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Previewing Record Store Day 2013

by Ryan Snyder

‘ ryan@yesweekly.com

Never mind the fabulous coincidence of falling on another erstwhile sacred day, Record Store Day 2013 on Saturday, April 20 is no longer just a reason to geek out over the limited-supply swag that record labels pack in with 180-gram reissues of great albums, nor is it just for vinylholics to pop a band at their local purveyor. The fifth annual Record Store Day in the Triad will be, in a way, it is like Christmas for retailers like CFBG in Greensboro and Earshot Music in Winston-Salem: You give them money for records, they give you an in-store acoustic performance by indie folk singer Matt Costa (Earshot, tentatively at noon) or live DJs spinning all day long (CFBG). But really, it’s about the records: heavyweight vinyl in more color tones than Brooks Brothers could ever imagine, inserts of more textbook-level historical detail, and just plain weird collaborations between vaguely related artists — and almost all of these can be found at one store or the other.

GZA — Liquid Swords Having the album’s glorious instrumentals on 180-gram vinyl is a coup in and of itself, but that this hip-hop masterpiece will come housed in a 12-by-12-inch box that doubles as a chess board, complete with playing pieces, makes it among this year’s most creative commodities.

Cream —Royal Albert Hall London May 2-3-5-6, 2005 Thirty-five years in between gigs might not be enough time for three guys who hate each other — or really two guys who hate one guy — to smooth things over, so this two-album set is hitchy at times, but when the songs are this good, it doesn’t really matter if there’s a little grudge-screwing going on.

Porno for Pyros — S/T 20th Anniversary Edition There will always be something about Porno for Pyros’ heavy-handed artiness that will annoy a certain subset of Jane’s Addiction fans, though that’s mainly in how Good God’s Urge tried to bastardize its forebearers’ punk urgency while keeping Perry Farrell’s newfound soul man vocal style from the self-titled. That self-titled, however, remains an underappreciated gem for how it said “F it” amidst the rather dour grunge takeover. It’s 20th anniversary reissue on tie-dye vinyl gives the woozy stoner croon that little bit of extra grooviness, just don’t stare at it for too long while it plays.

REM — Live In Greensboro Don’t think for a minute that just because you own the vinyl reissue of Green that comes with a plate of most of their 1989 Greensboro Coliseum performance and the five-track, limitedpress EP Live in Greensboro which contains the overflow that you have that entire concert. Left out entirely are the Syd Barrett, Velvet Underground and Hugo Largo covers that absolve them of royalty issues. But hey, it’s got Greensboro on it!

Flaming Lips — Zaireeka Never before has there been a more useless offering on vinyl than the fouralbum set from the Flaming Lips entitled Zaireeka. It was recorded with the intent of each of its four parts being played concurrently, which presents obvious difficulties in a wax format. Maybe support your local DJ (or two)?

Notorious BIG — Ready to Die Picture yourself rolling on dubs built around the cream white vinyl of the nearly 20th anniversary reprint of one of the gangsterest records ever made. There’s unquestionably more utility value in owning four copies of this than the four turntables needed to play Zaireeka.

Eric Church — Caught In the Act A bonus 7-inch accompaniment to his recent (and quite good live album), there was Jack Daniels poured into the mix while it was pressed. Jack Daniels!

Shuggie Otis — Introducing Shuggie Otis All one needs to know about Shuggie Otis is that A) He wrote and originally recorded “Strawberry Letter 23” that the Brothers Johnson made famous and B) Roots’ drummer Questlove said of him “[He’s] the unsung hero of blues and funk. His music is so potent that it only blossomed 30 years after it was first released.”

R. Kelly — Trapped in the Closet There’s scant information available about R. Kelly’s madcap soap opera being released on vinyl, other than it’s an LP set with a gatefold cover and includes a bonus 7-inch. No word on whether that last part is actually a record or a visit from R. Kelly himself.

Mad Season — Above It’s been 11 years this month since Alice in Chains frontman Layne Staley died in absolutely the saddest state one can pass, and his lone output with supergroup Mad Season remains the face the what killed him. As for what to expect from the package, the double 12-inch vinyl release will pack the original album, plus three lost tracks from Mad Season’s unfinished sophomore album featuring new lyrics and vocals by ex-Screaming Trees singer Mark Lanegan. The set will also feature an unreleased instrumental track called “Interlude,” plus a remixed adaptation of Mad Season’s famed cover of John Lennon’s “I Don’t Wanna Be a Soldier.”

Dazed and Confused Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Rhino) You get older, these songs stay the same age. It was only proper for the folks at Rhino to give this awesome rock collection a long-overdue re-up, releasing a limited edition of 5,500 copies on numbered, green heavyweight vinyl. You may not have it yet, but it’d be a lot cooler if you did.

Follow Ryan on Twitter @YESRyan

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