Every year Record Store Day celebrates indepedent records stores and their place in the music industry. Thousands of music fans lineup early in the morning at record stores across the country to snag limited edition LPs and snag old favorites. Stores themselves run fun promotions and feature live bands and DJs. One of the most fun parts of this event is hunting down special releases that all come out on the morning of Record Store Day. These release can be limited to as few as thousands to only hundreds of copies. These can be early rarities, special versions of upcoming releases, repressings of classics, or simply the only time you may ever be able to get your hands on a release. Around the station, WLUW staff members talked about their favorite picks from this years list of special releases. Read about them below!
Allison Lapinski (Assistant Music Director): I am most excited to get my hands on the exclusive 2015 IDLES EP from Balley Records. Comprised of 4 tracks, “Meat” is essentially the origin story for the Bristol band’s trademark post-punk sound. The B-side, “Meta,” will include remixes by David Pajo from Slint, Thom from Alt J, Pete Robertson of The Vaccines and Sly One. I am curious to hear how these artists reinterpret the intentional rawness of the original songs. Though the EP is central to the genius of the band’s 2017 and 2018 records, it has never been physically released. This is one of my favorite aspects of Record Store Day—the rarity and cool gems that are available in-store at local businesses across the nation. With only 5000 available worldwide, the pressure is on to find a Chicago copy!
Morgan Ciocca (Assistant Promotions Director): The Night We Met, the closing track of Lord Huron’s masterful 2015 album Strange Trails, is one of those songs that really hits me. Not to be melodramatic, but I could lay on my bed listening to it, entranced, for hours on end without want for any variation. The lyrics are simple but pointed with a brutal honesty that sends literal chills down my spine. Seeing that Lord Huron is releasing this track on its own 7” for Record Store Day this year has once again reminded me of how much in love with this song I am. I’m ready to track down a copy and never let it go; I will leave it on repeat until I can listen no longer and have to give myself another month or two before rediscovering it once again.
Andrea Busch (Program Director): The follow up release of Moses Sumney’s debut Aromanticism, this three song EP was a response to Sumney attending a protest in the Fall of 2014. The songs catalogue how he felt like a “camouflaged outsider,” and attempting to see “if power was a transferable device that could change hands through the vocalizing of unrest.” The EP is political and incendiary, featuring Sumney’s signature vocalizations and arrangements. “Power?” the opening tracks is a protest chant, Sumney’s voice slowly becoming more consistent and robotic. “Call-to-Arms” begins with a deep breath, before building to a cacophonous conclusion. The final track, “Rank & File” is a critique of the police that is inspired by the military cadence “I Don’t Know”
Jamie McMillin (Music News Director): Anybody who knows me knows that Twin Peaks is perhaps my favorite piece of media ever. Throughout the series, Angelo Badalamenti’s iconic soundtrack is the emotional thread that sells the show’s very distinct sense of atmosphere. It has also been proven that “Laura Palmer’s Theme” can be put over anything. Recently Rhino Records, Sacred Bones, and Mondo have been hard at work releasing special editions of music from across the series and the film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. Now Rhino returns to release the often overlooked soundtrack of the second season (opinions of which are, to say the least, contentious). Although the season’s quality is contested, it’s music is nothing to scoff at. This release collects tracks from both season 2 and Fire Walk With Me, and has never been released before on vinyl. My favorite track here is “Blue Frank”, a sneaking blues improvisation featured in one of the most unsettling scenes from Fire Walk With Me. I’m also really excited to listen to “Just You and I,” a song written James Hurley, a really cool biker. This double LP is limited to 9,000 copies and will be pressed on blue and green vinyl. We’re always listening to new music at the station but I can’t resist anything with “Twin Peaks” slapped on the cover!
Zoe Drellishak (Assistant Promotions Director): If I could have it my way at Record Store Day this Saturday, I would snag Death Grip’s Steroids (Crouching Tiger Hidden Gabber Megamix) which includes a 22-minute track that is the entirety of side A. I would then go grab Duran Duran’s As the Lights Go Down for my mom (who am I kidding, yes, I’m getting it for myself) which includes their famous tracks “Planet Earth”, “Girls on Film”, and “Hungry Like the Wolf”. Next, I would search for Roxy Music’s self-titled special release limited remixed record. However, I cannot afford to purchase all of these records on a college student’s budget, and so I will only choose one. The obvious choice is Devo’s This Is the Devo Box, complete with Devo’s six Warner albums released between 1978 and 1984, including Are We Not Men?, We Are Devo!, Freedom of Choice, and more. What could possibly make this better, you ask? They are all on DIFFERENT COLORED VINYL! If these special releases don’t make you want to go out and support your local record store, what will?