Why You Should Nerd-Out on Record Store Day!

And they said no one buys music anymore. “They” were wrong, because vinyl records had a 33-percent jump in 2013 as CD and digital sales kept dropping, according to Nielsen Sound Scan.

It’s not just your local hipster DJ stocking up, but the casual listener with an appreciation for the tactile nature of vinyl, the joy of perusing the album art and, frankly, there’s something about the sound of vinyl that can’t be recreated digitally. That totals to 6.1 million new records goin’ round-and-round in 2013. Or hanging nicely on a wall. Whatever you choose.

What do I recommend you blow your paycheck on this April 19, also known as Record Store Day?  A little bit of everything to build up that epic collection.

If you’re only looking for electronic artists, start your collecting with these choice offerings:

  • Pretty Lights gives fans a double 10” vinyl titled The Hidden Shades, featuring four B-sides from the A Color Map of the Sun sessions along with an additional four remixes. The album also includes the ODESZA remix of “Lost and Found,” a song that also appears on the Divergent soundtrack. This will be a single pressing with 2,750 copies, so don’t slack or count on eBay for this one.

  • The Glitch Mob digs back a teeny-tiny bit into its catalog for two 12” records. Offering their first album, 2010’s Drink the Sea, with the 2011 EP We Can Make The World Stop on a limited 3-color starburst vinyl.
  • Kick back with a beer (or if you start devouring your tunes on April 20, brownies of the magical variety) with some Bonobo tunes when the British DJ/producer releases the vocal and instrumental versions of “Get Thy Bearings” on a 10” vinyl (including a hidden, unreleased track) and his remix of London Grammar’s “Hey Now” as well.
  • LCD Soundsystem bids adieu (again) with a 5 LP box set live recording from Madison Square Garden of their final concert, The Long Goodbye.
  • Depending on whom you ask, MGMT could fall into the electronic category, but more of the indie/pop/rock side. If you like ’em you can hone in on vinyl versions of their first album, Oracular Spectacular, as well as its follow-up, Congratulations, both on 12” vinyl.
  • Dig back a bit in EDM with Hardcore Traxx: Dance Mania Records 1986-1997 out on 2 LPs. Uh, so what exactly does that mean? It means you get Drewsky’s 1994 tune “Wigged Out” and Club Style’s “Spirit.”  On the flipside, you get a previously unreleased cut from Parris Mitchell’s Rhythm II Rhythm alias titled “Mellow Magic.” Recorded in ’92, “Mellow Magic” was shelved due to a packed 12” release schedule on Dance Mania. Only 500 copies will be available.
  • Apparently cassettes are a thing again, too (and people laughed at me for still holding onto mine… ok, I’m probably a hoarder). Not only is Green Day getting in on the medium with a Record Store Day release, but Skrillex drops Recess on tape, too. Yeah, I have no idea why either. Cassettes sucked, especially when trying to hear one certain song (remember fast-forwarding then flipping the tape to rewind?). Are we gonna bring back the 8-track, too?

And some other non-EDM stuff to stock up on:

  • Everyone needs some Nirvana in their lives. Or maybe that’s just my opinion since I wore black for a month straight in mourning when Kurt Cobain committed suicide (or Courtney Love did him in, depending on what fan you ask). If I can find a copy, I’ll be adding the 7” of “Pennyroyal Tea”/”I Hate Myself and Want to Die” to my collection since original plans for the single in 1994 were cancelled due to Cobain’s death.
  • Speaking of music I rocked before puberty, I was all about Veruca Salt’s “Seether.” The 90s alt-rockers release that anthem, plus the first new music from the group in 14 years with “The Museum of Broken Relationships” and “It’s Holy” on the 7” self-titled release.
  • Ooh! Here’s one that needs no explanation since I’m on a 90s band kick: R.E.M. Unplugged: The Complete 1991 and 2001 Sessions on 4 12” LPs.
  • David Bowie was good at walking up the walls in Labyrinth, so wouldn’t it be even better to have him hanging on the wall? In the form of a snazzy picture disc, that is. U.S. fans can grab one via the “1984” single, where U.K. record store shoppers get a picture disc of “Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide.”
  • Get a little historical with the badass guitar skills of Mr. Jimi Hendrix via Live at Monterey from the 1967 concert. Play that one on a fancy turntable since it’s 200-gram audiophile-grade vinyl.
  • Go country with the Man in Black, Johnny Cash, and his debut album. Remastered and reissued on blue vinyl for Record Store Day, the limited edition pressing of With His Hot and Blue Guitar will be foil-stamped with a number on each jacket.
  • Hone-up on your hip-hop history with The Notorious B.I.G.’s Life After Death—I swear he has a release on this day every year. See? Biggie never dies! He should be in your vinyl collection!
  • Fact: Clint Mansell is a fantastic composer. You may know his music from Requiem for a Dream. So I totally want to experience his compositions on vinyl and his score for In the Wall will be in my stack of records at the register.
  • During my Napster years, I discovered a lot of good music. If I really liked it, I’d even make the trek from my college in Purchase, NY to the Big Apple to buy it and support the artist (I promise). One of those artists I had to journey from record store to record store to find was Songs: Ohia. The raw, stripped-down music that I swear sounded like it was recorded in a bathroom charmed me. So THE record I’m grabbing as soon as I can find a copy in the store will be his Journey On: Collected Singles. RIP Jason Molina. You were a talented dude.
  • In the “WTF?” category (but I might just get for the hell of it) is Understanding and Appreciating Classical Music with Ron Jeremy (thankfully it’s NOT a picture disc).
  • If you need a good present for your favorite show tune-belting Judy Garland fan, or you just enjoy reliving your childhood, grab The Wizard of Oz: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack on yellow vinyl. Clever.
  • Love the OG Muppet flick as much as I do (“Rainbow Connection” rules)? You’ll understand what a big deal The Muppet Movie original soundtrack is for collectors as the tunes haven’t been on vinyl in 35 years.  If you want, pretend you’re buying it to teach kids the joy of collecting music. After all, no one is too young to listen to vinyl!

Still didn’t find something you like? You can view the complete list of Record Store Day releases here.


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