It’s April 16th, 2011… a day that I have been eagerly anticipating for a month. It’s Record Store Day (RSD) worldwide, which is a “music lover’s holiday” that is created by the music industry, with the purpose of driving traffic to local record stores. The marketing and industry support of this day are pretty incredible, with hundreds of rare and limited-edition vinyl collectibles released specifically for this day. So limited, in fact, that there has been some controversy surrounding the fact that a lot of record collectors and audiophiles can’t find copies of them, even with the best planning. Hopefully, in the years to come, they will find a way to make everyone happy while still driving the traffic to the stores. I think that the easy solution is to have limited editions, but then release them in CD format soon thereafter, so that, if you don’t get one of the 2,000 vinyl copies, you can still rock out to some of the rare tracks. Just a thought.
So, let me first tell you about MY record player and why I would never want a different stereo to enjoy my vinyl collection, which includes the entire Led Zeppelin catalog, autographed Shadow’s Fall and White Zombie Vinyl, live Nirvana and Pearl Jam, the original Black Sabbath pressing and many, many more that I don’t want to spend blogspace telling you about. I fell in love with music on the ’68 Magnavox Hi-Fi console that I use today. It was my parents first stereo and I remember being 5 or 6, listening to Elvis records on it and dancing around the living room with my Lincoln Log Microphone singing my heart out. Funny… but I don’t mind telling you that. When they asked me several years ago if I wanted it, I felt like I won the lottery (without the early retirement part). The best part about listening to vinyl on this particular stereo is that it is powered by true tube amps and, when listening to Led Zep on it, it sounds like Jimmy’s guitar amp is sitting on the floor and that’s where the sound is coming from. It’s how the old vinyl was meant to be heard and the imperfections of the record add major amounts of character to anything you play through it. This is why I get excited about vinyl. It’s my first love. Larger format, larger artwork, larger sound… so I naturally appreciate RSD and went with a “wish list”.
Unfortunately, I didn’t find any of the three albums on my wish list, which are now all available on Ebay for major bucks. They are all limited editions, meaning that less that 2,000 – 2,500 were pressed of each one. If you don’t find them today, you won’t ever see them in a store at retail price again. Those three that I didn’t find are Pink Floyd in London 66/67, a two-disc set with Syd Barrett at the helm; Foo Fighters “Medium Rare”, which is all covers from one of the best bands in music today; and Nirvana “Hormoaning”, a record that they did while touring with Social Distortion that was never released. So, I didn’t find these. I can buy them all right now on Ebay, which is what I’ll probably do after I finish the task at hand. I’m not upset, as I did find some awesome limited edition pieces for my collection. Here’s what I DID get…
“American Legacies” from the Preservation Hall Jazz Band AND The Del McCoury Band. This is an edition of only 1,000 and, the coolest part is that it is signed and numbered by Del McCoury and Ben Jaffe, the Creative Director for Preservation Hall. This is a live show that was recorded in 2010 at The Chapel, part of Preservation Hall. My rocker friends… this is my absolute favorite score of the day! Haha… here’s some rock for you.
I also found the limited edition two-disc LP from Mastadon, “Live at the Aragon”. It’s the only live album that Mastadon has put out and the best part is that it also included the Live DVD of the show. My friends that have seen my music dvd collection know that I was buying this as soon as I read that on the label. The artwork on this record is awesome and may even inspire some new ink, as I’ve been looking for something new… but that’s a different blog.
Also for my metal friends, I picked up a 10-inch EP from Machine Head (who’s going back in the studio TODAY!), called “The Black Procession”. It’s a live EP from the Black Procession Tour in 2010 and includes “Beautiful Mourning”, “Bite the Bullet” and “Halo”. Very cool packaging and Machine Head, live, through tube amps? It rocks.
The one limited edition piece of vinyl that made my shortlist, as well as my shopping cart, is “Covers” by the Deftones. The ‘tones have long been one of my favorite bands and I got the last copy. Score! The artwork on it is really cool and it includes eleven covers from a variety of genres. This is the record that made my RSD experience complete, as it’s one that I didn’t expect to find.
After I had all of these in hand, I probably should have gotten in the 20 person line and checked out… but I didn’t. Me, in an 11,500 square foot record store? Of course I had to browse for a few. This store, called “Forever Young” in Grand Prairie, TX, is amazing. They have everything from the complete collection of Elvis Presley’s Sun Records 45’s, to a Beatles display sporting at least 20 original 45’s and some awesome memorabilia. Among the thousands and thousands of records, I found a sealed 2-disc, 180 gram pressing of my favorite record by my favorite songwriter… Whiskeytown’s “Stranger’s Almanac”. Ryan Adams never topped this record, to me, and having the bonus material and the ability to jam this record through the tubes make me a very happy dude.
So, although I didn’t get everything that I set out for, it was still a great day to hit a record store. Hopefully, if you didn’t make it this year, you’ll pay attention and take advantage next year. Until then, keep your music true… and turn it up ’til it moves you.