10 Record Store Day Picks

Posted by Billy Gil, April 19, 2012 06:55pm | Post a Comment
Record Store Day is great for any number of reasons — supporting record stores and the music community, hearing DJ sets from the likes of Broken Social Scene’s Brendan Canning. But in the end it’s all about the exclusive and new releases. Here are 10 picks from the many releases coming out April 21. (Read a more comprehensive list here, and download the full list here.)
animal collectiveAnimal Collective – Transverse Temporal Gyrus
Ripped from elsewhere on the Amoeblog: In March 2010, Animal Collective and visual artist Danny Perez put on an installation called "Transverse Temporal Gyrus" at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City. For the audio, each member of the band made individual sounds and songs. Over the course of two 3-hour performances, the basic tracks were fed into a computer program that randomized the track order, and sometimes randomly combined stems from one track with stems from another. The program also panned the music in various directions around a 36 channel surround sound system that ran through 36 speakers set up from the top of the Guggenheim's ramp to the bottom. The music on this 12" is a collage made consisting of the original tracks, as well as live recordings made inside the Guggenheim before the doors were opened to the public. It will be the only physical format on which any of the music will be released.
Plus it’s new Animal Collective!
Arcade Fire – Sprawl II
Arcade Fire’s Blondie-ish “Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)” was undoubtedly the highlight of The Suburbs and showed the band still has some tricks up its sleeve. The Soulwax remix included here tastefully gives it the dancefloor feel it calls for without just throwing a house beat over the song and calling it a day.

Beach House – Lazuli
I wrote a really dumb review of this song before, but safe to say the new song from Beach House’s upcoming Bloom (preorder Bloom here) is every bit as amazing as fans would hope, given the upward trajectory of the band’s albums: their self-titled first release, Devotion and Teen Dream. It’s just so effortlessly lush and breathtaking. To quote “My So-Called Life,” “You’re so beautiful, it hurts to look at you.”

Dinosaur Jr. – Electronic Anthology Project
Built to Spill bassist Brett Nelson, who started Electronic Anthology Project to reimagine Built to Spill songs with new wave aesthetics, gives the same treatment to Dinosaur Jr. A curio, for sure, but a must-have for fans of the band. Digging the twinkly version of “Pond Song” and of course the New Order-ish take on “Feel the Pain.” Listen to “Tarpit” below.

Feist/Mastodon Feistodon
This is one of those things you wish would happen more often: Canadian indie-pop chanteuse Feist and hipster metal dudes Mastodon cover each other. I’m not sure what the songs will actually end up sounding like, but I love the idea and that they were all willing to take the chance and not take themselves so seriously.

flaming lips record store dayThe Flaming Lips – Flaming Lips & Heady Fwends
One listen to “Ashes in the Air,” a duet with Bon Iver — and the fact that Ke$ha will be on this, and that a few very limited copies of the release will include the band members’ and collaborators’ blood —  makes this release notable and notably strange, even by Flaming Lips’ high standards in both quality and weirdness. And speaking of Mastodon earlier, check out the Flaming Lips/Mastodon split as well, in which Mastodon covers Flaming Lips’ beautifully wimpy “A Spoonful Weighs a Ton.” LOL to everyone involved with all of this!

Sigur Rós – Hvarf/Heim
This vinyl version of an earlier release features a disc of studio versions of songs that were almost entirely previously unavailable, plus a disc of acoustic versions of Sigur Rós songs. This oughta whet fans’ appetites for the band’s upcoming new release, Valtari (preorder Valtari here), out May 29; I, for one, am pretty excited about the band once again, after hearing the gorgeous “Ekki Múkk,” which reminds me of my favorite Sigur Rós album, ( ).

sacred bonesVarious Artists – Sacred Bones Presents Vol. 2
The label behind Crystal Stilts, The Men and more present another awesome sampler. Just looking at the artists on it, this one’s a no-brainer.

Various Artists – Smuggler’s Way
This Ribbon Music/Domino comp. features a killer new John Maus song, “No Title (Molly),” plus songs from Real Estate, Cass McCombs and more.

xiu xiu dirty beachesXiu Xiu/Dirty Beaches split
An unholiest of pairings, and two of my personal favorites — the frighteningly personal post-punk of Xiu Xiu and haunting lo-fi rockabilly of Dirty Beaches — on one disc. Xiu Xiu covers the almost painfully bright synth pop jam “Always” by Erasure, one of the weirdest tracks to dominate pop radio in the guitar-heavy ’90s, and Dirty Beaches lend their din to ubercool, iconic French singer Françoise Hardy’s “Tu Ne Dis Rien.”  David Lynch is smiling.

Speaking of whom, David Lynch Foundation and Amoeba Hollywood are throwing a Record Store Day party across the street at Space15Twenty (1520 North Cahuenga Blvd.) from 6 to 8 p.m. (show up there at 5 to get your wristband). The party features live performances from Ben Lee, Geeta Novotny and Phil Soussan, plus DJs Gary Calamar (89.9 KCRW) and Mimi Chen (100.3 The Sound).


Relevant Tags

Record Store Day (168), Arcade Fire (22), Beach House (30), Animal Collective (14), Dinosaur Jr (5), Dirty Beaches (8), Xiu Xiu (9), The Men (2), Crystal Stilts (10), Feist (10), Mastodon (14), The Flaming Lips (13), Sigur Ros (19), John Maus (5), Cass Mccombs (16), Real Estate (14), David Lynch (28)