April 20, 2012


Ten Most Exciting Record Store Day 2012 Releases

This Saturday is a momentous day for audiophiles, vinyl-enthusiasts and music-lovers in general: It's Record Store Day 2012! Hundreds of limited-edition releases will be available only at physical record stores across the U.S., with most of them selling out within the first few hours.

Although there are dozens of enticing releases—from an out-of-print White Stripes single to previously unavailable Miles Davis tracks—here are the Top 10 Record Store Day releases we're most excited for. And just to rile some people up, we ranked them from "most worthy of waking up at 4am" (a Flaming Lips collaborative album that includes Ke$ha blood!) to just plain awesome (the ever-reliable Sufjan Stevens).

1. The Flaming Lips: The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends
The Flaming Lips are a weird band, but this is certainly their strangest release yet. This album of collaborations brings Yoko Ono, Bon Iver, Ke$ha, Erykah Badu and Lightning Bolt under one vinyl roof. And just because that's not odd enough, Wayne Coyne practiced phlebotomy on several of these singers and claims these limited releases will be marked by their blood. Head here for more on Wayne Coyne's eclectic, bizarre list of guest artists and listen to the Lips' Neon Indian collabo "Is David Bowie Dying?" below.

2. Feist/Mastodon: Feistodon
Indie chanteuse Feist and crushingly-loud metal band Mastodon have a split single where they cover each other's songs (her "A Commotion," their "Black Tongue.") According to Feist, it was like a "wet dream" when she heard Mastodon was covering one of her tunes. Come again? Check out her fittingly loud take on Mastodon below.

3. St. VincentKROKODIL
Her label says this single "showcases [Annie] Clark's aggressive guitar chops and marks a stylistic departure from Strange Mercy." From the sound of this live version in Melbourne, this alone is reason enough to wake up early on Saturday.

4. Animal CollectiveTransverse Temporal Gyrus
This release pulls together the music Animal Collective recorded for their visually kaleidoscopic video-music exhibit at the Guggenheim Museum, before these the sound bites were put through a randomizer in the name of art. Watch a five-minute clip of their happening below.

5. Amanda Palmer & The Grand Theft Orchestra Polly b/w Idioteque
The punky cabaret singer/songwriter pairs her unsettling cover of Nirvana's "Polly" with a ukulele version of Radiohead's "Idioteque." Hear the former below.

6. Atmosphere and the Uncluded: Record Store Day Vinyl Picture Disc
Unreleased material from Minneapolis rap duo Atmosphere paired with the strange, awesome hip hop project of Aesop Rock and Kimya Dawson.

7. Of Montreal/Deerhoof: Stygian x} Bisection
Funky glam rockers Of Montreal return to their bedroom pop roots with a country-tinged ballad you can listen to below, but you'll have to wait until Saturday to hear art-rock band Deerhoof's contribution to their split 7 inch.

8. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart: Acid Reflex
The insanely catchy Brooklyn band gets the remix treatment by Washed Out, Twin Shadow, Violens and even Saint Etienne. You can preview the full four-song EP below.

9. Various Swedish Artists: Ingrid Volume 1
A slew of famous Swedes—from Lykke Li to Peter, Bjorn and John to Miike Snow to Teddybears—formed the Ingrid record label in 2011and this compilation is the first taste of what they've been tinkering with in their collective studio.  

10. Sufjan Stevens/Rosie Thomas: Hit & Run Vol. 1
Sufjan gets Auto-Tuned (?!) on this Air-meets-Postal Service collaboration with fellow indie oddball Rosie Thomas.