The Fleshtones. Uncle Tupelo. Charles Bradley. If those names mean anything to you, chances are you already know how you're spending this post-Thanksgiving day of shopping.
Indie retailers throughout the country, and many in the L.A. area, are once again celebrating Record Store Day this holiday season.
Designed to spur interest in mom-and-pop music shops, Record Store Day is now a twice-annual event in which artists and labels unleash a bounty of collectible offerings. Participating stores in the area include Hollywood's Amoeba Music, Echo Park's Origami Vinyl, Highland Park's Mount Analog and Long Beach's Fingerprints, among others.
While much of what is released on Record Store Day is aimed at collectors, there are numerous selections this Black Friday that will warm the hearts of even the more casual music (or comedy) lover.
Here are five such highlights being released Friday:
Nirvana, "In Utero 2013 Mix." Initially recorded with engineer/mixer Steve Albini in a two-week span at a cost that was said to be about $25,000, parts of "In Utero" were ultimately smoothed out before the record was given an official release. Shame, as the Albini mixes capture the always-on-edge sound of Nirvana better than the final product. So it's better late than never that surviving Nirvana members Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic allowed Albini to remix "In Utero" so it better reflects the original vision.
Queens of the Stone Age, "…Like Clockwork." This all-black limited edition vinyl pressing -- just 1,200 copies available in the U.S. -- is probably more for die-hards only. But it's also a good excuse for all of us to revisit the hard rock band's most recent album. This year's "…Like Clockwork" presented the long-standing John Homme-led project in a more vulnerable state. That doesn't mean it's a record for softies, only that Homme is not yet done exploring his vocal and melodic limits.
Bob Dylan, "Side Tracks." Early November saw the release of a 47-disc collection for Dylan completists dubbed "The Complete Album Collection V.1." For those who didn't want to spend close to $200 for the box -- or who had most of Dylan's discography -- the centerpiece was "Side Tracks," a two-disc compilation of rare Dylan cuts paired with an assortment of Dylan odds-and-ends. Here, they're presented on a limited edition triple LP.
Ernie Kovacs, "A Percy Dovetonsils Chrithmath." One of the wilder, goofier comics to find fame during the golden age of TV in the 1950s, Kovacs created a number of beloved, oddball characters. One was Percy Dovetonsils, a lispy, highfalutin and non-politically correct hack of a poet. This 10-inch picture disc collects five hard-to-find holiday Dovetonsils readings.
Reissues from the Clash, Miles Davis and the Replacements. Don't despair if you opted not to brave the Record Store Day crowds. While some of the more limited releases will surely be gone, a number of the most well-known reissues will be well-stocked through the holidays -- and available at only indie stores until early 2014. These include vinyl offerings of the Replacements' late-career effort "All Shook Down" and Miles Davis' 1958 release "Jazz Track," as well as remastered CD versions of the entirety of the Clash's catalog, minus "Cut the Crap."
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