A Word On Record Store Day

This coming Saturday (April 16th) is Record Store Day. For all intents and purposes, if you own a deck, you should be out supporting your local indie and helping them stay open in harsh times. The record stores themselves would be more than happy if you bought anything at all but it would be much cooler if you got yourself something good, don't you think?

Not that I'm an expert - though in reality, I beg to differ - if you need a hand, in no particular order here's some killer releases you should make an effort to get your hands on: 

The-Doors-Record-Store-Day-Sion-Smith-Blog

1: The Doors • Live at the Aquarius: The First Performance

A triple album no less! In a limited quantity of 5000, this Record Store Day version features the Doors' first night of a two night stand at the Aquarius Theatre on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, California. 

Joan-Jett-Sinner-Record-Store-Day-Sion-Smith-Blog

2: Joan Jett and the Blackhearts • Sinner

Originally released in 2006, Sinner contains the original fourteen tracks, (on 150gram clear vinyl), includes a download card with the full album plus bonus enhanced footage including videos for A.C.D.C. and Androgynous as well as a pdf of lyrics (yeah, they should really stop doing this right - if you want to give us lyrics, put them on the freaking inside sleeve). Limited to 4000 copies. Great album regardless of the nonsense bagged up with it.

Cheap-Trick-Budokan-Record-Store-Day-Sion-Smith-Blog

3: Cheap Trick • At Budokan

Back in April 1978, Cheap Trick capitalized on their wild popularity in Japan by performing and recording two shows at the Nippon Budokan located in the center of Tokyo in front of 12,000 screaming fans. In February 1979, the legendary 10-track Cheap Trick at Budokan was released and the album peaked at number 4 on the Billboard 200 becoming the band’s best-selling album with over 3 million copies sold. This 'Complete Concert’ edition features all of the 19 songs featured during those historical shows spread over two LPs. Simply awesome. Don't like Cheap Trick? You know nothing about rock n roll my friend. Limited to 5000 copies - dig it.

Chris-Cornell-Euphoria-Mourning-Sion-Smith-Blog

4: Chris Cornell • Euphoria Mourning

First released in September 1999 under the title ‘Euphoria Morning’ (with the missing ‘u’), this was Cornell’s first solo album and his only album released between the split of Soundgarden and the formation of Audioslave. In Cornell’s own words “The title of the record has been restored to its original spelling, which was changed before release after I listened to some bad advice.”

Featured on the album is first single, ‘Can’t Change Me’, which was nominated for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance at the 2000 GRAMMY Awards. ‘Flutter Girl’ was reportedly an outtake from Soundgarden’s 1994 album, Superunknown, while Cornell revealed later on during a 2007 solo tour that ‘Wave Goodbye’ was written as a tribute to Jeff Buckley, who drowned in Memphis in 1997.

One of my favourite albums of all time. Trust me on this.

zakk-wylde-book-of-shadows-ii-cover

5: Zakk Wylde • Book Of Shadows II

As fierce and diverse as his work in BLS and as large as his accomplishments as lead guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne have been, Book of Shadows II offers an even richer look into the spirit and psyche of one of the most beloved pillars of the hard rock community. Book Of Shadows II was just released this week - and if you think you know exactly what to expect based on that write-up, think again. Available at all the usual digital places if you're curious but on vinyl, this is rock at its best. Again... trust me on this.

Footnote: this means going to find a record store and not heading to the local supermarket because they have figured out there could be money in selling vinyl. Do the right thing.

•••

Interestingly, I was wondering why there wasn't also an indie bookstore day - but then I went to look and found that there is. They have a site here and I've never been quite so disappointed by anything in my life. Is that really it?

I guess it's OK if you want to buy books about cats, tea towels or a colouring book.. because GOD KNOWS THAT'S JUST WHAT WE NEED IN OUR BOOK STORES right?

Why hasn't somebody curated fifty books from around the world - classics and modern - and gotten some designers on the case? There are dozens of things the publishing world could have collectively pulled together to make it great but all I see is not very much at all to do with reading.

Just promotional crap.

Are we still seriously sitting around wondering why there are less indie bookstores left in the world than there are Bengal Tigers?

•••

Meanwhile, work still continues on Something Important which Needs To Be Done Soon - it's important to me anyway - so expect sporadic updates at best. I'll clue you in just as soon as I know more.