The Top 10 Record Store Day Releases to Snap Up

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Record Store Day, which is coming up on Saturday, has grown into quite an industry over the last few years, which is certainly great news as far as promoting awareness of independently owned brick-and-mortar record stores goes — but it does also make it rather difficult to keep track of the wealth of exclusive releases on offer. But never fear, we’re here to help — we’ve trawled the extensive list of RSD-only releases and come up with the ten we’d definitely be investing in if we could only wake up early enough to get hold of them. Let us know what’s on your shopping list!

Various Artists — The Flaming Lips and Heavy Fwends (LP)

This has probably been the most publicized Record Store Day release, and it certainly looks like a contender for the most intriguing — it features Flaming Lips collaborating with everyone from Ke$ha and Biz Markie to Nick Cave and Erykah Badu. Bonus points for including a song called “I’m Working at NASA on Acid” (which features Lightning Bolt.) More info here.

Various Mastodon releases (7″)

While we’re speaking about The Flaming Lips, we’d be remiss to forget their double A-side 7″ release with Mastodon, which involves the metal behemoths covering the Lips’ 1999 track “A Spoonful Weighs a Ton” and will no doubt make for fascinating listening. Even more interesting, though, will be hearing them cover Feist, which they’re doing on another double A-side 45 — Mastodon have recorded a version of “Commotion,” while Feist has returned the favor with a cover of “Black Tongue.” More info on the Flaming Lips single here and the Feist/Mastodon release here.

mclusky — mclusky Do Dallas (LP)

A white vinyl reissue of the angriest, funniest, and most generally awesome punk album of the 2000s? Um, YES. Count us in.

Various Artists — Music That Changes the World (box set)

This box set is a fundraiser type thing for David Lynch’s foundation, which depending on your point of view on a) Lynch and b) the whole idea of transcendental meditation, will be either a compulsory purchase or something to avoid entirely. If you’re on the fence enough just to weigh the compilation just on musical merits, well, it’s a mixed bag — for every intriguing track (like a Factory Floor remix of the Charlatans, or Iggy Pop doing “Milk Cow Blues”) there’s something dire by Maroon 5 or Ben Lee. If you’re interested, there’s more information here.

Various Artists — Sacred Bones Presents: Todo Muere Vol. 2 (LP)

Sacred Bones is one of our favorite labels of the last couple of years, and the tracklisting to this is pretty much pure gold — there’s unreleased tracks from Led Er Est, Psychic Ills, Pop 1280, Crystal Stilts, Slug Guts and plenty more. Record company samplers are generally hit-and-miss affairs, but this looks like much more hit than miss. It comes on nice heavy vinyl, too. Information here.

Leonard Cohen — Live in Fredericton (EP)

The material on this was released briefly for free in January, but if you missed it — we did too — then you may well want to grab this EP. It features five songs recorded on the very first night of Cohen’s 2008 world tour, including a rare version of “Heart With No Companion,” which didn’t make its way into too many of the setlists on the tour in question. More information here.

Animal Collective — Transverse Temporal Gurus (LP)

This is a recording of the randomized sound installation that Animal Collective and visual artist Danny Perez staged at the Guggenheim in 2010 — if you didn’t see the installation, it involved feeding a heap of stems into a computer, which played them back in a random mix across 36 speakers placed all the way round the gallery’s spiral walkway. Apparently this will be the only physical release for the music in question. Details here.

Lee “Scratch” Perry — Blackboard Vinyl Dub (box set)

If you’ve ever yearned to own this dub landmark as three 10″ EPs (on red, yellow, and green vinyl, naturally), then rejoice. Blackboard Jungle Dub is one of Perry’s finest achievements and one of the first quintessentially dub releases. Owning it in this format isn’t really essential, but it’d make a pretty damn awesome present for the reggae lover in your life.

Devo — Live in Seattle 1981 (2xLP)

According to the Record Store Day website, this was cut from a tape that Devo archivist Michael Pilmer found in a shoebox full of cassettes 15 years ago. There’s a fascinating interview with Devo’s Gerald V Casale about the album here, and information on the release at the RSD website here.

Luna reissues (LP)

And finally, two albums by one of our favorite 1990s/early 2000s bands, Luna — their final two records, reissued for the first time on vinyl. These are limited editions of 1000 only, so you might want to check that your local store has them before you go racing on down to pick up a copy. More info on the releases here and here.