Between the Headphones of the Publisher

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It has to be intentional, right?

Coincidences of this magnitude don’t just happen out of the blue.

Short of Easter and Passover, April is pretty light on proper holidays (don’t forget Administrative Professionals Day on April 25). But for our kinds of people, April is almost as important as December in the holidaze regard.

4/20 has grown massively in popularity, boosted by red card holders and businesses’ willingness to capitalize on the idea of catering to a stoner crowd — afterall, many of the other days of the year they cater to us, without knowing it; might as well have a day to be ourselves.

But when the smoke clears and the final tube has been ripped, we find that there’s one last nug in the bottom of the jar — and it’s a damn fine one at that.

Record Store Day!

Thanks to the alignment of the planets and the stars (and I guess our outdated, end-is-near calendar as well), the day after we fill our heads with smoke, we’ll be able to fill them again, this time with heady tunes.

The list of releases is larger than ever this year and what I think is the best part about RSD is the fact that much of the ace material comes from our bands. Remember, while RSD does have some commercialism and ickiness attached to it — what shopping experience doesn’t in America these days? — the majority of the titles come from the kinds of bands you hear about in The Marquee, groups that aren’t part of the American mainstream, the just-under-the-radar type that we love so much.

A 180 gram vinyl reissue of Uncle Tupelo’s Still Feel Gone? O.K.! A reissue of Lou Reed’s Rock N Roll Animal? I’ll take it! [Personal bias here, the opening guitar solo on “Sweet Jane” on that album is worth the entire price of the release.] There’s new material coming from The Chris Robinson Brotherhood, a double LP of The Black Keys’ El Camino with bonus tracks, a Wilco Whole Love Deluxe Box Set, and a three LP deluxe version of Phish’s Junta.

But Record Store Day is not just about reissues and repackaged deluxe sets — it’s also as communal as it comes and like 4/20, where different kinds of stoners gather peacefully, RSD also creates a unique blending of people we wouldn’t expect to see hanging tight with one another. Case in point, one of my most anticipated RSD releases: Mastodon and The Flaming Lips will release a 7” of both bands playing the Lips Song “A Spoonful Weighs A Ton.”

Get out and enjoy the day on 4/20 and then the day after, stop by your local record store and grab a title to take home that you can enjoy.

See you at the shows.

 

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