Rejoice, for Record Store Day is upon us.
Too much? Look, I despise Black Friday and the idea that Coloradans camped out for the opening of an H&M. Raging consumerism is hard to watch -- or even acknowledge. But damnit, when Record Store Day rolls around I'm more or less throwing money at people. I am a sucker for rarities and special packages, even though I know they're designed specifically to lure fools like me.
The problem -- and I bet many of you can sympathize, here -- is that I don't really have any money. Faced with limited-edition box set of every LCD Soundsystem record that includes previously unheard cuts, handwritten liner notes and drinks with James Murphy for just $500, I'd have to say no (or drop everything in the hope that I could convince him to start a band with me).
Let's take a trip to a fantasy world in which we can buy all the vinyl we want. Here are some exciting Record Store Day releases. Try to snatch up at least one of them. Unless it's the last one and I'm there. Don't make me fight you.
Third Man Records Vault Package:
First of all, if I had any talent and the kind of disposable income I could throw to plane tickets ... well, I'd probably do a lot of other things, but first I'd fly out to Nashville to record myself on vinyl at Third Man Records. They're really doing that.
The more realistic option is picking up this Vault Package. It includes Nine Miles From the White City; a two LP live set the White Stripes played in Chicago in 2003; a 7" of Jack White's demos for "I Want to Be the Boy to Warm Your Mother's Heart" and "Little Acorns," and a 56-page book of photos taken while the White Stripes recorded Elephant.
This is all in honor of the 10-year anniversary of Elephant, but you'll have to buy the album's reissue separately, it seems.
GZA, Liquid Swords box set:
This is no time to argue over the best Wu-Tang solo record, but GZA's Liquid Swords usually gets that title. Agree or disagree, it's still very good and worth owning.
Plus, this box set is also ridiculous in a great way: The box is also a chessboard. There are wooden chess pieces inside.
The game is a strong motif on the record, so I guess it's only logical that we play while listening.
In addition to the original record, the set comes with an instrumental version spread across four LPs, liner notes from GZA and extra artwork.
MGMT, "Alien Days" cassette single:
I know, I know. Even though it's a younger medium, the cassette is basically obsolete unless you drive an old car. If you've got a way to play this thing, though, it's a cool piece of merch and a teaser for MGMT's long-awaited third album.
Brian Eno x Nicolas Jaar x Grizzly Bear:
This is pretty straightforward. Brian Eno and Grizzly Bear put their songs "Lux" and "Sleeping Ute," respectively," in Nicolas Jaar's capable hands for the remix treatment. Nothing flashy, but it is a limited release of just 2,000 copies.
Jimi Hendrix, "Hey Joe" b/w "Stone Free":
The original mono mixes haven't been released since 1966. Sweet.
The Stooges, "No Fun" and the Black Keys, "No Fun":
This 45 is part of the Warner Brothers' "Side by Side" series that puts an old original and a new cover on one pressing. Explore them all, but this one is particularly good.
There is so, so much more, so check out recordstoreday.com for a full list. Good luck.