Record Store Day is coming our way Saturday April 19. You can already see what we have going on at Amoeba stores here, and this is a full list of titles that will be available that day. It’s a lot to parse through, so we’ve pulled a few highlights:
A totally awesome and underrated entry to the Husker Du canon. It was their major label debut, so the band’s fifth album got some flack from longtime fans, but revisiting it, Candy Apple Grey sounds as amazing as anything else they did, with songs like the immortal “Don’t Wanna Know If You Are Lonely.” The 1986 album helped set the tone for alternative rock to follow. It’s on grey vinyl for the first time.
Our What's In My Bag? crew had the pleasure of shooting an episode each with Michael Ivins and Kliph Scurlock of psychedelic alternative rock band The Flaming Lips. Definitely a must see for Lips' fans.
Michael Lee Ivins (pictured in the blue shirt) is the bassist and founding member of The Flaming Lips. The band originally formed in Norman, Oklahoma with Wayne Coyne playing guitar, his brother Mark Coyne on vocals, and Ivins handling bass duties. After several years of crafting their sound, The Flaming Lips broke into the mainstream with their 6th studio album, Transmissions From The Sattelite Heart (1993), spawning the hit single "She Don't Use Jelly."
In March 1999, The Flaming Lips were gearing up to tour in support of their album, The Soft Bulletin. The band hired Kliph Scurlock (pictured left in purple shirt) to do some heavy lifting as a roadie. Scurlock remaind on tour with the band until 2002 when the Lips were doubling as an opener and backing band for Beck. In an effort to enable multi-instrumentalist Steven Drozd to play lead guitar, Scurlock was asked to play drums during the band's run with Beck. Subsequently, Scurlock went from touring drummer to full-time member and remains with the Lips until this day.
Oft lost in the great “best albums of the year” rush are EPs, those unimposing 18-minute-or-so releases that artists release between albums, to try stuff out or to unload extra songs. While you don’t get the whole enchilada of a full-album statement, EPs are like a great appetizer that leave you wanting more, and 2013 was full of delicious bloomin’ onions. Here are 10 that I liked, in no particular order.
William Emmanuel Bevan makes the kind of music Thom Yorke dreams about, dark, brooding electronic music that blends subgenres like dubstep (the good kind) while sounding like its own thing, future-seeking yet emotional and grimy. He hasn’t had a full-length album since 2007’s great Untrue, but he released several EPs this year, including the recent Rival Dealer 12” and, earlier this year, this release of two 10-plus-minute tracks, the first entrancing and inviting, the second morose and restless.
The Terror is the band's 13th full-length album and was produced by the Lips' long-time collaborator Dave Fridmann at Tarbox Road Studios. I recently got to hear the nine track release thanks to a label advance streaming of the album and have to say that I like it a lot and consider it their best work in years as it evokes a really powerful, hypnotically dark, grimy feel. "Bleak, disturbing" is how the band's own Wayne Coyne described the record, posing and answering his own question: "Why would we make this music that is The Terror?… I don't really want to know the answer that I think is coming. Maybe this is the beginning of the answer." Down in Austin at the recent SXSW festival, the band hosted two events includig a first-ever live performance of Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots, the band's 2002 gold album, in its entirety. Reportedly, the show was filmed live by NPR for a future broadcast. For their other SXSW show, they performed the new album The Terror at the large scale Auditorium Shores venue where Jim James (of My Morning Jacket, who opened the show) joined the band on-stage for a charged version of "Do You Realize??". Last night in NYC, the band was on The Late Show with David Letterman to perform the new album track "Look…The Sun Is Rising" (video above), and over the next couple of months they are playing a handful of select US shows that will include a performance at the NorCal Bottle Rock Festival in Napa on May 10th. In the meantime, you can pre-order The Terror CD and/or The Terror double LP version.
Record Store Day 2013 takes place April 20, featuring new releases, reissues of out-of-print albums and other rarities. I’ve pulled out 10 titles or sets of releases that jumped out to me personally. If it’s anything like last year, you’ll have to get here early to get those in-demand releases (check out last year’s coverage here).
You can view a listing all of the releases that will be made available that day here and find more information on Record Store Day's official site. Check out my picks below.
The debut release by The Bats, part of the Flying Nun clan of New Zealand jangle-pop bands. The Bats are fronted by Robert Scott, sometime bassist of The Clean, a band whose cult infamy has helped lead to their brethren being rediscovered by a new generation. I haven’t heard By Night, but having quite enjoyed 1987’s Daddy’s Highway, I’m sure their debut is just as chockfull of jangly delights. Seriously, I want to just jump on an airplane slash time machine and live in New Zealand in the ’80s and listen to awesome bands like The Bats, though they’re still around making fine records today.