Record Store Day 2014

Woke up at early to hit Record Store Day with a few friends. Plans called for us to meet at Dusty Groove at eight, though the daunting block-and-a-half-long file of people waiting forced us to relocate to Permanent. We arrived at P-Rex just as the end of the line was slipping through the front door and were checked out within ten minutes. About a third of their RSD selection had already sold out, though wasn't a challenge to leave with a few:

Omar Souleyman's "Jazeera Nights" collects a bunch of the Syrian wedding singer's live recordings between 1995 and 2009. Sublime Frequencies issued this on CD back in 2010, though this is its first appearance on vinyl.

"Visitors," the Numero Group/Jagjagwuar box set of Dinosaur Jr's early singles was a no-brainer. Not limited edition, but this is a nifty little package of five 7" records and liner notes from Maura Jasper, the artist responsible for much of the band's cover art from that era.

Shampoo Boy is a drone/noise trio led by Austria's Peter Rehberg. 'Nebel / Nadel' is a limited edition of 750, as well as the first release since Blackest Ever Black issued "Licht" last year. This was issued by Substance.

Finally, I was attracted to Alvarius B. / Sir Richard Bishop's ‘If You Don't Like It...Don't!." Sir Richard recorded this last December in Indonesia, and I grabbed one of 850 copies issued by Three Lobed. I'm listening to it as I write, and it's a lovely set avant blues that'll soothe your jangled nerves. Recommended.

After stopping for coffee at West Town, we trekked north to Logan Square's Saki, which was set to open at nine. The line was well out the door by the time we arrived, and we waited at least 15 before we were even inside.

Once in, we dutifully queued for what would be about a 120 minute wait. At one point in the wildly snaking line we were near the register where we watched the store's first customer check out. He told us he'd been there since 12:30 a.m. (about nine hours earlier). He purchased 737 dollars worth of records. It was quite a stack, anchored by some giant Cake box set. He said 90 percent of it was for him and asked us not to judge.

Saki's inventory was still rocking by the time we neared the front. A small handful were out, but they had a deep bench — they seemed to have a huge selection, overall. I didn't overthink it, and just went with my gut:

Yes, I bought the Sky Ferreira "Night Time, My Time" picture disc. It's my first picture disc since Ace Frehley's solo Kiss album.

Oneohtrix Point Never's "Commissions I" is a collection of three tracks originally composed by Daniel Lopatin on commission for various projects and events like Saatchi's New Directors Showcase in Cannes. It includes Lopatin's stunning cover of "I Only Have Eyes For You," which was done for the Hirschorn Museum and named a P'fork Best New Track way back in '12. I can't recommend it enough.

Finally, I picked up Varese Sarabande's quality 180-gram reissue of the Zombies' "Odessey & Oracle." That one belongs in every collection.

By the time we checked out, it really had been about two hours. The crowd had diminished so that you anyone could really just jump in line and have at it. A few of the big names were gone — the LCD box and Outkast record each went pretty fast — but it was pretty clear in hindsight that just showing up late was probably more sensible way to do it. 

Nevertheless, it was a worthwhile conquest, so we headed south to Wicker Park and hit Big Star just as it opened for the day. The clouds broke up, and we were well positioned on the patio to enjoy a little sunshine and tacos.

Until next year!