year and when I used to get to the store about 30-minutes prior to opening, I was upset that I was 5th or 6th in line. But every year the line has been getting longer, forcing me to get there earlier. This year I arrived earlier than I had ever been there…almost 3-hours prior to opening and I was 20th in line. As alarming as that was, by the time the store opened, there were over 250 people in line…which made me a little less bitter about my placement. I got just about everything I wanted. Of the three items I didn’t get (The Civil Wars 7″, the Brad 7″, and the Flaming Lips – Heady Fwends) only CW and Brad were sold out. I was bummed about the CW…and less about the Brad. Although I was most upset about the Flaming Lips, which never even got shipped. Even stranger…in LA, the three stores I checked out didn’t get copies. What’s even stranger is that the Flaming Lips was the widest release of any Record Store Day release…over 10,000 were made. That’s close to the actual sales figures of their last album…so why in the world was it so hard to find?
That said…the rest of the day and the following two weeks began a scavenger hunt of about a dozen stores…all in hopes of finding the one gem I overlooked. And yes, I found a few. Overall, the 7″ dominated this year with the longer album being bigger let downs (Flaming Lips production included).
So here are my 11 favorite releases of the Day…and I’ve heard quite a few.
My 11 Favorite Releases of Record Store Day 2012:
1. Jeff the Brotherhood – Upstairs 10-inch – Strangely, it’s probably one of the few albums that didn’t even come close to selling out. I’ve seen it at dozens of stores…yet it might be the most enjoyable and best vinyl capture of the day. It’s really just a great underrated band jamming the fuck out…but captured on vinyl it’s like being in the room with them. This is what exclusive releases should be all about…something that would never make it as a usual release because it’s so up close and intimate it’s unplayable except to the people who actually give a shit.
2. Chris Robinson and the Brotherhood – Blue Suede Shoes 7″ – I bought this two weeks after RSD as an impulse buy because it was half off. The two new songs (not on the new album) are as rocking and raw as anything Chris has done in decades…a definite find.
3. Feist & Mastodon 7″ – A release that should have never happened. But it’s so weird, raw, unlistenable but unresistable…it’s a collector’s dream. Can’t listen to this one enough.
4. Arctic Monkeys – R U Still Mine 7″ – Where the fuck did this come from? Maybe the best release by the Monkeys since their debut. Hopefully this is a good sign that we should expect other great things by them.
5. The Electric Anthology Project of Dinosaur Jr. LP – It’s going to be released normally in the coming weeks…but this has to be the most fun of any of the releases. It’s Dinosaur Jr. meets the Breakfast Club. It’s fucking odd…and great at the same time.
6. Horrible Crowes – Live At Amoeba 7” – This was another album I bought a couple days after RSD. I was not a huge fan of the actual HC album…it was tolerable. But these live couple of songs capture the band ripping it up live that is fantastic and deserves many repeat listens.
7. Ryan Adams – Heartbreak 7″ – After last year’s super boring album…Ryan at least shows he still has something still in the tank.
8. Ra Ra Riot – Valerie 7″ – Though their are two covers on this record…the Valerie cover is so exceptionally good…it’s worth the price of admission all on it’s own.
9. The Flaming Lips – Heady Fwends LP – I never actual got a physical copy…but I have heard this release. I can’t say I’m blown away…or even that upset that I didn’t get a copy. But it’s just that crazy that it’s worth seeking out to listen to…just once.
10. Jay Farrar – New Multitudes 10-inch – A companion to possibly one of the best actual albums of the year. These four songs feature a couple of demos that rock as hard as anything on the album.
11. Animal Collective – Traverse Temporal Gyrus LP – I don’t know if I liked this…or love this…or hate this. Again, this is what is great about RSD…they can feature album that should never be released in any other fashion except to hardcore fans. Sure it’s experimental bullshit…but I have a copy and you don’t.
The ones that got away…
1. Flaming Lips – Heady Fwends – I have it digitally…but sure wish I had a physical copy.
2. Brad – Waters Deep 7″ – had no idea this would sell out so fast. Had no idea anyone knew who they were.
3. Civil Wars – Covers 45 – I’ve heard the Billie Jean cover…but have sleepless nights dreaming about hearing that Portishead cover.
4. Mike McCready/Star Ana – A co-worker got a copy and I have to say I’m quite jealous…heard it’s pretty good too.
5. Atmosphere & Aesop Rock – The album had a freaking C-side! Yes, it had 3 sides!! That’s just epic.
6. Shabazz Palaces – Live – Just wish I had it.