Countdown to Record Store Day: Part 1

record store dayApril 18, 2015 sees the eighth Record Store Day, an important musical event in the calendar that celebrates the culture of small, independent record stores.

If you didn’t know, it’s a day where artists and these stores come together promoting music with a host of exclusive or one-off releases.

Like any event that grows year on year it has come in for a bit of criticism with several major acts jumping on board this year meaning smaller record labels can’t compete.  For the music fanatic though there is still a mouthwatering choice and we asked our writers to give their Four Picks from this year’s lists.  First up is Serena Butler.

Serena Butler is a writer at Fourculture Magazine

“Record store day to me is like taking a child to Disneyland. The anticipation of what lies ahead. The discovery of new music just waits to hit your eardrums like the final drop at Splash Mountain.  That, ladies and gentlemen is what record store day is to me. I wouldn’t be too surprised if I come out of my local record store completely broke.  Here are some releases that I’m looking forward to for Record Store Day 2015…”


Tegan & Sara –  Live at Zia Records:
ZIAI’ll start by saying this is a very biased choice.  Zia Records has been my favorite record store as long as I can remember.  I grew up in Tucson, Arizona and going to Zia was the biggest adventure to me while growing up. I’m known to not leave Zia with less than 10 new albums for my collection at a time.  Amongst their vast selection of music, Zia on occasion is known to bring in artists for special in-store performances and signings. Recorded on September 10th 2013, at one of their Phoenix locations; this features tracks from Tegan & Sara‘s latest album Heartthrob and 2007’s The Con.  The vinyl will be aqua blue, but if you’re like me and living near a Zia Records location in Tucson, Phoenix, or Las Vegas you have the opportunity to get a copy in grimace purple.


REM/Syd Barrett – Dark Globe:

SydREMNext up we have a release from Rhino’s exclusive “Side By Side” series. In this series you get a chance to hear two different artists’ take on the same song. This exclusive takes on Syd Barrett’s 1970 single “Dark Globe” and the cover version by R.E.M. released in 1989. This one has a lot of similarities between the songs with emotional projection. As for melody you’ll hear that Syd Barrett’s original take was a heavy influence on Michael Stipe’s version as they both take it very simplistically with a piano and acoustic guitar. It will be interesting just to see how they match side by side. The vinyl will be released in a cola brown color.


A-Ha – Take On Me (picture disc):
AHAThere is part of me that is apprehensive about purchasing picture discs as I see an art value to them as well as a listening value. In this case, I may have to buy two as A-ha is releasing a picture disc in honor of the 30th anniversary of their hit single “Take on me.” Even though I was not alive at the time when the single came out, the video’s artistry had a massive impact on my love for music and the art surrounding it at as a whole. Many of us will always remember the woman sucked into the pages of the comic book chasing after lead singer Morten Harket; that is a classic image that has lasted for 30 years and will last for many more. Featured on the disc is the original single on side A and Side B is from Dermot O’Leary’s Saturday Sessions on BBC Radio 2, first broadcast on 25th July, 2009. You can’t miss that iconic picture on the vinyl when you’re out looking for it!


David Bowie/Tom Verlaine – Kingdom Come:
TomDavidLastly, another “Side By Side” release. This one takes a bit of a different turn from the REM/Syd Barrett release as the songs here were released within one year of each other; Tom Verlaine in 1979 and David Bowie in 1980. This happens more often than we realize with songs. A cover within a year when one is less successful. The thing that I love the most about this one is that it sounds like the song should have been recorded as a duet betweenthe two. The vinyl is transparent red inside opaque black.


Serena is picking from the US list – full list available here

For other international lists please go to

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