Saturday, April 25, 2015

Record Store Day 2015

So Record Store Day has come and gone yet again. For the last several years I've participated in all of it's glory. For those not familiar with the day, it's always the third Saturday in April, and it is the closest thing record geeks get to a national holiday. In a perfect storm of limited pressings, colored wax, and novelties, it brings out the oddballs, outcasts, obsessive, and all around crazy record collectors.

The day also acts as sort of a gateway drug for the influx of new collectors. A way to get people out of their house and check out the shop down the street. From what I've gathered it acts as a frustrating yet fruitful day for store owners.

From my observations there are four camps in the Record Store Day mentality: (by no means a complete and definitive list)

Camp 1: The Collector. (Cromagus Collectus) This camp belongs to the record buyer who will do anything in their power to obtain just one more record. Generally they are never satisfied. They will buy anything and everything. Their taste in music is sometimes questionable. The main objective is to have stuff. Often identified by armpit sweat, BO, mouth breathing and always seeming to be in a hurry. Collectors hardly ever want to give up their records. All their record store day purchases will remain sealed and never played, mainly due to their "collectability and rarity."When they die their collection is often just thrown in the trash because their next of kin "can't be bothered lugging all these down to Goodwill." (see also: "Jethro Tull Stand Up man"*)

Camp 2: The Fan. (Fanaticus Turntablist) This camp belongs to your seasoned vinyl audiophile. They buy records, they love music, and are participating to engage in breaking bread with their fellow vinyl geeks. Buddy Holly glasses, tattoos, and a strong opinion of craft beer are often displayed but not always needed. It's good to make friends with these folks, they act a support system for your vinyl habit. The barter system is often the main source of commerce. They often shrug off bad deals knowing something better will always come around. (The Fan can graduate to Camp 1 generally once they hit their mid 40's after two decades of bad hygiene, bad eating, and all their friends move away.)   

Camp 3: The Flipper. (Dbaggus Friggus Diccus) This camp's main objective is to make money. The Flipper's buy low sell high mentality often leads to frustrating conversations. The Flipper comes up with record values on a non existent "book price." The book only exists between Flipper brethren. Economics is not their strongest attribute. The Flipper will often set his cost for a one to one transaction based on nonsensical one to multiple buyer transactions. (see also: "eBay completed listings"**) (Camp 1 and 4 are usually the Flipper's best customers.)

Camp 4: The Novice. (Crosleyest Firsttimest) This camp often shows up at the store the Sunday after Record Store Day and voices frustration to the clerk about how worthless the store is for not having any of the limited 100 regionally pressed exclusive records left. Frankly, they don't care it was only released in the UK why couldn't you guys get it. Generally buys records since "vinyls sound better," and plugged in the speakers from their parents old Gateway 2000 computer to the headphone jack because "it's louder than the built in speakers." The Novice's scratched up poorly taken care of records will show up in a Goodwill near you once they "get bored with playing vinyls." (It is possible for the Novice to graduate to Camp 2.)    

All joking aside I played both sides of the Record Store Day camps this year. I ended up flipping a few records on eBay because in the heat of the moment I purchased them with intentions of trading to other friends. Either they made their score already or they simply declined. They all worked in my favor so I'm not complaining.

This year I decided to not to look at the list until after I had hit up a few shops. I didn't wake up at the crack of dawn (or before it) and actually waited a few hours for the lines to die down. It made shopping more rewarding. I wasn't spending waking hours stressing about what I didn't get. The only thing not pictured below is the Grateful Dead Wake Up To Find Out. I saw multiple copies, mine is in the final stages of trade negotiations. I still haven't had a chance to listen to everything yet but I'll provide a brief description of each piece.  

 RSD 2015 exclusives LP's Pt1

Clockwise top left:
Various Artists "Darjeeling Limited OST" (RSD exclusive green vinyl 4900 copies) Tracks from the Kinks and Stones and original score.

Bob Dylan and the Band "The Basement Tape" (RSD limited 2500 hand stamped with Garth Hudson's signature) Super clean recording. This is the real deal, single LP, features all the original tracks without the overdubs, or the 8 "post basement" tracks tacked on to the 1975 release.

Rockabye Baby "Lullaby Renditions of Grateful Dead" (RSD limited 2000 purple vinyl) This is a fun record of Dead tunes played on xylophones, vibes, and glockenspiels. Nice and calming.

The Zombies "RIP" (RSD 5600 copies) This was to be the follow up to the Odessey And Oracle. It was declined by the label and never released. I haven't played it but I'm very excited to hear it.

RSD 2015 exclusives LP's Pt2

Clockwise top left: The (International) Noise Conspiracy "Live at Oslo Jazz Festival 2002" (RSD limited 500 copies red vinyl) This record holds the most sentimental value to me, mostly due the fact it was recorded only a few weeks prior to the first and only time I would see (I)nc live. (2002's Plea for Peace tour at Club Laga. Anti-Flag/Bouncing Souls/and (I)nc...I got tired just typing that.) This was released on CD about 10 years ago, but this was the first time it was released on vinyl.   
Tomorrow "Tomorrow" (RSD limited 2800 splatter vinyl) Tomorrow is the quintessential UK psych album. The guitarist went on to play in Yes. This was a big purchase glad to finally have a copy on vinyl.
Various Artists "When I Reach that Heavenly Shore Unearthly Black Gospel 1926-1936" (3 LP box set limited to 1200) I love this stuff, pre war gospel music from the "Old and Weird America." Oddly enough this one was only priced about $15 more than the cd collection.
Various Artists "The Rough Guide to Psychedelic Cambodia" (RSD limited to 1200) Rough Guide does a great job with all their compilations. They released a handful of psych compilations for the RSD and I really had spent a ton of cash already so I went with the Cambodia comp. I haven't had a chance to devour it yet, but Rough Guides are a stamp of approval, I know I'm getting good quality stuff.   

RSD 2015 7's and 10 inch

7's Clockwise top left: The Pretty Things EP (Limited 400) Repress of the first Pretty Things EP which collected their first two singles, Don't Bring Me Down and Rosalyn. Couldn't pass this up.
RSD 2015 Mystery Disc (Spoiler alert!) Ramones and Husker Du Sheena is a Punk Rocker. The Mystery Discs are a fun release I buy them every year.
Black Keys/Junior Kimbrough Meet Me in the City (RSD exclusive 6000) Impulse buy on this one. Still a great track by either artist.
Antorchas (RSD exclusive 550) Three track EP featuring two English and one Spanish tune from this Mexican psych band. Haven't played it yet. Couldn't pass it up.
Los Juniors/Tomcats (RSD exclusive 550) Split psych single from two awesome Spain based psych bands. 
Small Faces Afterglow of your Love (RSD exclusive 400) Features an alternate take from the Odgen's Nutgone Flake Album.
10 inch right side. Tess Parks and Anton Newcombe Cocaine Cat (RSD exclusive 2000) I've yet to play this but the reviews have been extremely good. Anton is the brainchild behind the BJM. 

All in all a great RSD. I did it right this year. There were a few releases I purchased that may not be as strong as others. I stayed away from the Side by Side series. I didn't think the prices made sense for a truly one sided single. My new and used purchases will be reviewed in an upcoming post.

How did I do? How were your scores? Comment below. 

* Jethro Tull Stand Up man: A guy who frequents local record shows with the intention of only buying Jethro Tull's 1969 progressive rock masterpiece "Stand Up."
** eBay completed listings: The area on eBay where you can view sold prices.  

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