The first Record Store Day of the year is set for this Saturday, April 19, when record shops across the country will carry limited edition vinyl releases as a means of luring customers into their stores. And there’s a nice selection of rarities from Pacific Northwest artists this time around:
Nirvana, “Pennyroyal Tea,” 7-inch single (DGC/UMe) “Pennyroyal Tea” was set to be the third single release from Nirvana’s “In Utero” album. It was cancelled after Kurt Cobain’s death, not least because the single’s B-side was “I Hate Myself and Want to Die.” The Record Store Day reissue utilizes the original artwork planned for the single.
Soundgarden, “Superunknown: The Singles,” box of five 10-inch EPs (A&M/UMe) June 2014 will be the 20th anniversary of Soundgarden’s “Superunknown,” the band’s only album to top the charts. In advance of that release, this box set serves up a preview: 22 tracks, including live versions of “Jesus Christ Pose” and “Fell on Black Days,” a demo of “Birth Ritual,” and a Steve Fisk remix of “Spoonman.”
Mudhoney, “On Top,” 12-inch LP (Sub Pop) One of the most extraordinary performances in Seattle music history had to be July 11, 2013, when Mudhoney played a ten song set on top of the Space Needle in honor of Sub Pop’s 25th anniversary. KEXP documented the show for posterity, which features terrific versions of “Suck You Dry,” “Chardonnay,” and, of course, “Touch Me I’m Sick.”
The Jimi Hendrix Experience, “Live at Monterey,” 12-inch LP (Experience Hendrix/Legacy) A straight reissue of the album of the same name released in 2007, “Live at Monterey” documents the incendiary performance at the Monterey Pop Festival in June 1967 that made Jimi Hendrix a star in the U.S.
Heavens to Betsy, “Calculated,” 12-inch LP (Kill Rock Stars) Revered indie band Sleater-Kinney had its roots in the riot grrrl-era acts Excuse 17 (with Carrie Brownstein) and Heavens to Betsy (with Corin Tucker). Tucker’s distinctive battle cry is evident on the band’s sole album, laying the groundwork for future triumphs to come.
R.E.M., “Unplugged: The Complete 1991 and 2001 Sessions,” four 12-inch LPs (Rhino) R.E.M. was a natural choice for an “MTV Unplugged” session, and appeared on the show twice, in 1991 and 2001. The Young Fresh Fellows’ Scott McCaughey had joined the band as auxiliary guitarist for that second stint. This marks the first time both shows have been released, making this an especially desirable record for collectors.
The Minus Five, “Scott the Hoople in the Dungeon of Horror,” five 12-inch EPs (Yep Roc) McCaughey heads up this band whose revolving cast of characters has included Peter Buck (R.E.M.), Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow (the Posies) and Bill Rieflin (Ministry). This set draws on previously unreleased material recorded over the last two years.
David Lynch, “The Air Is On Fire,” 12-inch LP (Sacred Bones Records) The one-time NW resident who went on to become of America’s most acclaimed experimental directors has also made side forays into photography, fine art, and music. This release features the music he composed to provide an atmospheric soundtrack for a 2007 retrospective exhibit of his work in Paris, and is as dreamy and unsettling as his film work.
Caspar Babypants, “Bonus Beatles,” 7-inch EP (Grimtale Records) Even toddlers can into some Record Store Day action with seven-song release (on yellow vinyl) by Chris Ballew, as recorded by his kid-friendly alter-ego Caspar Babypants. The song selection has such offbeat choices as “Piggies” and “Tomorrow Never Knows.” Easy Street Records in West Seattle will be the only store to carry the item.
Over 20 area stores are participating in Record Store Day, including East Street Records, Jive Time Records, Spin Cycle Records, and Silver Platters; for a full listing, check the Record Store Day website. After you’ve scoured the bins, head over to Georgetown Records (1201 S. Vale) at 6:30 p.m. for a special GRAMMY Breakout Sessions panel, when producers Steve Fisk and Jack Endino will discuss the records that most influenced them. Sub Pop Records co-founder Bruce Pavitt will also be on hand to DJ.