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Metro’s Record Store Day Picks

In Music
VINYL UNDERGROUND: Go into this year's Record Store Day prepared with our list of picks, including Wu Tang, Waxahatchee, and more

VINYL UNDERGROUND: Go into this year's Record Store Day prepared with our list of picks, including Wu Tang, Waxahatchee, and more

For more than 10 years now, Record Store Day, the annual celebration of locally owned, brick-and-mortar music shops, has stoked the passions of music lovers all over the country. Every year, artists release new and previously unheard music, along with bootlegs and reissues—often in collectable formats, including vinyl and cassette.

Below are some of the choice titles that you might be able to get your hands on if you visit Streetlight or Rasputin. But don’t forget to visit other local shops. Look to On the Corner Music in Campbell for great bargains on used records. Be sure to factor in some serious browsing time in order to comb through the massive selection at The Record Man in Redwood City. And be prepared to tap into your savings account after listening to the high-fi audio equipment at The Analog Room in San Jose.

Neil Young
Tonight’s the Night Live
Revered and reviled in equal measure, Tonight’s The Night is an almost mythical release for Neil Young fans. Though it has some of his best songs and was named one of the 500 best rock albums of all time by Rolling Stone, it is also difficult, obstinate and drunk with grief. This live album (from a two-night stint at the Roxy) was the first performance of the songs that would haunt a generation.

Arcade Fire
Arcade Fire EP
The first release by Win Butler and crew, this self-titled seven-song EP is available on vinyl for the first time ever. Originally appearing in 2003, the album features one song that was later re-recorded for Neon Bible (“No Cars Go”), as well as a few that have been staples of live sets over the years. Perfect for completists, or anyone interested in following the band’s development over the years.

The Dap Kings
A Closer Look At The Dap-Kings
Destined to become a DJ staple, this collection of instrumental tracks by one of the greatest live bands this side of Y2K is sure to go quick. The Dap Kings were the backing band for almost the entire neo-soul movement of the early 21st century, laying down the tracks for Amy Winehouse, Charles Bradley and Sharon Jones—all of whom are sadly gone. Now this release allows listeners to hear the detail in all its glory.

Chicano Batman
Chicano Batman
The long-out-of-print self-titled full length by L.A.’s Chicano Batman gets a limited reissue treatment for Record Store Day, this time with new artwork. Celebrated for their soulful mix of psychy ’60s rock and good ol’ party vibes, they’ve been a singular (and funky) voice in Latin rock since this album dropped in 2009. A testament to their timelessness, it still sounds as fresh today as it did then. Limited to 3,000 copies.

Courtney Barnett
The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas
On the strength of these two EPs, Courtney Barnett went from playing Melbourne bars to Saturday Night Live. Now reprinted on picture disc for Record Store Day, this edition comes with goodies like a Mom+Pop Records 10-year poster, and a Barnett temporary tattoo. Originally released in 2014 (before she collaborated with Kurt Vile), the record includes the hit “Avant Gardener,” which established Barnett as something of this generation’s Lou Reed and launched her career in the process.

Waxahatchee & Kevin Morby
Dark Don’t Hide It / Farewell Transmission
Jason Molina’s untimely death in 2013 haunted many in the music community. In life, the singer of Songs: Ohia and Magnolia Electric Co. seemed dogged by an incredible pain, following him around like a shadow. This split from Katie Crutchfield (aka Waxahatchee) and Kevin Morby (Woods, The Babies) comprises two covers of beloved Molina songs as a fundraiser for Musicares, a nonprofit that offers mental health services to musicians. Beautiful music for an important, oft-overlooked cause.

Notorious B.I.G.
Juicy 12-inch
Yes, this is only one track and, yes, it was originally released way back in 1994 (and can still be heard regularly today), but “Juicy” is without a doubt one of the best hip-hop songs of all time. From the beat, to the impossibly catchy chorus, to the pitch perfect rags-to-riches lyrics, this is the song every emcee in the game wishes they wrote. A must for every party, DJ set and collector alike. Biggie lives on.

Wu Tang Clan
Enter the Wu Tang (36 Chambers) on Cassette
Why give Enter the Wu Tang a cassette tape release in 2018? Because if you want to hear Wu Tang the way Wu Tang first heard Wu Tang, this is it. When it was released in ’93, the tape was the dominant format for demos and studio bounces. Plus it has a different sound than vinyl—it’s grimier and more boomy, which makes it perfect for this famously gritty record, and one of the best albums in hip-hop.

The Ramones
Sundragon Sessions
One of the rarest items on this list is the Sundragon Sessions by the Ramones. Recorded in ’76, these were demos for the band’s second album, Leave Home, and were only released recently as part of that record’s 40th anniversary box set. If you didn’t get the box set then, or simply want these gems on vinyl, this is the one and only way to do so. Limited to a worldwide run of 10,000.

Czarface & MF Doom
Man’s Worst Enemy 7”
Inspectah Deck often gets forgotten in the rouges gallery that is the Wu Tang Clan, but he’s had a renewed sense of purpose in the hip-hop supergroup Czarface. This new 7” is meant to be played along with the accompanying comic book that serves as the record’s insert. It’s a (graphic) novel usage of media, and one makes the case for the physical record over streaming in a whole new way.

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