Sunday, April 21, 2013

Record Store Day 2013

For people like me, every day is Record Store Day. The idea of darkening the doorway of the neighborhood record shop (and there is one in my 'hood too) always seems appealing to me, so in some ways I should be dismissing the annual day with a brush of the hand. But yesterday I did sort of buy into it - but only perhaps because the timing worked with my life. The Attic, a record store across the river in Millvale (i.e. about eight minutes from my house when there's no traffic) opened at midnight, like they've done for at least the past few years. In 2011, I went there at midnight and got wigged out by the claustrophobia. It's narrow enough on a slow day. So this year, I decided to get up early (as I usually do anyway) and get there a little before 7 a.m., since it would either be dead or close to dead. I was right. 

The item that interested me was a live Art Blakey record that I think had the Jazz Messengers lineup with Lee Morgan and Wayne Shorter. Turns out, it wasn't pressed in time for RSD. On the jazz front, though, there were some 10" reissues of Fantasy EPs from the '50s, and I picked up this Cal Tjader release.

It's a pretty cool blend of all of Tjader's instruments - vibes (for which he's probably best known), drums (which his plays with an amazing amount of weight) and bongos (same as drums). The other guys in the trio play bass and drums, so with eight songs, there's a lot of variety. There were reissues of Miles Davis albums on Columbia, but it's stuff I already have in some format.

The next find was Destroyer's first album on Merge, which came out on vinyl for the first time yesterday.

Destroyer albums are all very strange to me. Strange and appealing. I don't have all of them, but I do own several. So far, this might be my favorite. It has that ethereal quality to it, but it also rocks, which is not something I always get from ol' Dan Bejar. Plus, the lyrics are amazing.

As far as singles go, there was a piece of cardboard next to the box of 7"s that read "Husker Du," so I knew I missed out something. (I later found out that it was a re-release of their first single, which I'm mixed on anyhow.) A box of Ringo Starr's biggest singles seemed like one of the stranger entries in the RSD canon. (To whom is THAT geared?) But the one thing that gave me the "I should get this" feeling was Sharon Van Etten's "We Are Fine."

The song appeared on the Tramp album but it has an unreleased B-side. I have to revisit that song a couple more times because I'm not sure how I feel about it yet.

If I had been super-flush with cash, I might have picked up the reissue of Half Japanese's 1/2 Gentlemen Not Beasts which is now a FOUR-record set, instead of the initial three records. But then again, I have two of the more rock Half Japanese albums that I haven't played in close to 20 years, but can't part with them either. There was also a used copy of the Miles Davis '60s box (CD not vinyl) that I feel like I should've grabbed because used stuff was discounted too. But right now, I'm up to my ears in a Duke Ellington Mosaic box that I borrowed from the library, so I decided to wait.

Conclusion: Three records, three different formats. Good times. Then I headed to work. On the way, I drove past Sound Cat, which had a line out onto the sidewalk before 8 a.m.

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