What to look for at Record Store Day 2014

A thorough guide to the best product up for grabs this Saturday.

Joy Division
We hope you’ve been saving up for this weekend’s annual vinyl windfall: Record Store Day!

On Saturday, April 19, the local shops will be overflowing with people and the wax they want to buy: there are hundreds of exclusives and premieres produced for this international event.

Seven years in, Record Store Day has become pretty mainstream, with lots of major labels and bands jumping on board — Disney and One Direction have RSD releases this year — and the flow of boring classic rock is neverending.

So we’ve narrowed the lengthy list of releases down to the best and in some cases weirdest records coming to a wax shack near you. (Note that the following are somewhat attainable, exclusive RSD records, with runs of 1,000 or more. Among the artists issuing smaller/regional runs are Eric B. & Rakim, Crosses, Crystal Antlers, the Darcys, Django Django, the Dodos, Ex-Cult, Sky Ferreira, Peter Murphy, Neon Neon, Public Enemy, the Sam Roberts Band, School of Seven Bells, Omar Souleyman, Spaceman 3 and Spoon. But don’t get your hopes up for those.)
Black Lips, “Funny” (Vice)
Format: 7″
Run: 1,000
This single will feature album and non-album versions of a pretty killer track by the Atlanta band. Listen here.
david-bowie-1984-picture-discDavid Bowie, “1984”/”1984″ live on The Dick Cavett Show (Rhino)
Format: 7″ picture disc
Run: 4,000
A track from Bowie’s 1974 Orwell-referencing quasi-rock opera soundtrack (someone should produce that for Broadway), Diamond Dogs, with a live TV version on the B-side. Luckily the mountains of cocaine that Bowie was ingesting at the time didn’t ruin his voice — it’s one of his least awful TV appearance from that period. Watch it here.
Broken Bells, “Holding on for Life” (Columbia)
Format: 12″
Run: 4,000
Broken Bells is Shins singer James Mercer and Danger Mouse, that musical slut. This track is on the band’s latest, sophomore record, After the Disco, but it’s got three exclusive remixes and instrumental and a cappella versions of the song (which is not their best — put it on a mix for your mom). Watch the video, starring Kate Mara, here.
Chvrches, Recover EP (Glassnote)
Format: 12″ clear orange vinyl, hand-numbered bootleg sleeve
Run: 2,300
The debut release by the Scottish band, which preceded their 2013 LP The Bones of What You Believe, was never released in North America — until now.
Cut Copy, “In These Arms of Love”/”Like Any Other Day” (Modular/Republic)
Format: 10″ (the format that time nearly forgot)
Run: 2,000
Two new tracks by the Australian electro-pop band. Listen to the A-side here.
de2Devo, Live at Max’s Kansas City 1977 (Jackpot)
Format: 12″
Run: 2,000
The art-rock weirdos in their early days, performing at one of NYC’s legendary punk venues, introduced by David Bowie.
Disclosure, “Apollo” (Cherrytree/Interscope)
Format: 12″
Run: 2,500
The British dance music outfit has never released this track in a physical format until now. Listen to it here.
The Dodos, Yours Truly Sessions (Polyvinyl)
Format: yellow 7″, with download code
Run: 1,000
The band recorded these songs with the Magik Magik Orchestra last summer, in John Vanderslice’s Tiny Telephone studio in San Francisco. See some video from the session here.
Dinosaur Jr., “Just Like Heaven” (Rhino)
Format: 7″ white vinyl
Run: 5,000
As part of the Side by Side series, the original Cure song is featured back to back with a cover by J Mascis & co. See (most of) a video for the cover, feat. a gaggle of Muppet-like critters, here.
haim_grandeHaim, “Forever” (Columbia)
Format: 12″
Run: 3,500
This is one of the better tracks by the kind of overrated sister rock band from California, and this single features a remix by Giorgio Moroder! See the video for the original song here.
Hamilton Leithauser, “Alexandra”/”In the Shadows” (Ribbon Music)
Format: 7″
Run: 2,000
The debut album by the singer from the Walkmen, Black Hours, is being released by Ribbon on May 6. See the video for the A-side here.
Mayer Hawthorne/Shintaro Sakamoto, “Wine Glass Woman” / “In a Phantom” (Republic) Format: 7″
Run: 2,500
Hear these L.A./Detroit and Tokyo bros cover each other’s songs, right here.
Hüsker Dü, Candy Apple Grey (Rhino)
Format: 12″ grey vinyl
Run: 1,750
This is a reissue of the influential American punk/alt-rock band’s fifth album, from 1986.
Chuck Inglish, with Mac Miller & Ab-Soul, Action Bronson, Chromeo and Chance the Rapper (Federal Prism)
Format: 4 x 7″ (sold separately)
Run: 1,200 each, different colours
Chuck Inglish is one half of alt-hip hop duo the Cool Kids. Each of these collab singles comes with a free copy of Inglish’s new album, Convertibles.
J Spaceman & Kid Millions, Live at Poisson Lounge (Northern Spy)
Format: 12″
Run: 3,000
It’s J Spaceman (aka Jason Pierce of Spacemen 3 & Spiritualized) and Oneida’s Kid Millions, and if you know what they’re capable of separately, you’ll want to hear their collaboration. Their label describes it as “part spaced-out drone vibes with Kid’s drums bubbling under the surface and part hallucinatory jamming, free and ecstatic.”
Joan Jett RSDJoan Jett and the Blackhearts, Glorious Results of a Misspent Youth (Blackheart)
Format: 12″ pink vinyl
Run: 4,000
A reissue of the legendary rockeuse’s 1984 album, feat. her version of her previous band’s classic, “Cherry Bomb.”
Joy Division, An Ideal for Living (Rhino)
Manchester’s finest made an EP in 1978, and though it doesn’t match the quality of the music they’d produce just a year later, it’s an interesting punk artifact, newly mastered at Abbey Road by one of the band’s engineers, Frank Arkwright — listen here. Note that the Hitler Youth-ish original artwork has been replaced with a close-up of scaffolding.
David Lynch, The Air Is on Fire (Sacred Bones)
Format: 12″
Run: 1,000
This is the soundtrack to a 2007 retrospective of visual art by filmmaker David Lynch at the Fondation Cartier in Paris, co-composed with Dean Hurley. Scare your neighbours with this shit.
Mazzy Star, “I’m Less Here”/”Things” (Rhymes of an Hour)
Format: “Coke-bottle-clear” 7″
Run: 3,000
Based on this trailer, the brand new material by this ’90s psychedelic roots-noir band sounds remarkably like their old stuff. Considering how disappointing their 2013 comeback record was, that’s a good thing.
Nirvana, “Pennyroyal Tea”/”I Hate Myself and Want to Die” (Geffen)
Format: 7″
Run: 6,000
Geffen’s original plan to release this single was scrapped after Cobain’s suicide, but with the anniversary of that having just passed, it still feels a tad too soon.
Of Montreal, Satanic Panic in the Attic/”Jigsaw Puzzle” (Polyvinyl)
Format: 2 x 12″ and 7″, respectively
This Athens, GA band marks the 10th anniversary of the release of Satanic Panic with a reissue featuring unreleased tracks from its sessions, as well as an outtake from their latest LP, Lousy With Sylvianbriar, a duet with Rebecca Cash. Listen to it here.
Learn-To-ObeyOFF!, “Learn to Obey” (Vice)
Format: 7″
Run: 2,000
Having just released an album called Wasted Years, the band led by Black Flag/Circle Jerks singer Keith Morris is putting out more new music: a single with sleeve art by Shepard Fairey. Listen to it here.
The Pixies, Indie Cindy (PIAS America)
Format: 12″
Run: unknown
Ten days prior to the official release of their first LP in 23 years, the Pixies and their label are making it available on 180-gram double-vinyl with a deluxe gatefold sleeve.
Harry Dean Stanton, Partly Fiction (Omnivore)
Format: 7″ picture disc
Run: 1,000
This disc features renditions of classic American folk songs from the soundtrack of a 2012 documentary about the American character actor who’s appeared in a long list of art house and mainstream films. Yup, Stanton sings! Here’s a taste.
The Stranglers, “Peaches”/”Go Buddy Go”
Format: 7″ green vinyl
Run: 1,000
The ultra-sleazy 1977 single by one of England’s weirder classic punk bands.
The Velvet Underground, Loaded (Rhino)
Format: 12″ pink, black and white splatter vinyl
Run: 3,000
This is a reissue of the 1970 album by the grandaddies of alt, originally released by Cotillion.
Link Wray Slinky! - FrontLink Wray, “Slinky”/”Rendez-vous” (Sundazed)
Format: 7″
Run: 2,000
A pair of tracks by the legendary rock ‘n’ roll guitarist. Listen to his 1959 track “Slinky” here.
Xiu Xiu, Unclouded Sky (Polyvinyl)
Format: 12″
Run: 1,000
Last summer, Xiu Xiu singer Jamie Stewart recorded this set of American and Caribbean spirituals over one day at Sigur Ros’s studio in Iceland, using a 1953 Silvertone guitar given to him by his father, “the man who introduced him to religious thought and folk music.” If you know Xiu Xiu, you also know how disturbing that sounds. Have a listen.
The Zombies, I Love You (Varese Sarabonde)
Format: 12″
Run: 2,500
The ’60s psych-pop band’s 1967 masterpiece Odessey & Oracle is also getting a RSD release this year, but this Japanese& Dutch 1965 compilation of early hits by the British Invasion band (like this one) is seeing the light in North America for the first time. ■
To see what’s happening in Montreal shops for Record Store Day 2014, click here