Yesterday, we published Volume 1 of IRC’s Record Store Day 2012 recap coverage, featuring digital versions of limited edition vinyls from The White Stripes, The Flaming Lips with Bon Iver, Wilco, Beach House, J. Mascis with Built to Spill’s Brett Nelson, Dirty Projectors, Animal Collective, and Real Estate.
Just as with Vol. 1 – which included albums like The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends compilation and Animal Collective‘s Transverse Temporal Gyrus, Vol. II also includes rare RSD releases, most of which are vinyl, rare, collectable and must-haves for fans since they may never be released in CD or MP3 format.
Each year since Record Store Day officially launched in 2008, the number of participating independent record stores (chain records stores are not permitted) around the world has grown, including in countries like Brazil, Germany, Romania and Japan. Not surprisingly, record stores in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Seattle, Boston, Portland and dozens of other big cities, and smaller towns as well, heavily promoted Record Store Day because the event has increased vinyl record sales in recent years significantly, not just on RSD, but throughout the year.
In fact, in 2011, vinyl albums sales grew 39 percent, with about 3.9 million albums being sold, and sales are up about 10 percent so far this year, according to Nielsen Soundscan. Last year, Record Store Day represented, by far, the largest day of the year for vinyl sales. But about 2,000 stores remain in business today, and the number has been relatively stable over the past few years, said Ken Glaser, vice president of sales for Alliance Entertainment, the nation’s largest wholesale distributor of compact discs, DVDs and vinyl record albums.
“I still see a place for a strong indie store in every community that can support one. I just think there’s still the lure of people wanting to walk into a store and touch and feel things and talk to people,” said Joel Oberstein, president of Almighty Institute of Music Retail, a market research firm based in Studio City, California.
Since it is impossible to get a hold of audio copies of all of the over 300 Record Store Day 2012 releases, we’ve created a series of playlists of RSD releases that are preferences, and secondly, those which have an accessible audio file – whether an MP3 or Soundcloud. We’ve already seen an increasing trend of Soundcloud and other embedded, non-MP3 files in recent years, but especially when it comes to RSD releases – which makes some sense. We happen to support vinyl because of the superior sound quality, especially with a good turntable and speakers. But there are a number of issues that come up with vinyl that range from practical, economic, environmental and physical aspects.
This second RSD 2012 playlist (don’t miss RSD 2012 Mix Vol. I) features a range RSD-only releases featuring new tracks, unreleased tunes, reissued and remastered works, cover songs, live music, remixes, and collaborative recordings from The Flaming Lips with Mastodon, No Bunny, Blitzen Trapper, Arctic Monkeys, Obits, Jeff The Brotherhood, Rosie Thomas, Xiu Xiu, Dirty Beaches, Shuggie Otis. The following is a combination of MP3s, Soundcloud embeds and YouTube audio links, which you can use the built-in Yahoo media player to listen to right on this page by clicking the tiny play button to the left of each song title. The only tracks that can be saved are MP3s.
“A Spoonful Weighs A Ton” – Mastodon/The Flaming Lips from 7″ vinyl
“Skirts on Fire” – Blitzen Trapper from 7″ vinyl
“Hey Joe” (Billy Roberts) – Blitzen Trapper from 7″ vinyl. Note: The song was not written by Jimi Hendrix – he just recorded the best known cover version.
“You Gotta Lose” – Obits from Moody, Standard and Poor (RSD 2011; reissued on red vinyl for RSD 2012 due to popular demand)
“Give It To Me” – Nobunny from Give It To Me 7″
Double-shot: “Motorhead With Me!” – Nobunny from Give It To Me 7″
Vinyl Releases from Arctic Monkeys, Xiu Xiu, Dirty Beaches, Feist, Bruce Springsteen and Others
“R U Mine?” – Arctic Monkeys on 7″ Purple 45
“Sweet Thang” – Shuggie Otis from 7″
“Always” (Erasure) – Xiu Xiu split 7″ with Dirty Beaches
“Tu Ne Dis Rien” (Françoise Hardy) – Dirty Beaches split 7″ with Xiu Xiu
“Rocky Ground” – Bruce Springsteen from 7″ vinyl
“Commotion” (Feist) – Mastodon from split 7″
“Black Tongue” (Mastodon) – Feist from split 7″
View a list of participating Record Store Day outlets to find the indie record store closest to you. Even if you missed RSD, supporting your local record store is one way to contribute to your community, fight off the spread of chain stores (like Tower Records) and malls, and a great place to meet people, talk about music, find releases you may not discover otherwise, and get out of the house.
IRC’s post-RSD installments will continue as we discover more and more RSD releases in digital format – involves a lot of searching on search engines, but the sense of discovery is always rewarding, especially when we get to share them with our listeners. Also check out Vol. 1 of our RSD coverage, in case you missed it.