Lines grew outside independent record stores all across the U.S. and the world this past weekend as vinyl enthusiasts and music lovers waited, sometimes for hours, to purchase limited edition vinyl records on the 5th anniversary of Record Store Day. Since its beginning in 2008, the annual Record Store Day event has become bigger, and more popular, with each passing year.
RSD is like a musical lottery to avid vinyl collectors and music lovers – the difference is, a lot more people come out winners, especially those that get to their local record store early, and have plenty of cash to buy up their favorite releases. Held each year on the third Saturday of April, Record Store Day is one day out of the year when a limited number of rare and unique vinyl singles, albums, EPs and box sets from all kinds of artists are available to purchase. Hundreds of participating record stores across the U.S. and the globe receive a limited number of vinyls to sell to customers; in most cases, that means first come, first serve.
If you missed RSD altogether, or there are RSD-only releases that you want for your record collection from bands like The White Stripes, Raveonettes, Wilco, Dinosaur Jr., Animal Collective, The Flaming Lips with Bon Iver, Chris Martin, Beach House, Dirty Projectors, Real Estate, IRC’s Record Store Day 2012 series of posts and playlists not only make it possible for people to listen to some of the special vinyl releases, but also to buy many of them as well (although they may not be the special RSD releases themselves). Rather than doing a guide before RSD, we decided to do it a bit differently this year – to wait until after. In addition to the fact that hundreds of music sites, blogs and newspaper sites provide the pre-RSD coverage and guides, one of the reasons we waited is so that we could put together MP3s, YouTube streams, Soundcloud links, and other audio files and videos of singles and albums released on RSD.
According to most of the dozens and dozens of news articles and blog posts we’ve read since RSD, 2012 was the biggest RSD since it started in 2008, with more indie record shops around the world participating, more artists and bands producing limited edition releases, and more copies of those releases – 95% of which are vinyl – being pressed and selling out faster than ever before. We are all for it because RSD has helped out so many indie record stores across the country and the world, and overall, since it’s beginning five years ago, vinyl sales are going through the roof (more on this later).
Continuing with a format employed in previous years (see our RSD 2011 and RSD 2010 features), we published a number of posts and playlist mixes highlighting our top picks among hundreds of special releases. While the vinyls from past years’ RSD releases may no longer be available (minus eBay and a few other outlets), many of the digital tracks are still working. So, if you’re new to Record Store Day, and would like to read about, and listen/download, tracks from previous years, in addition to those of 2012, we’ve got it covered.
This is the ugliest album cover of 2012 – a 5-year-old could have come up with a better cover than this.
We’ll be posting more RSD 2012 releases all week, so make sure to check back. Since there is so much conflicting information on the web about what releases came out on April 21, and which were just rumors, we spent a lot of time verifying information – so, you can be assured that the details about releases you read about in our RSD series are for real. In addition to highlighting special releases, we will also post album cover art, photos from stores on RSD, links to other cool resources, videos of in-store performances, and links to buy singles, albums, compilations, box sets and more from Amazon and other sources. So, if you missed a release, make sure to click on the linked titles in the series to easily and quickly purchase RSD releases (even though they may not be the limited edition releases in all cases). As more come in, we are compiling them and making them available for this special series.
Jack White released a limited 7″ red and black swirled color vinyl of The White Stripes‘ double-sided single: “Hand Springs/Red Death at 6:14” via his label, Third Man Records.
RSD Releases from The White Stripes, Jack White, Raveonettes, Wilco, Dinosaur Jr.,
“Hand Springs” – The White Stripes
“Red Death at 6:14” (Live) – The White Stripes, B side of special RSD release
Wilco released a limited number of their eighth album, The Whole Love, as a deluxe vinyl box set that includes the following:
“California Stars” – Wilco and Billy Bragg
“I Might” – Wilco from The Whole Love
Dinosaur Jr.’s J. Mascis and Built to Spill’s Brett Nelson Create Renditions of Dino Jr.’s Top Songs
Dinosaur Jr.‘s founder, and successful solo artist, J. Mascis teamed up with Built to Spill‘s bassist Brett Nelson to create rare synth pop renditions of Dinosaur Jr.’s most popular songs, such as “Little Fury Things” and “Feel The Pain.”
If you were not able to secure a copy on RSD last Saturday, you can still get these rare vinyl LP, titled The Electronic Anthology Project, for who knows how long; it goes without saving that this is a must-have for Dinosaur Jr. fans, and perhaps Built to Spill fans too. Also for a limited time, Stereogum has a full stream of the LP for your listening enjoyment – definitely not to miss for fans of Dinosaur Jr. We found one track from the LP, “Tarpit” via Soundcloud.
The Flaming Lips Join Up with ‘Heady Fwends’ to Create Unique Compilation
Whether you are a huge fan of The Flaming Lips or not, they sure make great albums. For RSD, the band put together a special double-disc LP compilation, The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends, featuring contributions from an array of popular artists, including Bon Iver, Christ Martin, My Morning Jacket, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Neon Indian, Yoko Ono, Erykah Badu and many others.
One of the things that many fans, and even fence-sitters, acknowledge is that The Flaming Lips are constantly working on completely unique, and attention-grabbing, musical projects that involve producing incredibly creative and conceptual original music, as well as compilations, collaborations, artwork, video, interactive and multi-media (there’s an old but still useful word) content – whether it’s with their flashy, one-of-kind concert performances or collaborations with ‘big-name’ artists and producers.
We can say with a fair degree of confidence that The Flaming Lips, and the four very talented veteran musicians of the band, have earned a space, in iconoclastic form, within the annals of popular music culture by delivering consistently compelling and memorable music for nearly 25 years now. The Flaming Lips are one of the most influential bands, yet ironically, impossible to imitate, bands of the past two decades. Their brilliant body of work, the full discography, is world famous. Plus, perhaps more than any other band of the modern era, they’ve made it OK for music, and live shows, to be fun, glitzy and weird, and yet at the same time, cool. There are few active bands in the world right now that pretty much have their own genre: it’s simply The Flaming Lips.
If you missed the special RSD release, The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends is still available right now on vinyl (but who knows for how much longer). Hopefully there will be made available MP3, CD and regular vinyl formats, but don’t count on it. Thank god this is still available via Amazon. Here is Bon Iver with The Flaming Lips performing “Ashes in the Air.”
Animal Collective Drop a Rare Vinyl Edition of Their Compelling 2010 Guggenheim Performance
Another iconic band, Animal Collective, issued a 12″ vinyl record that features live recordings – and original studio tracks – from the experimental synth rock trio’s March 2010 performance at New York‘s world famous Guggenheim Museum. For the show, Animal Collective members fed a computer program three separate, individually produced recordings to create what SPIN magazine described as a “multi-stemmed sonic mindfu*k.” The way it worked was that each member of the band produced individual sounds and songs which, over a course of two three-hour performances, were fed to the computer which randomized the track order, and also randomly combined stems from one song with stems from another songs.
The 12″ is accompanied by a website that allows fans to repeat the band’s experiment with their own tracks. Isn’t that crazy? You can also buy your own copy of Transverse Temporal Gyrus.
Watch the Animal Collective/Danny Perez video collaboration.
Stream Beach House’s RSD Advanced Single, ‘Lazuli’
Beach House officially released the first vinyl single “Lazuli,” (stream below) from their forthcoming new album, Bloom, set for release on May 15th. The limited RSD edition is a white vinyl 7″ with the B-side, unreleased track, “Equal Mind.”
From Amazon: Bloom is the fourth full length album by Baltimore-based Beach House. It builds on 2010s Teen Dream to further develop their distinctive sound yet stands apart as a new piece of work. Bloom is meant to be experienced as an ALBUM, a singular, unified vision of the world. The many layers of Bloom are uncomplicated and meticulously constructed to ensure there is no waste and was recorded in 2011 at Sonic Ranch Studios in Tornillo, TX and mixed at Electric Lady in NYC. The band co-produced the record with Chris Coady.
Pre-order Bloom via Amazon:
Beach House’s fourth album, Bloom, is available for pre-order as a CD or vinyl edition:
– Bloom in CD format – May 15th
– Bloom in vinyl format – May 15th
– Bloom CD [Import] – Features bonus track and pre-order price guaranteed. – May 22nd
– Bloom in MP3 format – not yet available
Or, you can use the built-in Yahoo Media Player to listen to “Lazuli”
Interestingly, lazuli is a precious, beautiful blue stone from Afghanistan, a color the label attempted to replicated for the vinyl 7 edition (as pictured above).
Dirty Projectors and Real Estate Among Contributors to Domino Records’ and Ribbon Music’s Amazing ‘FlexiZine,’ Smuggler’s Way
On April 20th, Dave Longstreth of the popular Brooklyn indie rock band Dirty Projectors Tweeted a link to a YouTube video that features a turntable spinning the band’s vinyl contribution to the new, limited edition vinyl packaged release, Smuggler’s Way, from Domino Records and Ribbon Music.
The Dirty Projectors’ track, “You Against The Larger World,” will not appear on the band’s upcoming new album, Swing Lo Magellan, set to drop on July 10th. In his Twitter message, Longstreth elaborated: “I wrote a ton of songs when we were upstate last year. Here’s one that didn’t go further than the demo.” Listen to it here via Soundcloud.
The New Jersey indie rock band, Real Estate, also contributed an unreleased, exclusive song, “In My Car,” which is available to stream below. The RSD special packaged set contains five multi-colored vinyl flexi-discs of previously unreleased songs from Dirty Projectors, Real Estate, Villagers, Cass McCombs, and John Maus. The limited edition package also contains 24 pages of original art and prose from other artists, including illustrations from The Kills’ Alison Mosshart and Twin Sister’s Andrea Estella, an original score arranged by Owen Pallett, a poem by Laura Marling, and writings from Real Estate’s Alex Bleeker and Wild Beasts’ Tom Fleming. We were practically drooling when we got home and opened it up; seriously, we felt like kids on Christmas again. And the songs are all fantastic, and of course sound spectacular on a vinyl. It’s really encouraging to see the resurgence of vinyl by a new generation of music lovers – people are realizing when it comes to the music they love the most, nothing sounds better than vinyl, not even CDs.
The great news is that if you couldn’t get your hands on Smuggler’s Way, it’s available now as a pre-order from Amazon for $22.93, and set to ship on May 8th, but you can receive it on May 8th if you select the expedited shipping.
Each of the songs come on a separate 7″ 45 RPM color vinyl record, which look awesome. The vinyls themselves are worth getting, but the fact that Domino and Ribbon went all-out on this with the 24-page booklet, the compelling artwork, and writings by different artists, we think raises the bar for limited edition special vinyl packages. View the special Tumblr page that was created for Smuggler’s Way – it makes a damn good case for any record collector, or fan of one or more of the featured artists, to grab a copy before it goes out of print.
Smuggler’s Way Tracklisting:
1. Dirty Projectors – You Against The Larger World
2. Real Estate – In My Car
3. Cass McCombs – Teachers
4. John Maus – No Title (Molly)
5. Villagers – Shards