Record Store Day 2014

(I know I’m a little behind on this gimme a break it’s been a hectic three weeks)

 

So International Record Store Day came and went like it does every year. As always, lines upon lines of people waited on a slightly windy day to be the first into the record stores and nab whatever limited release they could get their hands on. Quite a few shops only had 1 physical copy for many of the records. Needless to say people were jonesing to get to the front as quickly as possible. Luckily for me I was able to get  a hold of the vinyls I absolutely wanted bar maybe one or two. (Thank you, random store worker, for missing The Doors limited release despite it being clearly written on my list and BEING THREE PEOPLE AHEAD OF THE WOMAN YOU GAVE IT TO.) It ended up working out in the end but still, that was a mild heart attack I didn’t feel like dealing with.

Anyway, as is customary for anyone blogging about music, I may as well go through my finds and talk about them for a bit. So here goes:

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Black Milk’s Glitches In The Break, an EP released on vinyl ahead of its digital and CD releases. I’m a huge fan of Black Milk, first getting into him through his collaborative album with Danny Brown titled, accurately, Black and Brown. I particularly like the cover because of its simplistic look and mildly repeated patterns. What I enjoy the most is that despite a reoccuring motif of raindrops and circles on the front the image isn’t a cut and paste of a pattern. Each circle, rain (or tear) drop is individually drawn and tessellated by hand which only increases my appreciation of its artistic value.

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Joy Division is a band anyone that listens to punk and is serious about it has heard of. They were an English punk band formed int he 70s that went on to become pioneers of the “post-punk” genre, incorporating elements of German krautrock (particularly with synthesizers) some aspects of prog rock and studio experimentation. An Ideal for Living was the band’s debut EP after they changed their name from Warsaw. This re-release was a record store day exclusive and I quite like the new album art, in part because of the band’s tragic history. Despite massive critical and commercial success, the band’s frontman Ian Curtis suffered from depression and bouts of epilepsy that would induce seizures at concerts. He sadly committed suicide in 1980 before the band was to begin their first American tour. The title of the album holds a bitterly ironic meaning because of that, and its use of what appears to be construction scaffolding with an upward looking angle could be implied as a symbolic representation of the band’s rise and fall. A building of their career starting with this record and subsequent deconstruction following Curtis’ death. Truly tragic, but the band’s discography allows Curtis to live on musically.

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Opeth is a progressive metal outfit led by Swedish vocalist and songwriter Mikael Akerfeldt. Watershed was the band’s 9th full length release and while not particularly my favorite record the fact that it was a limited release double issue printed on a really cool looking green marble vinyl, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. I would go on to discuss the album cover but being quite honest I have yet to understand the relationship between it and the music. Sorry folks, I may do a blog post going through the band’s discography and changing album art at some point.

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Jaco Freakin Pastorius. I love this man, I love his hair, I love his bass playing, I love everything about this guy. He was and will always be one of the foremost greatest bass players of all time. Trained in jazz this man has released a slew of solo albums, gained popular success with the progressive rock act Weather Report, and has collaborated with countless jazz musicians including Herbie Hancock, Joni Mitchell, Pat Metheny and the Brian Melvin Trio. This particular vinyl is a collection of studio recording and demo tapes and despite them not being professionally mastered or actual songs they still sound amazing. Of course this comes with a heavy dose of bias but Jaco truly had a playing style unique unto himself. The guy could be goofing around with blues scales and it would sound heavenly, which you hear a bit of on this album. This is a record I would recommend for anyone that’s a huge fan of either Jaco or bass playing in general. I have Weather Report vinyls that I treasure greatly, Modern American Music…Period! The Criteria Sessions is an excellent addition alongside them.

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Weird Scenes Inside the Goldmine is the second compilation album that The Doors have released and the first one after the death of the band’s singer Jim Morrison. The album cover is a beautiful watercolor depiction of the band, with Jim Morrison’s face front and center and shedding a single tear, and is lovingly rendered by artist Bill Hoffman. This vinyl was reissued for the first time in over 40 years on a really aesthetically pleasing amber colored vinyl. A few of the songs were released as B-Sides on earlier albums, “Who Scared You” and “(You Need Meat) Don’t Go No Further,” with the rest of them including well known songs like “Break on Through” and “Spanish Caravan” and others I hadn’t heard before like “Love Street” and “Shaman’s Blues.” Admittedly I haven’t listened to a lot of The Doors as I’ve only begun really exploring their work but this is a vinyl I look forward to spinning quite a bit.

 

And that’s it, those are my Record Store Day exclusive grabs. I’m rather happy with what I managed to get out of all the pushing past people and waiting in breezy winds with no coat and only wearing shorts and a t-shirt. What did you guys get for Record Store day? Anything that you’re really happy with? If you didn’t get anything what did you do instead on April 19th? All I know was that I spent most of it buying and later listening to records, and I couldn’t have asked for a better way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

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