Music Features

No Ripcord's Guide To Record Store Day Black Friday

In recent years, Black Friday has been synonymous with crowds of grown men and women clawing at each other for a chance to buy a discounted, big screen TV or the latest cheap, plastic plaything for their obnoxious and undeserving children. Indeed, Black Friday is a time where we are at once possessed, manipulated, and ultimately victimized by the big business purveyors of our commodity-driven culture. However, there is a small group of dedicated individuals bent on fighting the good fight on behalf of the shrinking populace of local businesses in America. 

One such group are the fine citizens who organize and maintain Record Store Day - a semi-annual event with the sole purpose of providing a small sales boost to independent record stores across the country. Special vinyl and CD releases are made exclusively for this one day, and often feature one of a kind collaborations, live recordings, and rarities that won't ever see a second pressing. For a music lover, it’s an unbelievable opportunity to obtain some of the most vibrant and interesting music on the planet. For a struggling record store owner, it’s a beacon of hope and faith in an otherwise dwindling industry. Below are some of our most anticipated releases for this edition of Record Store Day compiled by No Ripcord’s Andrew Ciraulo.

Rockabye Baby! Lullaby Renditions of The Flaming Lips

Why you should be excited: It seems that every record store day, The Flaming Lips treat us to something new and totally bizarre. This time around, Rockabye Baby Music is releasing an album of classic Flaming Lips tracks converted into gentle, instrumental lullabies - a concept not nearly as peculiar as their collaboration with Ke$ha and Biz Markie, but still a bit odd.

Tenacious D: Jazz

Why you should be excited: Want to hear The D lay down a smooth jam that would have even Miles Davis nodding his head in sullen approval? This might just be your one and only opportunity! And in case you were wondering how such a stunning achievement in modern jazz could have possibly come to exist, the release also comes with a download code for a video of the band recording the track.

Bert JanschBlack Water Side 7”

Why you should be excited: Aside from the song being a rather fantastic and influential folk piece? Well, it does come with an unpublished interview with Neil Young presumably talking about Jansch’s significant contributions to the music world. And really, who doesn’t want to read what the ever-opinionated man from Ontario has to say about one of the indisputable masters of folk?

Love: Forever Changes 45th Anniversary Edition

Why you should be excited: It’s a classic album repressed on 180 gram vinyl, what more could you want? Oh yeah, did I mention it comes with an alternate version of Alone Again Or on a 7” single? Yeah, just let that sink in for a moment.

Joe Strummer: Live At Action Town Hall

Why you should be excited: Surely any fan of The Clash is familiar with this 2002 benefit concert that occurred just a month before Strummer’s untimely death. The occasion was not only marked by quite a number of compelling performances by Strummer and his band, but even more so by the spontaneous reunion with Mick Jones, who joined the band on stage for Bankrobber, London’s Burning, and White Riot.

Frank Zappa: Why Don'cha Do Me Right / Big Leg Emma 7”

Why you should be excited: If the fact that these songs haven’t been released on 7” vinyl since 1967 doesn’t excite you enough, maybe the fact that they are the first remastered Zappa tracks to be featured on vinyl will totally blow your mind. If this is any indication of the future, I think we have something much bigger to be excited for; perhaps a vinyl reissue of the entire Zappa discography? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

Miles Davis: Sketches Of Spain Mono edition

Why you should be excited: No, Sketches Of Spain isn’t some deleted gem from the Miles Davis catalogue, it’s actually been around on vinyl for some time. However, if you are a jazz-head like me, you’re always looking for new ways to examine your favorite albums. Well, nothing quite says “fresh perspective” like being able to hear an album in its original mono mix, on 180 gram vinyl no less! Also getting the reissue treatment are two other classics from Miles: Miles Ahead and Porgy And Bess.

Reservoir Dogs: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Why you should be excited: That’s right, the soundtrack to the celebrated 1992 film by Quentin Tarantino is finally getting the vinyl treatment, and it comes in movie-inspired colored discs! I mean, seriously, who wants to pass on the potential opportunity to be that guy who gets the limited edition pink pressing? The bragging rights would be enormous! 

The Velvet Underground & Nico: Scepter Studios Acetate

Why you should be excited: We here at No Ripcord are quite fond of The Velvet Underground’s seminal first album. Hell, we even voted it the best debut album of all time! So naturally, we’re pretty stoked about the release of the Scepter Studios recordings from 1966. The record features unreleased early and alternate versions of songs that would later end up on The Velvet Underground & Nico individually stamped and numbered on 180 gram vinyl. What could be better than that? Answer: Nothing, absolutely nothing.

King Diamond: No Presents For Christmas

Why you should be excited: Seriously, look at that cover and tell me you don’t want to own this record. I’ll admit, King Diamond’s musical merit can be questionable at best, but you’ve got to be a serious Scrooge to not feel the fervent desire to purchase this novelty disc.