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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Record Store Day 2014 Wrap-up Part 1

I'm Rob G. And I'm back from the dead...

Has it really been three years??? Well, whadda know? Anyway. Another Record Store Day has come and gone and rather than rehash all the old sentiments I blogged about ages ago, I figured I'd just do a brief run down of my haul. Once again, I spent more than I'd planned, even though the list this year really left me underwhelmed. Go figure. (Sorry for the crap pictures. I'm doing this from my iPad.)

Leading off is Nothing New by Gil Scott-Heron, one of the few releases I was really looking forward to. Long story short, this is stuff GSH originally recorded for XL Records but was passed over in favor of what became I'm New Here/We're New Here. Stark recordings of just Gil and his piano, revisiting deep cuts from his catalog and a little chatting in between tracks. Needless to say, this is an essential pick-up for fans of GSH. Very deep stuff, goosebump territory here.

Tame Impala dropped Live Versions this year and I may be a little biased about this release as it happens to be from a Chicago show I attended. The band stretches out a bit in concert, so this isn't just a same old stuff with crowd noises type of affair. My only beef is that they trimmed down the set list to fit it on one record. I'd have gladly ponied up for a second disc to have the whole show. Nice emerald green vinyl too.

From 1968, we have Sun Ra's Outer Spaceways Incorporated, a nice slab of prime, live Arkestra. For an artist as prolific as Sun Ra, it can be a real crap shoot as to what you're getting, but this album delivers. Not a particularly rare recording, but nice to have it on lavender colored vinyl with snappy new artwork. Shame ORG Music didn't bother with a personnel listing though. 

Get On Down has become one of my favorite reissue labels, but this year their RSD pickins were kind of slim. Food For Thought by The J.B.s is uneven as most James Brown related LPs are, but there are some stone cold classics contained within. I'm sure I have all these tracks on various compilations, but it's still a good spin. The purple vinyl single of The Grunt is a nice touch, though the poster of the album cover I could give or take. 

And my second pull from Get On Down is my token overpriced 7" for this year ($12! Damn!) The Coldcut remix of Paid In Full is a classic moment in hip-hop and this is a nice reproduction of the British version of what may be Eric B. & Rakim's finest moment. The flip side ("Eric B. Is on the Cut") still sounds like filler and I'd have preferred the 12" of this with the full seven minute remix, so I guess I'm kind if split on this one. 

My blind buy for this year was Jazzman's Jef Gilson et Malagasy five LP/one 7" set. I'm still digesting this one, as it's all new to me, but I'm liking what I hear so far. Spiritual jazz with a bit of a foreign twinge. What's not to like, other than the packaging, which left me a bit underwhelmed. 

Another RSD repeat performer is The Black Angels who came out with another 10" this year called Clear Lake Forest. I'm not really sure what to say about is one other than if you don't like the Angels brand of Texas psychedelia, this isn't going to win you over. Clear vinyl, mp3 card. You know the drill. 

I think I'm going to stop for tonight as I'm running out of things to say. Keep an eye open for part two, before RSD '15, I hope.