Critical Mob's Record Store Day Picks
The stuff to stand on line for.
Now in its fifth year, Record Store Day (this Saturday, April 21) has grown from a mere attempt to boost the vinyl format to a full-blown cultural event. A kind of Black Friday for fans and collectors alike, it elicits a feeding frenzy among vinyl enthusiasts with exclusive releases, B-side rarities and unlikely collaborative efforts. With over 700 independent record stores now participating across the U.S, you'll need to strategize beforehand to get your hands on the good stuff. Recognizing this need, the organizers even launched an app to help those streamline their scouting efforts. This is not a day to leisurely dig through crates. In addition to some notable re-releases by some of the greats (Patti Smith, David Bowie, James Brown, The Clash, just to name a few), here are a few records worth waiting in line for.
[Editor's note: Bear in mind that not all participating stores get all releases, and that quantities on many items are extremely limited. Please contact your participating stores before Saturday to get a better idea of what they have and how many are on hand.]
Public Image Ltd.
Finally throwing their fans a bone after 20 years, Public Image LTD is releasing a four-song EP as a teaser to their full length album This is PiL, which will be released in May or June. After listening to John Lydon sing "we are ageless" on the new dub-style single "One Drop," I actually believe him.
Empire Records Soundtrack
Every child of the '90s probably has a scratched CD copy of this tucked away somewhere, but you can't put a price on a piece of pressed nostalgia. Especially when it's neon orange vinyl.
Lou Reed -- Rock N Roll Animal
Just in time to soothe the wounds of his questionable Loutallica project, Lou Reed offers two classic reissues for RSD: his David Bowie-produced commercial breakthrough Transformer and the fan favorite Rock N Roll Animal. Recorded in New York in December 1973, Animal was once described as "a live album with a reason for living" by esteemed rock critic Robert Christgau, and, with the twin-axe attack of Dick Wagner and Steve Hunter, is one of the greatest guitar records of all time. Just be prepared to have "Sweet Jane" stuck in your head all over again.
Ryan Adams -- "Heartbreak A Stranger" b/w "Black Sheets Of Rain"
Featuring two standout tracks from last year's celebrated Bob Mould tribute show in Los Angeles, these two recordings capture the element of Adams' raw live performance.
The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends
Perhaps the most surprising RSD release, The Flaming Lips traveled cross-country to round-up a band of rag-tag musicians to form some very unlikely musical collaborations. Mixing musical genres with abandon, the record features everyone from Erykah Badu, Yoko Ono, Nick Cave and even Chris Martin of Coldplay. While Ke$ha, Biz Markie, and Wayne Coyne might make for strange bedfellows, we'll just have to wait and see until April 21.