3 vinyl albums that may lure you to shop on Record Store Day
Today is Record Store Day, a promotion that has blossomed into the biggest sales day of the year for independent record stores.
Seattle Times jazz critic
Seattle Record Store Day stores and eventsEasy Street Queen Anne (20 Mercer St., 206-691-3279 or http://easystreetonline.com).
1 p.m. Dierks Bentley
4 p.m. Brad
Easy Street West Seattle (4559 California Ave., 206-938-3279 or http://easystreetonline.com).
6 p.m. Lance Mercer Photo Exhibition
7:30 p.m. The Young Evils
9 p.m. Reignwolf
Everyday Music (1520 10th Ave., 206-568-3321 or www.everydaymusic.com).
10 a.m. Bryan John Appleby
11 a.m. Dr. Troy (Medical Records)
1 p.m. DJ El Toro
2 p.m. DJ Ya Sure Shot
3 p.m. Naomi Punk
4 p.m. DJ Veins
5 p.m. Sea Pony
6 p.m. Hotels
7 p.m. TacocaT
8 p.m. The Horde and the Harem
9 p.m. DJ CanAfrica
Silver Platters Queen Anne (701 Fifth Ave. N.; 206-283-3472 or www.silverplatters.com).
Noon Will Hoge
1 p.m. Gravel Road
2 p.m. Dar Williams
3:30 p.m. Caveman
5 p.m. Perfume Genius
Silver Platters Northgate (9560 First Ave., N.E.; 206-524-3472 or www.silverplatters.com).
1 p.m. DJs from Light in the Attic Records and Fin Records
Sonic Boom (2209 N.W. Market St.; 206-297-2666 or www.sonicboomrecords.com).
2 p.m. Listening party with Jack White album "Blunderbuss")
4 p.m. Star Anna
Other Participating Record Stores
B-Side Music (214 Stewart St.; 425-492-5080 or http://bsideseattle.com).
Bop Street (2220 N.W. Market St.; 206-297-2232 or www.myspace.com/officialbopstreetrecords).
Georgetown (1201 S. Vale St.; 206-762-5638 or www.georgetownrecords.net).
Holy Cow (1501 Pike Place #325; 206-405-4200 or www.myspace.com/holycowrecords).
Jive Time (3506 Fremont Ave. N., 206-632-5483 or http://jivetimerecords.com).
Platinum (915 E. Pike St.; 206-324-8032 or www.platinum-records.com).
Porchlight (1515 14th Ave.; 206-329-5461).
Radar Hair and Records (2724 First Ave. S.; 206-402-4549 or http://radarhairandrecords.com).
Rubato (4710 California Ave. S.W.; 206-933-6030).
Satisfaction (6215 Roosevelt Way N.E.; 206-783-0222).
Wall of Sound (315 E. Pine St.; 206-441-9880 or www.wosound.com).
Zion's Gate (1100 E. Pike St.; www.zionsgate.com).
Paul de Barros, Seattle Times arts writer
It's Record Store Day! This is the fifth year independent record stores in the U.S. and Europe have banded together to celebrate the ritual of browsing and shopping for physical recorded music in a brick and mortar store. Last year, more than 700 U.S. stores participated. This year the event has expanded, though some stores may not be "official" RSD stores and therefore may not carry the special, limited-edition RSD albums — more than 200 — being released today.
Record Store Day started out as a celebration of "the art of music" but has gradually skewed toward vinyl. Though RSD has been a boon for stores — it's now by far the biggest sales day of the year — the glut of new releases has created problems. Many stores can't get as many copies as they would like of limited-edition releases or, conversely, get stuck with unsold vinyl that — unlike CDs — is nonreturnable.
That said, there's lots of fun to be had out there today. Here are reviews of three, just-released vinyl albums. Please see accompanying list of local stores participating in RSD and their live events.
Devo, 'Live 1981 Seattle' (Booji Boy Records)
Devo's "Live 1981 Seattle" double vinyl LP is a total new-wave nostalgia trip — four sides loaded with such manic musical treats as "Whip It," "Going Under," "Girl U Want," "Super Thing," "Jocko Homo" and "Gates of Steel."
The previously unreleased album was pressed from a cassette recording of the group's November 1981 "New Traditionalists" show at Seattle Center Arena (now the dormant Mercer Arena), an event promoted by Albatross Productions (a ticket stub is reproduced on the back cover).
Sound quality is impressive considering the available technology.
Those born after the Reagan era may regard this concert as ancient history — the Dead Sea scrolls of live, new-wave recordings — but youthful energy infuses every groove — "like Caucasian James Browns on marching powder," as the band's Gerald V. Casale says in the liner notes.
The double album comes with two black-and-white, suitable-for-framing posters of the band in all of its bespectacled, lacquered-hair, new-wave glory.
Special to The Seattle Times
Branford Marsalis, 'Four MF's Playin' Tunes' (Marsalis Music)
Saxophonist Marsalis can be an intimidating player, but this double album by his quartet (with new drummer Justin Faulkner) is remarkably warm and approachable. Seeming to have channeled Sonny Rollins' joy and playfulness, Marsalis begins on soprano sax with a lively calypso by pianist Joey Calderazzo, luxuriates in a swelling ballad by bassist Eric Revis, then, stuttering (also Rollins-wise), deliberates with Faulkner over an appropriately minimalist "Teo," by Thelonious Monk.
Marsalis burrows ferociously into his own, rhythmically challenging "Endymion" then rises to romantic heights on the standard "My Ideal," suggesting an unbroken line back to Coleman Hawkins. With a title nodding to the great soprano sax man Sidney Bechet ("Treat It Gentle"), Branford's soprano seems to say, "Come on in, the weather's fine in saxophone land, and I'd like some company."
Ironically, given the nostalgia about the expansive documentation space once afforded by vinyl LPs, the album has no liner notes and — for all the space devoted to artful photographs — not one of its four gatefold sides lists the names of the players!
Paul de Barros,
Seattle Times jazz critic
Shabazz Palaces, 'Live at KEXP' (Sub Pop)
"Live at KEXP" is four dreamlike songs by the acclaimed Seattle hip-hop duo, pressed to purple vinyl in a unique partnership between Sub Pop Records and radio station KEXP 90.3 FM — two local alternative-music institutions. Shabazz principles Ishmael Butler and Tendai Maraire recorded it live on the KEXP radio/web stream with "Street Sounds" host Larry Mizell Jr. on June 28, 2011.
Tweaking songs from their crucial "Black Up" album, they added watery effects on Lazaro's microphone during "A Mess" and crooning from Maraire on "Free Press and Curl." In general, there was looseness, with extra electronics here, extra percussion there, but it's all very nuanced and focused. The result is a partial reveal of what the group is currently doing across America and Europe on tour, tickling speakers with mbira and wrecking them with mega-bass, rapping in poems and racking up rave reviews. Leif Podhajsky designed the cover and sleeve art — coiled snakes, crossed spears and a woman with upside-down eyes.
Special to The Seattle Times