What started out in 2008 as a way of celebrating the unique culture of independent record stores (and, ok, as a way of helping slagging sales in an increasingly digital age), Record Store Day has quickly become an annual event. Artists, labels and promoters have jumped headlong into the festivities, offering up a music dork's motherlode of in-store performances, limited editions, deluxe reissues and bonus 7" and 12" EPs, all with the intent of giving that extra little kick to the pants that will get bodies in stores, preferrably spending money. And that's not a bad thing.
So what can you expect to find out and about? Well....a staggering number of things, actually, and we're not going to run them all off right here (go here for that). But there are a few highlights of which you should probably be aware...
•A triple cassette box set reissue of the Kill Rock Stars compilations you may remember from your youth, namely Kill Rock Stars, Rock Stars Kill and Stars Kill Rock. The Spinanes, Bratmobile, Bikini Kill, Jad Fair, Mary Lou Lord and (gasp) Courtney Love are but a few of the names here from label's early hey-day.
•A 10th anniversary vinyl reissue of Blitzen Trapper's self-titled debut, including a digital download that includes five previously unreleased bonus songs.
•A reissue (on CD and vinyl) of Built to Spill's Live, recorded during their 1999 tour, released in 2000 and unavailable for more than a decade.
•A recently recorded live set from Calexico called Spiritoso that finds them bolstered by the the Radio Symphonic Orchestra Vienna and the Deutsches Filmorchester Babelsberg.
•Stephen Malkmus (and friends) covering Can's 1972 landmark Ege Bamyasi. On green vinyl, natch.
•A new two-sided 7" from the Minus 5, part of The Replacements' Songs for Slim series. Scott McCaughey is joined by Peter Buck, Nate Query, John Moen, Curtiss A, Tim O'Reagan and Jim Boquist. On transluscent maroon vinyl.
•A new Elliott Smith 7" on Kill Rock Stars featuring four alternate outtake versions of songs from either/or-- "Alameda," "Ballad of Big Nothing," "Angeles," and "Punch and Judy."
•A Thermals 7" containing four demos from the just released Desperate Ground.
Speaking of The Thermals, they'll be helping to celebrate the holiday by being in a record store themselves, playing Music Millenium at 2, ahead of their release show tonight at Branx. Later on at 6:30, the legendary Sparks will also be meeting and greeting at Music Millenium, ahead of their first ever Portland show tomorrow night at the Aladdin Theater.
Elsewhere, at Everday Music's downtown location, Radiation City plays a DJ set at noon, followed by Mudhoney's Steve Turner at 1, and Quasi at 2. Denver plays live at 3, followed by a Laura Veirs DJ set at 4.
Happy Record Store Day, everyone! Go forth and buy!