a guide to Record Store Day 2014 releases
by Andrew Sacher and Bill Pearis
Record Store Day 2014 is Saturday (4/19) and there are upwards of 800 RSD exclusive titles released worldwide this year. Which is clearly too many. But if you're reading this now you're probably at least thinking of going out and joining the throngs of music fans, record collectors, and eBay types trying to get all the stuff on their list. Or maybe you're going out to check out some in-store performances, or just hoping to have a couple free beers.
We've already written about a whole lot things being released this year. But we've got more. BV editors Andrew Sacher and Bill Pearis each picked 11 RSD exclusives they think are worth the dough. (Ten just wasn't enough.) What titles are you looking for this year?
Their respective lists, along with some streams, below...
Circa Survive/Sunny Day Real Estate - Split 7"
Legendary emo pioneers Sunny Day Real Estate haven't released new music since 2000's The Rising Tide LP, but that will change this year on Record Store Day. This split contains "Lipton Witch," the band's first new song in 14 years.
Devo - Live at Max's Kansas City
Not that Devo didn't make great music throughout their career, but their early art punk period remains my favorite of the band's eras. And as many indie fans surely know, this is the stuff that predates and unfairly lives in the shadow of "Whip It." (That song is great too, just stop calling them a one hit wonder). So getting a live recording from that era, not to mention one recorded at one of NYC's most classic punk venues in its prime era, will surely be a treat.
Die Kreuzen - Cows and Beers
Die Kreuzen's 1982 Cows and Beers EP, the debut release from this now-legendary Milwaukee alternative rock band, captures them at their most bare-bones, fast and loud brand of hardcore (it's 6 songs in under 7 minutes). The EP has been heavily bootlegged over the years, but this RSD reissue is its first official release in nearly three decades.
J Spaceman & Kid Millions - Live at Le Poisson Rouge
After Spiritualized's Webster Hall show in 2013, main man Jason Pierce (aka J. Spaceman) played a stripped down set at NYC's Le Poisson Rouge with Oneida drummer (and touring Spiritualized drummer) Kid Millions a day later (check out our pictures). Now, that show will be immortalized on 12" vinyl, courtesy of Northern Spy.
Jorma Kaukonen - Quah
After the breakup of veteran psych rock band Jefferson Airplane, Jorma Kaukonen focused on his blues duo Hot Tuna (with Airplane bassist Jack Casady), but then took time in 1974 to go solo with Quah, one of the finest gems of '70s folk and essential listening for any fans of folk, blues and psychedelia. It's not impossible to find a copy of this one, but the RSD reissue will be limited to 2500 copies and comes on "Sunshine Yellow" vinyl.
Merchandise, Destruction Unit & Milk Music - USA '13
WIth the internet, nothing is truly "underground" anymore, but when Merchandise, Destruction Unit, and Milk Music toured the US last year, it at least felt like they were gracing venues with proof that America's underground is still thriving, and still weird. That tour will be celebrated with this three-way split LP from the bands, which includes some of Merchandise's first recordings with new drummer Elser Nino, a zine by D Unit's J.S. Aurelius, and artwork from ZZ Ramirez of their pals The Ukiah Drag.
Nirvana - Pennyroyal Tea/I Hate Myself and Want To Die
There's nothing here songwise that anyone with a copy of In Utero and a Nirvana bootleg (or an internet connection) hasn't heard, but this is the 7" single that would have come out in 1994 had Kurt not died, so it's a pretty big one for collectors, completists, and fanatics.
Bis - Data Panik Etcetera
Scottish electropunk/indie pop trio Bis initially broke up in 2003, two years after the release of their last album, 2001's Return to Central. The band has been back together since 2009, and this year they'll release Data Panik Etcetera, their first album since reuniting and first in general since 2001. The album gets a standard release on May 5, but if you want it before then, you can pick up the early release on Record Store Day. The new stuff sounds good too. Take a listen to the single "Rulers and the States" below.
R.E.M. - Unplugged: The Complete 1991 and 2001 Sessions
Alternative rock pioneers R.E.M. are compiling the complete recordings from their 1991 and 2001 MTV Unplugged sessions, including 11 songs that were left out of the original MTV broadcasts. It's coming out as a four-disc vinyl set.
Various Artists - Faux Real
Father/Daughter Records is putting out this compilation on 12" vinyl with covers by some exciting new indie bands of songs from movies/TV shows originally made famous by fictional bands. It includes Sadie from Speedy Ortiz covering Josie and the Pussy Cats, Potty Mouth covering Pink Slip (Freaky Friday), Radiator Hospital covering The Cattanooga Cats, Field Mouse covering The Oneders (That Thing You Do), and more.
Songs: Ohia - Journey On: Collected Singles
The great Jason Molina passed away far too soon last year, and now to celebrate his life Secretly Canadian are releasing a rare box set of nine 7" singles from his Songs: Ohia project. It comes with a CD with all the tracks, a 24-page book, and a "custom 7″ turntable adaptor with the iconic Songs: Ohia crossbow logo lazer-etched in wood." It's a pretty beautiful-looking box set, especially for collectors. More info and more pics here.
My #1 most-wanted RSD item -- Kanine's reissue of Elastica's debut album -- got bumped because record pressing plants couldn't get it done in time, so it will come out next month when you don't have to wake up at 9AM in hopes of getting it. I'm okay with that! Here's some other stuff worth looking out for.
Liars - "Mess on a Mission"
The standout cut from one of the year's best albums on clear vinyl pressed with colored yarn embeded in it.
Life Without Buildings - Any Other City
Not enough people heard Life Without Buildings' twitchy beautiful debut album when it was released in 2001, predating the postpunk revivial by a couple years. (The Scottish band broke up right when it was starting to take hold.) Here's a chance to revisit.
Metronomy - "Love Letters" (Soulwax remix) 12"
Last year's Record Store Day offered up a Soulwax remix of "After You" and this year the Dewaele brothers tackle the title track from Metronomy's new album, totally reinventing it as a disco stormer.
William Onyeabor - WHAT?!
One of 2013's coolest reissues was Who is William Onyeabor? that shed light on the Nigerian synth funk pioneer. Now his songs get remixed, reimagined and covered by the likes of Hot Chip, Vaccines, Javelin and more.
Alexander Robotnick - Vintage Robotnicks LP / Medical Records - Electroconvulsive Therapy Vol.2
Fans of quirky new wave/synthpop from foreign countries will want to pick up both of these reissues hilighting Italy's fervent early-'80s electronic disco scene. The Alexander Robotnick collection is sleazy electro (and probably the more crucial of the two), but Electroconvulsive Therapy Vol.2 has some gems on it too, many of which sound like Italian Depeche Mode or Yaz.
Scharpling & Wurster - Rock, Rot & Rule
Originally released in 2003, this is a couple of Tom Scharpling and Jon Wurster's most famous early bits from WFMU's "The Best Show." Wurster is rock critic Ronald Thomas Clontle whose book Rock Rot & Rule is the "ultimate argument settler."
Various Artists - POP YEH YEH - PSYCHEDELIC ROCK FROM SINGAPORE AND MALAYSIA 1964-1970: VOL. 1
The title of this compilation pretty much tells you what this is all about, that it's awesome is merely implied. One of last year's best CD reissues comes to vinyl.
Various Artists - Non Violent Femmes
Kanine Records collects some of today's best female-led bands -- including Speedy Ortiz, Eternal Summers, Bleeding Rainbow, Beach Day, Tashaki Miyaki, Joanna Gruesome and more -- for exclusive tracks.
Various Artists - DUNEDIN DOUBLE 2x7"
Captured Tracks is actually putting out a slew of amazing 7" reissues for RSD but the "Dunedin Double" is maybe the coolest. The Chills, Sneaky Feelings, The Stones, and The Verlaines recorded this over two weekends in 1982, giving each band three songs a side. Originals of this fetch upwards of $200.
THE MUPPET MOVIE OST
Paul Williams wrote all the songs -- "The Rainbow Connection," "Moving Right Along" etc -- for Jim Henson's Muppets first foray on the big screen. If you've been hoping that someday you'd find it...here it is.
Also check out some of the metal releases for RSD over at Invisible Oranges.
Song streams from some of the RSD items in our lists, below...
Life Without Buildings - Any Other City
Metronomy - "Love Letters" (Soulwax Remix)
Alexander Robotnick - "Vintage Robotnicks" (Sampler) Medical Records
Electroconvulsive Therapy Vol 2 - Fuzz Dance (Sampler) - Medical Records
Pop Yeh Yeh
Destruction Unit - "Feed the Dogs"