Here’s the good and the bad of Record Store Day in a nutshell: About 100 sleeves of the new “Songs for Slim” 7-inch single have been signed as a thank-you to Twin Cities music lovers by the musicians involved, including Curtiss A, Tim O’Reagan, Jim Boquist and Peter Buck. As of Monday, though, the vinyl to go with the singles — you know, the part with the actual music on it — had yet to arrive from the pressing plant.
Now in its sixth year of amping up our love for indie record shops across the country, Record Store Day drives up such a demand for vinyl, the plants get notoriously backed up, and the stores sweat it out waiting for the goods. But it’s usually all good in the end. Here are some reasons to get excited about Saturday’s “holiday.”
1. The free in-store (and outside-store) performances.
For the third straight year — and the second with lousy winter weather in the forecast — Hymie’s Vintage Records is turning RSD into a free, full-blown block party. Audio Perm, Big Quarters, Prissy Clerks and Southside Desire are set to perform outside the store, while Chastity Brown, the Ericksons, Ben Weaver, Martin Devaney and other songwriterly acts play indoors (11 a.m.-9 p.m.).
The Electric Fetus’ impressive lineup includes Greg Grease (11 a.m.), the 4onthefloor (noon), Frankie Lee (1 p.m.), Dave King Trucking Company (2 p.m.) and Austin, Texas’ psychedelicats the Black Angels (3 p.m.). Fifth Element’s all-hip-hop lineup will also include Mr. Grease, plus Mixed Blood Majority, Haphduzn, Kool Akiem and more DJs (set times to be revealed Saturday). Eclipse Records will have fun celebrity guest DJs, including radio mavens Jill Riley and Brian Oake.
2. The after-parties.
New this year, several local clubs are jumping on the bandwagon with RSD nighttime gigs featuring cool bands of the indie-store ilk. At the Hexagon Bar, local record labels such as Learning Curve, Guilt Ridden Pop and Modern Radio will be selling their goods while acts from their rosters perform, including the Blind Shake, the F- Yeahs, Rabbit Holes and Texas band Spray Paint (9 p.m. start, free).
The Amsterdam Bar & Hall will host its neighbor Eclipse Records’ after-party with an all-Duluth contingent featuring Retribution Gospel Choir, Cars & Trucks, the Fontanelles and Sarah Krueger (6 p.m., $6). And the Turf Club’s RSD party features two of the best psychedelic guitar-drone bands of the day, Los Angeles’ Warlocks and local favorites Flavor Crystals (10 p.m., $12).
3. The cool local releases.
They don’t come much cooler than that latest “Songs for Slim” single, benefiting former Replacements guitarist Slim Dunlap’s medical expenses with all the aforementioned musicians covering a pair of his tunes, plus the Decemberists’ rhythm section and Paul Westerberg on guitar. Only 1,000 copies of the single are available nationwide, and it’s the one single in the series being sold at a fixed price ($7.99), not auctioned. The vinyl for the 100 local copies did show up on Tuesday, by the way. Also, the Replacements’ “Songs for Slim” EP is newly available on vinyl this week.
Rhymesayers is issuing a 7-inch by Atmosphere featuring two unreleased demos, a colored-vinyl edition of Brother Ali’s “Shadows on the Sun” and other RSD exclusives, all at Fifth Element. Local vinyl and CD manufacturing company Noiseland also has a special treat for local buyers: Its “American Buffalo, Vol. 2” compilation — featuring the Pines, Haley Bonar, Gay Witch Abortion, BNLX and 10 more local acts — will be given out for free with qualifying purchases at the Fetus, Hymie’s, Roadrunner Records and Treehouse.
Also, look for special vinyl releases at Treehouse via store owner Mark Trehus’ own specialty label, Nero’s Neptune, including a new Paul Metzger album and “Pere Ubu: Live at the Longhorn 4/1/78.” A band whose members were at that Pere Ubu show, Hüsker Dü, will have its first single “Statues”/“Amusement” reissued via the Numero Group — the first new Hüskers product in 20-plus years.
4. All the other RSD collector items.
The vast array of options ranges from a Bob Dylan demo single to Big Mama Thornton reissue vinyl and a new Black Keys/Stooges spilt 7-inch to a Bon Jovi live picture disc. I doubt you’ll find the latter item at Fifth Element, though. Browse the entire list of limited-edition RSD items nationwide at RecordStoreDay.com.