Record Store Day, April 21st, is right around the corner! Celebrated every third Saturday in April, Record Store Day is an internationally-recognized holiday dedicated to recognizing the work of independent musicians, record labels and record stores. Commemorating the day with limited edition vinyl and CD releases, bands around the world also participate in Record Store Day with special performances, appearances and exhibitions. Here’s a list of some of this year’s Record Store Day’s much-anticipated releases:
1. Animal Collective, Transverse Temporal Gyrus – Domino Records
A veritable sonic symphony, listening to Transverse Temporal Gyrus will be an experience to say the least. Compiled out of audio recorded during the band’s performance art stint at the Guggenheim Museum in 2010 of the same name, Transverse Temporal Gyrus juxtaposes this live footage with already pre-recorded tracks into a collage of sound. From feeding songs through a computer program that jumbled and combined disparate noises into one, what resulted from Transverse Temporal Gyrus was a unique sound collage broadcast from 36 separate speakers from the top of the Guggenheim ramp. Also coinciding with this Record Store Day release is the launch of website in which users can hear new combinations of Animal Collective songs through a simulation of the software used during the Guggenheim exhibition.
2. Devo, Live in Seattle 1981 – Booji Boy Records
In 1981, an anonymous dedicated “Devo-tee” (ba dum bum chuh) saw the band Devo live in concert in Seattle and recorded the entire show on a cassette tape. Years passed; the cassette went the way of the 8 Track (which is to say it became entirely technologically obsolete), and the music was never heard of again. That is, until a another Devo-obsessive and archivist, Michael Pilmer, found the cassette among a shoebox full of discarded tapes and transferred them to DAT. This recording comprises the whole of Devo’s 2012 Record Store Day release, Live in Seattle 1981. Wonderful, wacky and weird, much like Devo themselves, Live in Seattle 1981 is a great collector’s pick. Some music was made for headphones, others were made for energy domes– – this album, without a doubt, falls into the latter category.
3. St. Vincent, KROKODIL – 4AD
Perennial “Pitchfork vs. StereoBear” favorite St. Vincent can, in my eyes, no do wrong. A goddess of epic portions, a chanteuse if there ever was one, Annie Clark is, to put it simply, a freaking talent machine. Fresh off her release of the magnificent LP Strange Mercy, KROKODIL finds St. Vincent doing what she does best- – juxtaposing the angelic with the forceful, the aggressive with the harmonious, the entire 7″ sounds like a Julie Andrews soundtrack on crack (note: this is awesome, not at all a bad thing). Pressed on clear red vinyl, KROKODIL is sure to be as slick and stylish as Ms. Clark herself.
4. The Flaming Lips, The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends – Warner Bros.
I think this is worth buying just on the basis of who’s guesting with The Flaming Lips on the album’s first track, “2012.” Featuring Biz Markie and you heard it, Ke$ha, the song begs the question, What exactly is Wayne Cohen smoking? I honestly have no clue. Well, whatever he’s on, a host of talented A-listers guesting on the album are riding the same high: The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends features also Bon Iver, Erykah Badu, Nick Cave and Yoko Ono, to name a few. This collection of songs could be a bomb or a masterpiece- – it’s certainly going to take more than a few listens to find out.
5. Various Artists, Smugglers Way – Domino Records
Part LP, part art exhibition, Domino Records and Ribbon Music’s multi-artist compilation Smugglers Way is a mixed-media feast for the senses. Comprised out of five rainbow-colored records and packaged as a “flexidisc zine,” Smugglers Way features the unreleased ear candy of some of the label’s heavyhitters, such as Cass McCombs, John Maus, Villagers and Dirty Projectors, as well as the visually stunning artworks and playful writings of the labels’ other bands and artists, which include Lower Dens, Laura Marling, Real Estate and Black Dice, to name a few. A treasure-trove of creative goodies, full of illustrations and photography, as well as short stories and poems, Smugglers Way is essentially like your high school literary magazine, only staffed by your favorite musicians, and 1,000 times more awesome (and considerably less emo).