Christmas comes early for vinyl obsessives.
Saturday, to be exact.
That’s when the annual Record Store Day festivities take place.
It’s a day that celebrates indie music shops, and the coolest thing about the holiday is that hundreds of exclusive releases are made available only in record stores.
There are tons of great stuff coming out (check out the full list at www.recordstoreday.com).
Here are my top five:
■ Old 97s and Waylon Jennings, “S/T” double 7” disc: Back in ’96, outlaw country great Waylon Jennings checked out a show by his spiritual heirs in Old 97s. They hit it off and then hit the studio together. But then Jennings passed away, and the two songs they recorded seemed to die with him. But now, they’re finally being officially released, along with a couple of previously unavailable Old 97s demo tracks. Check ’em out, and hear how ol’ Watashi earned his nickname.
■ Bardo Pond, “Rise Above It All” 12”: These Philly space cadets like to take their time reducing frontal lobes to the consistency of mashed potatoes, their albums like psych rock sensory deprivation chambers. Here, they somehow tease even more righteous weirdness out of Funkadelic’s “Maggot Brain,” doubling its running time to 21 minutes, while also fleshing out Pharaoh Sanders’ “The Creator Has A Master Plan.” Turn on, tune in, drop everything else you’re doing.
■ Calexico, “Spintoso” 12”: Calexico released one of the best records of 2012 with the ineffable Americana of “Algiers.” The deluxe boxed-set version of the album came with this bonus disc of live songs recorded at a pair of shows in Vienna and Potsdam where the group performed with a full orchestra, which can now be had on its own. Hearing this band in a symphonic context is like hearing them for the first time.
■ The Black Keys/Stooges, “Side By Side: No Fun” 7”: This is part of a cool series of splits featuring a well-known song performed by the group that originally recorded it and then a cover from another band. In addition to The Black Keys disproving the title of the Stooges classic in question, Deep Purple and Type O Negative do “Highway Star,” The Doors and X take on “Soul Kitchen” and The Misfits and Lemonheads crush plenty of “Skulls.”
■ Codeine, “What About the Lonely” 12”: This is a live set from these postpunk mood setters recorded in Chicago in ’93. Codeine’s influence extended far beyond their brief time together; their intricate, emotive repertoire spawned the clumsily titled sadcore subgenre. You probably never got to experience them onstage. Right that wrong with this.
Contact reporter Jason Bracelin at email@example.com