Handy Guide To Your Future Ill-Advised Record Store Purchases: For Broke College Students, By A Broke College Student


The seventh Record Store Day is upon us once again. This year, it can be put in that ripe spot of being not so brand new that there’s no one but you and a couple of nomad bloggers who’ll end up showing, but not too old that it has long since been watered down to the point of unrecognizability by massive corporations hoping to cash in on impressionable twenty-somethings with buzzwords like “trendy” (cough!cough!Cochella!cough!).

Record Store Day was dreamed up by a group of record store owners based out of Baltimore back in 2007 who derived inspiration from success of annual Free Comic Book Day. It has been celebrated by record stores worldwide every year since 2008 on the third Sunday of every month. The event frequently comes with its share of fanfare, special events, in-store appearances/performances by musicians, and oh so very much more.

But the blood and guts of Record Store Day has always been first and foremost about the records. Oh so many records. But with all the new releases, live albums releases, vinyl reissues releases, special edition box sets releases (with commemorative T-shirts) and so much more ready to clutter your nightstand, how do you sort through the selection to find the purchases most worth your dollar? Below is a tentative list of some of the albums I think may be worth a bite out of your tax return. More information about the complete list, including regional exclusives, can be found at recordstoreday.com

1) Chvrches – Recover EP

This is a vinyl release of the debut EP of that delightful electro pop outfit everyone is going to end up talking about waaaay more in about a year. And while it doesn’t feature the single that first garnered them commercial radio play, “The Mother We Share,” you’ve still got your fair share of retro synth goodness that’s definitely worth the vinyl re-issue.

2) The Cure/Dinosaur Jr – Side By Side “Just Like Heaven”

As far as Record Store Day exclusives go, the limited edition “Side by Side” series really are must-buys. The idea is simple enough; 7-inch vinyls with a track by the original artist as the A-side, followed by a cover of the track on its B-side. The Devo/Flaming Lips vinyl of “Gates Of Steel” is definitely worth looking into (especially considering the fact that it features a rare Devo live performance), and the Pantera cover of the criminally underrated Portland hardcore act, Poison Idea’s “The Badge,” also bears a mention. But for pure musical bliss, you can’t go wrong with “Just Like Heaven,” serenaded by The Cure and covered up by Dinosaur Jr. Respectively.

3) Jimmy Page & The Black Crowes – Live At The Greek

This includes the legendary Led Zeppelin ax-man tearing it up on stage with The Black Crowes for one night only. Did I mention this is an exclusive release with only so many editions printed and no hint of a follow-up performance? And you’re not reaching for your wallet, why? On the list of things titled “unlikely to see again,” chalk up literally anything involving the remaining members of Led Zeppelin leaving their dingy castles to record music. The accompaniment of Black Crowes is just extra icing on an already loaded cake.

4) The Notorious B.I.G – Live After Dead

A reissue of the infamous Biggie Small’s final album released back in 1997 on triple vinyl, and frankly it’s long overdue. Live After Dead arguably featured Smalls at his best: spitting fire and all but destroying on the album that spawned his greatest hits and bolstered his legacy. With essential tracks such as“Mo Money, Mo Problems,” “Going Back To Cali,” “Miss U” and “Hypnotize” it wouldn’t be a stretch to call the whole album a countdown of the best of the 90s in hip-hop.

5) Of Montreal – Jigsaw Puzzle

It wouldn’t be a proper Record Store Day without a shout out to a Georgia act who’s been given the spotlight of the day to float a new single. A track left off the cutting room floor from the recording sessions of their newest full length, Lousy With Sylvainbrair, “Jigsaw Puzzle” keeps to the established hazy psychedelic pop weirdness that the Athens outfit does so well. Flip to the B-side to check out an alternate version of “Triumph of Disintegration” from the LP.

6) Velvet Underground – Loaded

A vinyl reissue of the legendary band’s 1970 record is kind of a no-brainer. As far as albums go, you can take some solace in the fact that The Velvet Underground’s Loaded is pretty damn iconic and would probably be THE iconic album in their discography if it weren’t for the infinitely way more way known Nico album artwork of Andy Warhol. So, odds are pretty good that if you fail to grab it this time around at Record Store Day, you’ll get your chance again. No, the reason you should be getting it because of all the Velvet Underground albums, it’s arguably one of the best, loaded down with sweet power pop hook after power pop hook.

7) Nirvana – Pennyroyal/I Hate Myself And Want To Die

Well, here’s a depressing thought: originally this was conceived for a single released in 1994 and would have been put out was it not for the death of Kurt Cobain. Despite that bleak thought, it’s refreshing to get a hold of a Nirvana original that’s not part of a pricery/tacky anniversary box set.

8) Norman Greenbaum – Spirit In The Sky

Let me just go ahead and answer the questions that are already brewing in the back of your mind: Did Norman Greenbaum record anything else besides “Spirit In The Sky?” Yes. Does anyone really care? No. He is still, for the most part, considered a one-hit wonder. Is he still alive? Surprisingly, yes. Is this purchase worth it? I’ll answer that question with this little-known bit of trivia: “Spirit In The Sky” hasn’t been put out as a vinyl single since it was first printed in 1969. Now, you can decide for yourself if it’s worth it.

9) Fishbone – Fishbone

If you should ever catch yourself wanting to reminisce about that height of ska in the mid 80s and enjoy the bouncy tunes of one almost-forgotten novelty act, you can’t go wrong with reminiscing about Fishbone. Their debut EP Fishbone hasn’t been reprinted in almost 30 years, and it’s criminal how they’ve all but been (almost) forgotten outside of being recalled by a few die-hard ska heads. Fishbone arguably was and still is the weirdest damn band ever to shuffle, even if you do end up buying their debut again just so you can keep replaying “Party At Ground Zero” forever.

10) Various Artists – The Muppet Movie

No, not THAT one. This is the soundtrack from the original Muppet Movie that kicked off the era of the Muppets back in 1979. The vinyl of the soundtrack hasn’t been available in 35 years and is finally getting remastered re-print for Record Store Day—all crisp and ripe for you to ruin by dragging the needle back over “Rainbow Connection” again and again until your roommate tries to murder you.



1) The Long Goodbye (Live at Madison Square Garden) – LCD Soundsystem

This behemoth 5xLP box set chronicles the epic (and I don’t use that word lightly) final performance of dance masterminds LCD Soundsystem. The performance went on for nearly four hours and included virtually every hit the group made. It even featured a guest appearance from Arcade Fire on the track “North American Scum.” If you’re looking for a reason to go broke on RSD, look no further then “The Long Goodbye.”


Any diehard Atlantan knows there is no conceivable way to downplay the impact OutKast’s 1994 debut “SOUTHERNPLAYALISTICADILLACMUZIK” had not only on establishing the ATL as the hip-hop capital of the world but also on forever altering the collective consciousness of Atlanta. This reissue marks the 20th anniversary of the seminal LP with 180g numbered copies.

3) Satanic Panic in the Attic – of Montreal

Before of Montreal was hanging out in T-Mobile commercials and bringing white horses onstage, frontman Kevin Barnes was still an unknown quirk in the famed roster of the Athens-bred Elephant Six Collective. The 10th anniversary edition of “Satanic Panic in the Attic” marks the most pivotal moment of the group’s career when they cast off the pseudo-Beatles twee pop of their early years and synthesized their scatterbrained songwriting into a fully-realized collection of pop psychedelic bliss.


4) From Here We Go Sublime – The Field


Despite the fact that minimal techno powerhouse The Field’s debut received near-universal acclaim upon its release, Kompakt records has yet to issue a proper vinyl edition. After seven long years of CD and digital releases, the subtle atmospheric grandeur of “From Here We Go Sublime” finally gets the vinyl treatment it deserves with a limited Record Store Day release.

5) It Takes A Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back – Public Enemy

Even though Public Enemy frontman Chuck D didn’t officaily sign off on the reissue of his incredibly influential second LP “It Takes A Nation of Million to Hold Us Back,” the release is an absolutely crucial addition to the record collection of anyone who wants to have an elementary understanding of hip-hop.

6) Modern American Music… Period! (The Criterion Tapes) – Jaco Pastorius

Fusion bass deity Jaco Pastorius was only 25 years old when he released his debut LP and forever upped the expectations that fans and critics alike held for the electric bass. This album unearths unreleased sessions from his debut in addition to alternate takes of classics such as “Continuum” and “Opus Pocus.”


7) Se E Tun De/Waka WakaFela Ransome Kuti & His Koola

The fingerprints of Nigerian Afrobeat legend Fela Kuti’s influence can be found in a countless number of genres from funk, to electronic, even to more conventional pop. RSD honors his legacy with a rare 7″ of his more jazz-oriented singles “Se E Tun De” and “Waka Waka.”

8) Transcriptions – Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys

This pick dates back 65 years old when Western Swing reigned supreme across the Midwest and radio recordings had to fit a very strict time limit to be on the air waves. These 10 tracks from the cowboy powerhouses that were Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys were extended versions only made available to select radio stations that are just now seeing the light of the day for the first time in over half a century.

9) Get Thy Bearings – Bonobo

Bonobo’s unique brand of hip-hop tinged electronica made waves last year with the release of his stellar fifth LP, “The North Borders.” This RSD single is his exclusive cover of Scottish folk icon’s 1968 “Get Thy Bearings.”

10) Don’t Leave the Night/Sustain – Badbadnotgood

Badbadnotgood have gained a reputation as genre-benders never comfortable being pigeonholed into one sound. Their styles gracefully flirts with hip-hop, electronica and jazz without ever succumbing to the limits of any one style. Their special RSD release features singles “Can’t Leave The Night” and “Sustain” off of their newest album, “III.”