Music lovers are counting down the days until April 20th, when Record Store Day unleashes an avalanche of soon-to-be rare releases. This rundown (maybe there will be more before Saturday) spotlights some gems from a few prime labels as well as something from one of my favorite bands.
Oh, the dB’s – long of my top five bands, put out their fabulous reunion album, Falling Off The Sky last year. This Record Store Day they are back again with a 4-song EP on orange vinyl. Why orange? Probably because one of the songs is “Orange Squeezer.” The other three are “Lakefront,” “Revolution of the Mind,” and their early instrumental “pH Factor,” which was recorded live at New York’s Le Poisson Rouge.
New West Records will be offering the latest in the Songs For Slim series, a Minus 5 and Tim O’Reagan & Jim Bosquit split single “Rockin’ Here Tonight” b/w “Cozy.” New West also has a pair of one-sided singles: Patty Griffin’s “Ohio” (from her upcoming album, American Kid) and Richard Thompson’s Electric tune “Salford Sunday.”
Yep Roc’s RSD releases come in all sizes and formats. The Paul Weller Sonik Kicks Single Box Set contains 5 colored vinyl singles, 2 previously unreleased tunes and an autographed poster. Robyn Hitchcock’s There Goes The Ice 12” holds 8 songs from his Digital Phantom 45 series plus premiering two new tunes. Josh Rouse’s first-ever 7” puts “Julie (Come Out of the Rain)” as the A-side backed by the new unreleased “Is There Anybody There,” while Tift Merritt couples an acoustic version of “Traveling Alone” with 3 unreleased songs on her 12”.
The cherry of the top of Yep Roc’s Record Store Day offerings is the DVD documenting last year’s 15th anniversary festival, which is paired with a 12” featuring covers of Rockpile’s “The Call it Rock” and Slim Gaillard’s “Yep Roc Heresy.” Now you know where the label’s name comes from.
Omnivore Recordings always has something unique and special for RSD and this year is no exception. They’ll be making some Big Star fans big-time happy with the soundtrack (on yellow vinyl) of the upcoming documentary on the band, Nothing Can Hurt Me. Also on yellow vinyl will be a 4-song EP with Old 97’s/Waylon Jennings material. In ’96, the Old 97’s recorded some songs with Old Waylon but they were never released – until now! Side A holds “Iron Road” and the Waylon-sung “The Other Shoe,” while Side B has “Visiting Hours and “Fireflies (Take 2).”
The label also is putting out what might be the most obscure RSD band, Three Hits. This “80s band from North Carolina put out a single on Hib-Tone (REM devotees will recognize that label). This new 5-song, purple vinyl EP includes the single’s A & B sides plus a couple of 3 other rarities. In case you’re wondering “who are the Three Hits?” I can let you know one of the Kings was Michael Kurtz, who later helped to co-found Record Store Day.
Yes, it all comes around – just like a vinyl record.