12 Reasons To Visit Your Local Record Store On Saturday : All Songs Considered NPR Music picks a dozen of the most exciting releases from among the hundreds of singles, LPs and box sets that will be in record stores on Saturday, April 20.
NPR logo 12 Reasons To Visit Your Local Record Store On Saturday

12 Reasons To Visit Your Local Record Store On Saturday

Record Store Day is Saturday, April 20, 2013. Record Store Day hide caption

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Record Store Day

It's a perfect illustration of the current age of music fandom that this year's Record Store Day comes at the end of the week when Twitter introduced its music service — an online streaming music tool that tethers discovery to acquaintances who probably know your taste about as well as the checkout girl at the grocery store does.

Record Store Day isn't about immediate access to hugely popular songs. It's the slow-food alternative to the Internet's all-you-can-eat buffet. At many of the hundreds of participating independent record stores around the country, you'll wait in line with other fans for access to limited-edition pressings and reissues of songs and albums that won't ever chart on Billboard. New recordings by Stephen Malkmus, Brian Eno and Tegan and Sara will sit on shelves next to reissues of classics by Joan Jett, Built To Spill and The Notorious B.I.G. and hundreds more (click here for the complete list). Here are 12 of the special releases NPR Music's team is looking forward to getting our grubby little paws on the most.

A Dozen Reasons To Get Excited About Record Store Day

  • The Band, 'The Last Waltz' (Vinyl)

    The Band's The Last Waltz.

    This deluxe vinyl reissue of The Band's farewell concert soundtrack, with its elaborate original packaging, is perfect for a Record Store Day item because it's exactly what you'd hope to find digging in the used bins of your local shop: an essential album in pristine condition. It will also come in handy the next time the movie is on cable and you have a craving to hear Levon and Mavis sing "The Weight" again. -- Ann Powers

  • Best Coast, 'Fear of My Identity' b/w 'Who Have I Become' (7" Vinyl)

    Fear Of My Identity, Who Have I Become

    L.A. surf-rock duo Best Coast's sunny and seemingly carefree sound always fills my playlists when warm weather comes around. This year, their exclusive release for Record Store Day has a sense of angst and anxiousness mixed in with their familiar lo-fi melodies. Their 7" vinyl features two brand new tracks, "Fear of My Identity" and "Who Have I Become," both of which feature Bethany Cosentino's dad Ricky on the drums. -- Lorie Liebig

  • Dan Deacon, "Konono Ripoff No. 1" (7" Vinyl)

    Dan Deacon's "Konono Ripoff No. 1."

    How it is that I've never heard the connection between the intense and jubilant electronics of Baltimore-based Dan Deacon and the jubilant yet intense homemade sounds of Kinshasa's Konono No.1 is surprising. But now that Dan Deacon unleashes the Record Store Day project that he proudly calls "Konono Ripoff No. 1," the connection is sealed in my brain forever. Those repetitive mbira/marimba electronics capture the spirit in the trance-inducing sounds I heard from Konono No. 1. So glad Dan Deacon tipped his hat to those masters. -- Bob Boilen

  • Double Dagger, '333' + 'If We Shout Loud Enough' (LP and DVD)

    Double Dagger

    Scrappy, noisy, lacking guitars and led by a raw-throated yowler with an occasional stutter, Double Dagger cultivated something unlikely in its nine years together: a sense of the epic. 333 is the final release by the punky Baltimore trio, who played its last shows in late 2011. In the year-and-a-half since, the members have launched new bands, including drummer Denny Bowen's ascendant Roomrunner. But if the triumphant seven-minute single "Heretic's Hymn" is any indication, Double Dagger's swan song is no afterthought. As a bonus, 333 comes packaged with If We Shout Loud Enough — a new documentary about the band and its commitment, as stated in the trailer, "not to suck so much." -- Daoud Tyler-Ameen

  • Fela Kuti, 'Sorrow Tears & Blood' / 'Perambulator' (12" Vinyl)

    Sorrow Tears & Blood

    There's one limited edition release that will make your mind race and your nyansh shake: a 12" extended vinyl version of Afrobeat revolutionary Fela Kuti's classic "Sorrow Tears & Blood." Recorded shortly after the Nigerian Army destroyed his commune in February 1977 but written the year before in part as a response to the South African police's brutal attack on young students in Soweto, this track represents Fela at his blistering lyrical best.

    The flip side, "Perambulator," is gold: previously available only in a 1984 Nigerian pressing and then on an obscure Japanese issue, Fela cut this track with Africa '80 ­just before he began an 18-month jail term (officially on currency smuggling charges, but widely understood as political imprisonment). Aside from its historical interest, "Perambulator" is a lost classic. Between the woozy organ harmonies and his scorching lyrics, it's quintessential Fela — and great to have back in circulation at long last. -- Anastasia Tsioulcas

  • The Flaming Lips, 'Zaireeka' (Vinyl)

    I own two turntables, but that's not enough to play Zaireeka, the wildly experimental album originally released by The Flaming Lips in 1997. That's because some assembly is required with this music, as in you basically have to mix it yourself. The Record Store Day version of Zaireeka comes on four LPs which you have to play at precisely the same time in order to hear the songs as the band imagined them. The original version of Zaireeka was on four CDs and it was nearly impossible to get them to sync properly. Doing it on vinyl will certainly be even harder. But I'll have fun trying. -- Robin Hilton

  • Grouplove/Frightened Rabbit/Manchester Orchestra, "Architect/Make It To Me" (12" Vinyl)

    Manchester Orchestra with Grouplove & Frightened Rabbit.

    Indie-rockers Manchester Orchestra team up with friends Grouplove and Frightened Rabbit for a 12-inch single featuring two refreshingly different collaborations. Manchester Orchestra's Andy Hull and Frightened Rabbit's Scott Hutchison trade verses on the heart-wrenching acoustic track, "Architect," which the two wrote over a series of voice memos and e-mails. The B-side offers emotional lift: Manchester Orchestra and Grouplove's anthem, "Make It To Me." Beginning with a persistent rock riff and fluid vocals that boldly declare, "I'm not afraid to die," the song culminates in an electronic explosion of pop precision. Grouplove's Hannah Hooper and Manchester Orchestra's Chris Freeman helped design the album's artwork — two unique line drawings capturing the spirit of each collaboration. -- Desire' Moses

  • Jandek Vinyl Box Set

    Vinyl Box Set

    The enigma that is Jandek has consumed record collectors for more than 30 years. While not as mysterious as he once was, the Houston-based representative of Corwood Industries remains one of the music underground's most revered figures. Three of his earliest and eeriest albums — Ready For The House (1978), Six and Six (1981) and Chair Beside A Window (1982) — are getting the box set treatment from Portland record label Jackpot Records for Record Store Day, and you couldn't pick a better introduction to the man's solitary soundworld. But you better get in line early — Jackpot only pressed 500 copies. -- Otis Hart

  • Lloyd Cole & Hans-Joachim Roedelius / Roedelius Schneider (7" vinyl)

    Lloyd Cole & Roedelius / Roedelius Schneider.

    These days my vinyl listening happens mostly on the weekends and more often than not, weekend mornings follow a late night of live, often loud music. And so that narrows down my morning desires to the quieter side of my collection. I'm thrilled and curious to see Lloyd Cole, a favorite jangly singer and songwriter getting together with German ambient favorite Hans-Joachim Roedelius. This has been a project waiting to happen with Cole's tip of the hat to Roedelius on his Plastic Wood album and this year's collaboration Pastoral. I'm looking forward to this 7" vinyl, which has a collaboration between Roedelius and Stefan Schneider on the B Side, brightening my Saturday mornings with streaming instrumental rays of golden light ... serious fun. — Bob Boilen

  • Pulp - 'After You' (12" Vinyl)

    Pulp's 'After You.'

    Pulp's Jarvis Cocker always played Britpop's lecherous professor, but in the decade after the band broke up, he aged into the role. "After You," the first new Pulp song since 2001's We Love Life, has everything you could want out of a reunion: roiling bass, keening guitars and lyrics about the end of the world, booty shaking and big box groceries. It's a song that proposes something shockingly untoward and then makes it sound like a great idea. Add a remix by Belgian duo Soulwax that amps up the laid-back sleaze and you've got a party that should last until the apocalypse or the next Pulp reunion, whichever comes first. -- Jacob Ganz

  • Shearwater & Sharon Van Etten, 'Stop Draggin' My Heart Around' (7" vinyl)

    "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around," "A Wake For The Minotaur"

    Two great singers, performing in the Chicago offices of the A.V. Club (which, in the interest of full disclosure, I edited for more than a decade) combine to do right by Stevie Nicks, Tom Petty and the 1981 hit they recorded together, "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around." But Shearwater and Sharon Van Etten also throw in a languidly gorgeous new song, "A Wake for the Minotaur," as a B-side in which Van Etten and Shearwater singer Jonathan Meiburg blend their voices perfectly without trying to sound like anyone but themselves. -- Stephen Thompson

  • Various Artists, 'Imaginational Anthem Vol. 6: Origins of American Primitive Guitar' (Vinyl)

    Imaginational Anthem Vol. 6: Origins of American Primitive Guitar

    We're at the point now where young 20-somethings are taking up the American Primitive guitar torch, stretching out the blues. Imaginational Anthem — a compilation series that's introduced us to the likes of Jack Rose, Glenn Jones and Cian Nugent — digs into the roots that inspired OG pioneer John Fahey with its sixth volume. Bayless Rose, Sam McGee, Sylvester Weaver are just a few of the 1920s guitarists you'll hear in this gatefold vinyl release. -- Lars Gotrich