Record Store Day a vinyl bonanza
The classic image of the indie record store, as popularized in the John Cusack film, "High Fidelity," is that of a fortress, defended on high by clerks and perpetual customers who make it their business to know more than you ever could about obscure bands and forgotten genres, and don't hesitate to give a withering stare to anyone interested in the latest pop obsession.
Though this is largely caricature, and the Internet has long since handed the keys to the castle of cool to anyone with an RSS feed, it's this historically exclusionary stance to music appreciation that the annual Record Store Day event is meant to help counter.
A coordinated release of hundreds of special, limited-edition vinyl and CD releases designed to reward loyal patrons and seduce music lovers back into the fold of their friendly neighborhood music store, the annual event is celebrating its fifth anniversary on Saturday. The event has steadily grown beyond boutique indie label offerings to include heavies such as Warner Brothers and Columbia, who are craftily leveraging their deep catalogs to take advantage of vinyl's recent revival.
To aid in your weekend shopping, amNewYork takes a look at some of the most intriguing RSD releases and a sampling of NYC shops that cater to LPs:
The venerable downtown store will feature DJ sets by Four Tet, Black Dice, and Ex Cops. (15 E. Fourth St.)
Recently dubbed the city's "Best Record Shop" by New York magazine, this Carroll Gardens spot, naturally, also features taxidermy. (461 Court St., Brooklyn)
J&R Music World
The long-standing NYC store will have performances by Everest, Yann Tiersen and Mike Doughty. (23 Park Row)
This East Village haunt is known for its eclectic stock of rock, soul and jazz. (218 E. Fifth St.)
Indie favorites Mates of State will be playing this Williamsburg fixture at 7:30 p.m. (44 Berry St., Brooklyn)
Academy Records & CDs
The Academy empire of stores, now also in Brooklyn, is a cornerstone of the NYC vinyl trade. (Multiple locations)
Animal Collective --'Transverse Temporal Gyrus'
Arcade Fire - 'Sprawl II/ Ready to Start'
If anyone can pack in music nerds, it's this one-two punch. The former is releasing their 2010 collaboration with Danny Perez performed at the Guggenheim Museum, and the Canadian heroes are offering remixes from "The Suburbs.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. --'We Almost Lost Detroit' EP
Along with an excellent video, this revved-up cover of the Gil Scott-Heron classic gets an exclusive vinyl release.
Beach House -- 'Lazuli'
Fresh music from the Baltimore dream-pop duo in advance of their new album, "Bloom," due in May.
Mastodon/ Feist --'Feistodon'
Indie pop queen Feist's last record was called "Metals." Mastodon plays metal. This should work fine.
The Flaming Lips --'The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends'
In what is surely the must-have exclusive, the rock warlocks team up with the likes of Bon Iver, Yoko Ono, Coldplay's Chris Martin, Erykah Badu and Ke$ha for supremely trippy good times.
T.Rex -- "Electric Warrior"
Rhino Records is digging deep in the vault, offering releases by the Misfits, The Grateful Dead, and more, but we covet this special edition of Marc Bolan's classic album, spread across six 7-inch singles.