Music nerds, and nerdy music critics, rejoice! Saturday is our geek-out holiday, Record Store Day, a worldwide celebration of indie music shops and glorious vinyl albums.
When the event officially kickstarted in 2008, it was wee, hipsterish, a tidy celebration of bands only your coolest friends liked. Some $30,000 worth of Record Store Day exclusive merchandise — a.k.a. "The List," which we'll get to in a sec — was issued.
Last year some $7 million (!) worth of exclusives were on the List, including one-day-only RSD releases from Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder and Bruce Springsteen.
Yep, Record Store Day has gone HUGE, propelled also by the relative resurgence of vinyl as a major listening format again. (And yes, if you're wondering, turntable sales are up for the first time in more than a decade, too!)
"Record Store Day only works if people believe in it," event cofounder Michael Kurtz told me. "And now it's being celebrated in every continent except for Antarctica."
As you'll see in the accompanying list, scads of local indie music shops are taking part in this year's RSD celebration (always on the third Saturday in April). Part of the fun, and the frustration, is that exclusive items released for just one day are almost always limited.
Got that? Limited.
For instance, the Rolling Stones have printed just 5,000 copies of the five-track vinyl EP 5 x 5, initially released in 1964 in the U.K. That's 5,000 total, worldwide, which means a handful of copies locally. And demand is going to be high: This is the first time 5 x 5 will be released in the U.S. Pretty sweet, huh? The EP, which contains mono mixes of cuts recorded at Chicago's Chess Studio, includes original song Empty Heart as well as covers of Solomon Burke and Chuck Berry.
But it's not just the rock dinos getting in on the fun: Grammy kings Mumford & Sons will offer Live at Bull Moose on both vinyl (4,000 copies available) and CD (6,000 copies available).
Again, fair warning: There's no guarantee your fave record shop will have the exclusive item you desire — but it'll be fun as heck to search and pray for it, right?
Geeks, warm up your wallets. Here's a quick look at other RSD exclusives, from the small to, well, David Bowie. For the full, and downright epic, "List" head to recordstoreday.com.
• Bob Dylan, Wigwam, 7-inch vinyl single, a.k.a. an old-school 45 rpm (9,500 copies)
• The Black Keys & the Stooges, Side by Side: No Fun, an "orange burst" colored 7-inch single (7,000 copies)
• Public Enemy, Planet Earth: The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Greatest Rap Hits, 12-inch picture disc (no press run given)
• Cream, Royal Albert Hall London May 2-3-5-6 2005, a box set of three "white vinyl" LPs (1,350 copies)
• Best Coast, Fear of My Identity/Who Have I Become, a 7-inch single (1,700 copies)
• Garbage, Because the Night, 10-inch "Coke bottle clear vinyl" (5,000 copies)
• David Bowie, Drive-In Saturday Night, a 7-inch picture disc (3,000 copies)
• Grateful Dead, Rare Cuts & Oddities, two vinyl LPs (5,000 copies)
• MGMT, Alien Days, a cassette single! (2,000 copies)
• Dazed and Confused soundtrack, on "weed green" vinyl (4,750 copies)
• The Avett Brothers and Randy Travis, Music from CMT Crossroads, a 7-inch single (2,500 copies)
• The White Stripes, Elephant: 10th Anniversary, two "colored vinyl" LPs in a gatefold cover (no press run given)
• Phoenix, Entertainment, a "gray vinyl" 7-inch single (3,000 copies)
• Eric Church, Caught in the Act, double-LP in a gatefold cover with bonus "whiskey-infused" 7-inch single (no press run given, although this is one of the few that will be available after RSD)
• Jerry Goldsmith's Poltergeist soundtrack, vinyl LP (500 copies — and I am soooo getting one of them!)
Sean Daly can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @seandalypoplife on Twitter.