taking a listen

by Ryan Snyder

reviews of the moment


Show me a holiday that isn’t a poorly disguised cash grab and I’ll show you Iggy Pop with a shirt on. It only makes sense that Pop would the official ambassador of the 4th annual Record Store Day, happening at purveyors of new vinyl everywhere on Saturday. Record Store Day is not merely a day for crate divers to spend working on a set of dusty fingers at their local purveyor; it’s a day for absolutely geeking out over the creative genius of your favorite label. First-run vinyl of more hues than Brooks Brothers could dream up, inserts with more exhaustive historical detail than Little Women and just plain weird collaborations are among the gold mine that comes with Record Store Day. In a way, it is like Christmas for retailers like CFBG in Greensboro and Earshot Music in Winston-Salem because they don’t know exactly what they’re getting yet, but that said, here are a few choice selections to look for this Saturday.

Carolina Chocolate Drops/Run-DMC — “You Be Illin’” (7inch) Though a “Walk This Way”-type of collabo could have been stellar, the Chocolate Drops opt for a simple cover of the followup to the Hollis rap legends breakthrough hit. The flipside of the Coke-bottle green single is the original Run-DMC track, and as paid endorsers of New Coke, it only makes sense that they recant.

Misfits — Walk Among Us Randomness is often the spice of RSD, and the Misfits are offering a lottery of sort with the 30th anniversary run of their horrorpunk classic with just under a 17 percent chance of scoring the highly limited clear vinyl print.

Tortoise — “Lonesome Sound”/”Mosquito” (2×7-inch doublepack) Originally tour-only releases, each 7” for the Freakwater cover “Lonesome Sound” and the way-back-when Torsion Music release form a full four-panel poster when laid side-by-side.

Janis Joplin — Pearl (12-inch) The re-released LP is sourced directly from the masters with meticulously recreated cover art, but the real “pearl” of this release is the separately-packaged Highlights From The Pearl Sessions, two 10” EPs with unreleased studio outtakes, excellent liner notes and rarely seen photos.

Arcade Fire—“Sprawl II”/”Ready to Start” (12-inch) The DJ-friendly remix of “Sprawl II” has been floating around in digital form for an Urban Dictionary minute, but the ultra-fat bottom that the Merge Records’ artists reworked with producer Damien Taylor will sound even better on wax.

Shabazz Palaces — Live at KEXP (12-inch) As great as Doodle Bug of Digable Planets’ new space rap project sounded on last year’s Black Up, it’s a completely different experience done live. Their in-studio performance at their local public radio station breaks their disestablishmentarian modus operandi down to its tribal sonic roots on sweet purple vinyl.

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