Record Store Day 2014's Best Releases, According to Sweat Records
Since 2007, every third Saturday in April has been set aside for the observance of Record Store Day, when vinyl lovers and music fans show love and appreciation to the their local shops.
In Miami, though brick-and-mortar music retailers like Spec's, Virgin Megastore, and F.Y.E. are certainly a thing of the past, the independent record store continues to thrive. So once again, our city's three main indie shops -- Sweat Records, Uncle Sam's, and Yesterday and Today Records -- will be participating by selling a fine selection of special, limited-edition releases.
As a shopping primer, we consulted Sweat Records and its staff for some prime RSD 2014 picks.
See also: Miami's Five Best Record Stores
Holly Hunt - Prometheus EP 12" vinyl
You've got to show some local love on RSD. And what better local band to support than noisy outfit Holly Hunt? This co-release by Other Electricities and Sonic Titan is limited to 250 copies with cover art by drummer and artist Beatriz Monteavaro. We haven't heard any on the three tracks featured on the EP, but according to Other Electricities, "Prometheus stands as a churning, threatening hint of things to come." That sounds like a warning.
Outkast - Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik 180g vinyl
According to Sweat, "Miami loves us some Outkast." Uh, yea we do. And while any respectable music collector probably owns this release, Outkast ups the ante for RSD. This numbered 180-gram vinyl version is made for audiophile junkies. Because if you are going to listen to "Git Up, Git Out" you are going to want to hear André 3000, Big Boi, and boys of Goodie Mob spit those rhymes out in pure clarity.
Songs: Ohia - Journey On: Collected Singles 7" box set
"Nine 7"s is packaged in a clothbound, foil-stamped clamshell box and accompanied by a 24-page booklet, a CD containing all tracks, and a custom 7" turntable adaptor with the iconic Songs: Ohia crossbow logo lazer-etched in wood." That description alone is enough to give music geek some hard wood. In fact, Sweat's only response to this was "Boing." And who can blame 'em? Jason Andrew Molina career may have been cut short, but the legacy of his work remains. And this Secretly Canadian might just be the perfect tribute.
Alvarius B/Sir Richard Bishop - If You Like It... Don't! 12" split
"A must-cop for any Sun City Girls fan," says Sweat. While Sun City Girls never tapped mainstream consciousness, the band remains a cult favorite. Now the Bishop brothers are sharing a release, with each occupying one side of the vinyl. (And you thought sharing a room with a sibling was difficult!) The release features all original material written by the brothers including some tracks written specifically for this release. Jokes on you if you don't get early enough to Sweat to nab this.
Joy Division - An Ideal For Living 12" vinyl
Sweat calls it "one of the most coveted RSD '14 pieces" and we aren't inclined to disagree. This is a reissue of the first-ever Joy Division release. It features the 2010 remastered versions of "Warsaw", "No Love Lost", "Leaders of Men", and "Failures." Due to its rarity, the release still remains one of the most coveted prizes for any fan of the band. The original 7" pressing featured the image of a Hitler youth banging on a drum, but unfortunately this release features the denazified cover of the later 12" release. Here's hoping though the remaster improves on the sound quality that Allmusic describes as "primitive."
Sam Cooke - Ain't That Good News
Fans of R&B and soul music are probably already familiar with Sam Cooke's work. But for those who aren't, Ain't That Good News was Cooke's final album before his untimely and odd death. "[It features] one of the best songs of all time 'A Change Is Gonna Come,'" according to Sweat. The song became an unofficial anthem for the 1960s civil rights movement. Seeing how we are going through another civil rights struggle, it seems an appropriate time to celebrate the 50th anniversary of this release.
The Cure/Dinosaur Jr. - "Just Like Heaven" Side By Side Series 7" vinyl
This Rhino release features The Cure and Dinosaur Jr. on either side of the vinyl performing "Just Like Heaven." The original Cure release is probably one of the bands most well known releases off their 1987 release Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me. Dinosaur Jr., funny enough, covered the song only a few years later in 1989, and even played it live during a stint as the opener for the Cure. Now both recordings have come together on white vinyl for your RSD enjoyment.
Various - Rough Guide compilations
The term world music is pretty controversial. While Western sounds are easily classifiable as pop, rock, hip-hop, or whatever, the First World felt the task of actually giving the music of developing nations a name just too daunting -- hence the term world music. Still these Rough Guide compilations -- five RSD exclusives in total -- are expertly curated vinyl versions of "Psychedelic Bollywood," "Mali," "Voodoo," "Latin Rare Groove," and "African Blues" releases. The compilations show the breadth of music around the world, transcending the offensive label.
Disclosure - Apollo 12" vinyl and CD
RSD isn't all about obscure and cultish artists. There will be plenty of releases by acts you, the average music listener, have probably heard of. Hey, you don't become a music collector overnight! So if you've got to start somewhere, start with the darling English brothers Disclosure who are dominating dance music by eschewing current EDM trends and looking more to the old sounds of UK garage, Detroit techno, and Chicago house. Plus, "they're so hot right now," according to Sweat.
For a full list of releases, visit recordstoreday.com/specialreleases. Note, however, that record stores won't carry every release listed.
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