Record Store Day (RSD) is upon us again, and that means it's time to remember why record store culture is so important to communities not only in Charleston but the world over. It also means the release of loads of limited-edition vinyl for all us nerds to drool over.
Local record stores are throwing some hardcore celebrations. Over at Monster Music & Movies, live music from 40 Mile Detour, Sex Wax, the High Divers, HoneySmoke, She Returns From War, Matt Megrue & the Daisy Chains, Hale Bopp Astronauts, and Mr. Rosewater will soundtrack an entire day of perusing special RSD releases, storewide sales, and crazy-cheap CDs and LPs lined up on the sidewalk out front.
Opening its doors at 8 a.m., the West Ashley store will also have a cool selection of eclectic food trucks on hand — Platia (Greek), Fauzia's Kitchen (Turkish), Pacha Mama (Colombian), and Holy City Popcorn Company. And the Charleston Animal Society will have kittens and pups for adoption. Bring along food and pet supplies to donate for a chance to win a Monster gift card.
Meanwhile, downtown's the Vinyl Countdown will ring in RSD with DJ Party Dad, JeffET, and DJ Ad Jam, plus live tunes from Haley Mae Campbell, Joshua Jarman, and Dumb Doctors. Owner Aaron Levy will also join in and play his own set. The Vinyl Countdown will also offer deep storewide discounts on everything except RSD titles. The music starts at 11 a.m., and the store will party on until 8 p.m.
Don't forget that every day is a good day to support your local record store — it's just that Record Store Day is a particularly festive day on which to do so. Anyhoo, here are just a few of the many RSD releases we'll be particularly looking out for this weekend. For a full list, go to recordstoreday.com/specialreleases.
Positive Songs for Negative People
This post-hardcore singer-songwriter released his sixth studio album last August, bringing to the collection an upbeat, sentimental bombast that had been heretofore missing from earlier works. Limited to 3,000 copies, this acoustic release of the album is one of the few RSD releases this year that feels like it would be a commercial success any other day of the year as well. —Isaac Weeks
and the Mama Bear
Live at Grimey's
One of the most popular acts to spring from the recent Americana renaissance, this mother-and-son duo was the buzz of Nashville while visiting in June in celebration of the musical genre. This six-track EP — recorded live at the legendary Music City record store Grimey's — is an excellent primer to anyone wanting the equivalent of a greatest hits collection from the two musicians. —IW
Today's young music fans might not be able to understand just how groundbreaking the soundtrack for this mostly forgotten 1993 action thriller, which combines hip-hop and metal, was considered at the time. In the days before nu-metal, Rolling Stone said that the 11 tracks found here were the most important marriage of music since "the wedding of hillbilly and 'race' music that started the whole thing in the first place." Each track features top rap artists of the early '90s — like RUN DMC and Ice-T, partnering with rock giants like Sonic Youth, Faith No More, and Pearl Jam. Songs like "Fallin" — featuring Teenage Fanclub and De La Soul — haven't lost any of their power, but a major draw to revisiting this album is to recapture a moment in time when a record exec thought that joining up Del the Funky Homosapien and Dinosaur Jr. on a song would be a huge commercial success. —IW
Afrika Bambaataa & the Soulsonic Force
Really every music aficionado with a vinyl fetish ought to have at least one version of "Planet Rock" in their collection, but if it's this 12-inch RSD exclusive — with a 1,000- copy run — then so much the better. In addition to the ground-breaking original, which was one of the first songs to use DJing practices to fuse electronic music, funk, and rock together for a world-shattering beat, you also get an instrumental version of the tune and two remixes courtesy of the most trusted and innovative electronic music producers working today: Boys Noize and Lunice. —Kyle Petersen
The Townes Van Zandt Covers
Both the late Jason Molina and Townes Van Zandt were in some ways birds of a feather — imbued with tragedy almost from the beginning, yet capable of shaking off their weariness for moments of transcendence via the most elemental outlet available to them: song. This seven-inch RSD exclusive — limited to 3,500 copies — is almost as valuable for the story it tells of the lonely penpal friendship between Molina and the visual artist William Schaff, who requested these covers, and whose painting graces the cover of the singer-songwriter's work just as he had wished. —KP
I Gotta Try You Girl
(Daft Punk Remix)
The idea of these French EDM producers remixing something so gritty and ruggedly independent as a Junior Kimbrough song seems kind of crazy at first, but it's really not. The Daft dudes don't reinvent the wheel here, but instead revel in and stretch the inviolable droning blues vamp of "I Gotta Try You Girl" to a 15-minute run time. In a weird way, it probably gets closer to what actually happened in a North Mississippi juke joint than anything Kimbrough actually laid down in the studio in his lifetime. Limit to 3,000 copies. —KP
Buddy Guy & Junior Wells
The Criteria Sessions
In October of 1970, two of the greatest modern bluesmen ever, guitarist Buddy Guy and harmonica ace Junior Wells, got together at Criteria Studios to lay down some tracks. Behind the boards producing the session was the unlikely trio of Eric Clapton, Atlantic Records head honcho Ahmet Ertegun, and Tom Dowd, who'd engineered tracks for everyone from Willie Nelson to Charles Mingus. This release is the first-ever appearance of six tracks from that very session. —Vincent Harris
This 12-inch single features two tracks. One is Miles' classic "The Ghetto Walk," originally from the sessions for the great trumpeter's genre-busting 1968 album In a Silent Way. That album found Miles moving away from traditional jazz into the earliest inklings of jazz fusion. The second track is a daring reinterpretation of "Ghetto Walk" by Grammy Award-winning producer and pianist Robert Glasper and singer Bilal. It's not easy to reinterpret a master, so we're anxious to hear their version. —VH
Some Other Time
Evans was one of the great jazz pianists of the 20th century who left us too soon, so this recently rediscovered lost album is exciting news. It was recorded for MPS Records five days after Evans' performance at the 1968 Montreaux Jazz Festival, and it's the only known studio recording of Evans' trio with bassist Eddie Gomez and drummer Jack DeJohnette. The liner notes feature interviews with Gomez and DeJohnette and never-before-seen photos. —VH
The Man Who Sold the World
For many, Record Store Day is all about finding the really badass picture discs, and the late David Bowie's The Man Who Sold the World — originally released in 1970 — from Rhino Records could quite possibly be the most anticipated one this year. Released only a few months after the legend's passing, the beautiful red 12-inch features rare and exquisite German album artwork and is limited to 5,000 copies. —Kelly Rae Smith
The Animals get some love this RSD with a 10-inch vinyl from ABKCO Records that has never been released in the United States until now. Originally out in the UK in 1965, Animal Tracks is the Animals' fourth British EP and was cut at London's Kingsway Studios at 45 RPM and pressed on 10-inch vinyl for audio fidelity. There are only 3,000 copies to go around, each of which includes tracks like "How You've Changed," "I Believe to My Soul," "Let the Good Times Roll," and "Worried Life Blues." —KRS
Dave Davies Hits
Ray Davies may have been the Kinks' principle songwriter, but his brother Dave contributed a great deal too, like the No. 3 UK hit "Death of a Clown." That was the first solo single credited entirely to Dave, who was crowned one of the best guitarists of all time in 2003 by Rolling Stone. This RSD, BMB/Sanctuary is reissuing the long out-of-print Dave Davies Hits — originally released in April of 1968 — which features the aforementioned track plus "Susannah's Still Alive," "Love Me Till the Sun Shines," and "Funny Face." —KRS