It’s Record Store Day again on April 21, and, what with Austin home to way more than its fair share of stores, you can make a day of it, driving around to various locales and nabbing what you can.
You can check for participating stores here.
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Here is a list of what we’re excited about. This is not nearly all of the releases potentially out there. That list can be found here.
Not every store will have everything. Good hunting.
David Bowie, “Welcome To The Blackout (Live in London ’78)” (Parlophone)
There are a mess of Bowie releases this year. “Welcome to the Blackout” is a 3 lp live set recorded June 30 and July 1, 1978 at Earls Court, London by longtime Bowie producer Tony Visconti.
A recording of a date on the “Low”/”Heroes” Tour, “Blackout” can perhaps be seen as a companion piece to the not-terrible live album “Stage.” This LP sleeve features Bowie’s arm stretched out holding a mic, but also kind of looks like our man seig-heling from a few years after an era when that was weirdly an issue for him. Could be incredible.
Other Bowie stuff: “Bowie Now” reissues a formerly promo-only Berlin-era comp, “David Bowie” is a double LP reissue of his 1967 debut, in mono and stereo, and the completely excellent “Let’s Dance (Full Length Demo)” is a 45 rpm 12’’ single of exactly that with live versions on the B.
Johnny Cash, “At Folsom Prison: 50th Anniversary Legacy Edition box set (Legacy)”
This five-LP set includes both full Folsom concerts (including performances by June Carter, Carl Perkins and The Statler Brothers), a deluxe hardshell slipcase with an eight page, 12" x 12" booklet, and also includes a bonus 12" single featuring previously unreleased audio of Cash and friends rehearsing at the El Rancho Motel in Sacramento, CA the night before the concerts. Probably pricey, but pretty nifty if you are a Cash/country/Americana nerd.
Stef Chura, “Degrees”/”Sour Honey” (Saddle Creek)
Two tracks of indie rock recorded with Will Toledo (Car Seat Headrest).
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Common, Can I Borrow a Dollar? (Nature Sounds)
Here is the Chicago rapper's 1992 debut, featuring production by the increasingly-legendary No I.D. This 25th anniversary edition also includes a bonus 7” featuring the rare B-side “Can-I-Bust” and the instrumental for the single “Breaker 1/9”.
The Cure – “Mixed Up” and “Torn Down (Mixed Up Extra)” (Elektra)
RSD is often dominated by reissues or live albums -- the Cure has done something a little different. They’ve reissued their 1990 remix album “Mixed Up” on double LP (first time on wax for this thing) as well as a new set called “Torn Down” comprised of sixteen new remixes by Robert Smith including "Three Imaginary Boys", "Just One Kiss" and "Never Enough," “Shake Dog Shake,” “Plainsong,” “”M” and more. Pretty much my no. 1 RSD pick.
Ella Fitzgerald, “Ella At Zardi's” (Verve).
This previously unknown live set was released on CD and digital last December, a two-hour, 21-song concert with pianist Don Abney, bassist Vernon Alley and drummer Frank Capp. Ella At Zardi's was planned as Verve 's inaugural release but shelved in favor of the now-classic studio album “Ella Fitzgerald Sings The Cole Porter Song Book."?
Ben Kweller, “Sha Sha” (ATO)
This Austin-transplant songwriter’s 2002 debut has been out of print on wax for over a decade.
Merzbow, Mats Gustafsson, Thurston Moore, Balazs Pandi, “Cuts Up, Cuts Out” (Rarenoiserecords)
Hey, kiddos, have some (somewhat? vaguely? not at all?) organized noise. Check out the second LP by former Sonic Youth guitarist/tall guy Thurston Moore, Japanese noise savant master Masami Akita (a.k.a. Merzbow), Swedish saxophone colossus Mats Gustafsson, and Hungarian drummer Balazs Pandi.
Nas, “illmatic: Live From The Kennedy Center” (Mass Appeal)
In 2014, 20 years after our man’s game-changing debut “Illmatic” hit record stores, Nas took to the Kennedy Center stage with the National Symphony Orchestra for a symphonic version of “illmatic.” Here is the performance, first time on wax.
Doris Norton, “Personal Computer” (Mannequin)
Pioneering album from this electronic composer. Note the famous logo on the LP sleeve -- the Italian-born Norton was Apple’s first music “endorsement.” The sound of the future in 1984. RIYL: vintage synth stuff, Autechre, monorails.
Prince, “1999” (Warner Bros.)
Aweird one here -- A reissue of the seven-song, single LP version of the legendary “1999” double LP. Why would you want this, you might ask. Record collectors thrive on redundancy and variation. Also, it’s not like the album hasn’t been edited before. (Remember when “D.M.S.R.” was left off the first edition of the CD? Yeah, that happened, kids. The ‘80s were wild.)
Spectrum, “Highs, Lows & Heavenly Blows” (Medical)
Former Spacemen 3 frontguy/multi-instrumentalist/drone nerd Pete "Sonic Boom" Kember has released a whole host of records over the years under his own name and the Spectrum moniker. This 1994 LP might be his finest hour as a solo act -- gorgeous melodies and solid songs all set for maximum bliss-out.
The Stooges, The Stooges (Detroit Edition) (Elektra)
Here is the Stooges self-titled debut album with a second LP of alternate takes previously released on the from double CD, Rhino Handmade reissue from 2010. Until now, you could only buy this version at Third Man stores in Detroit and Nashville.
The Sundays, “Reading, Writing and Arithmetic” (Fugitive)
The band’s gold-selling 1990 debut featuring the modern rock radio fixture "Here's Where The Story Ends.” Remember when everyone thought they kind of sounded like the Smiths with a woman singing? Good times.
Sun Ra, “Standards” (ORG)
Another year, another weirdly large number of Sun Ra records on RSD. First we have “Standards,” an LP reissue of six songs recorded in 1955 and 1962 showing that yes, one of the most out-there talents to ever touch a keyboard was firming rooted in jazz tradition.
Then there are two offerings from the Modern Harmonic label. “The Cymbals/Symbols Sessions: New York City 1973,” (LP and CD) which offers a session for Impluse! some of which has floated around on CD -- this sets puts all the tracks together with previously unheard material, while “Astro Black” is a long-out-of-print 1972 Impulse! Album. Jackpot Records brings us “Pine Street Theatre, Oct 18th, 1988,” a previously unreleased live set.
S U R V I V E, “RR7400” (Relapse)
An homage to Peel Sessions from the Austin outfit that scores “Stranger Things,” here are songs from their live set as recorded at Red Bull Studios in Los Angeles April 17, 2017.
Frank Wilson’s “Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)” b/w “Sweeter As The Days Go By” 7” (Third Man)
Best known as a Motown producer, Wilson cut this single when he was toying with a career as an artist. When Wilson decided to become a producer, Berry Gordy took the single off the scheduale. Bootlegged copies of the test pressing became a Holy Grailk for serious soul nerds. According to the label, “a third pristine test pressing appeared in the recent past at Melodies & Memories in East Point, Michigan, and was subsequently sold by record owners Denise and Dan Zieja to Jack White,” whose Third Man Records has reissued it.
Neil Young, “Tonight's The Night Live At The Roxy” (Warner Bros.)
When the Roxy opened in Los Angeles in 1973, it invited Young and his then-band, the Santa Monica Flyers, to play its inaugural live act. Young, multi-instrumentalist Nils Lofgren, pedal steel player Ben Keith, bassist section Billy Talbot and drummer Ralph Molina had been jamming for some time on songs inspired in part by the recent deaths of Crazy Horse guitarist Danny Whitten and roadie Bruce Berry. These tunes would eventually become the emotionally wrenching “Tonight’s the Night,” a cornerstone album of the whole Neil Young mythos. But they were played here first.